Most part of the Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath members knew each other and were friends even before both bands released their first albums. They were both founded in 1968, but Zeppelin’s first two records were released in 1969, while Sabbath managed to released their self-titled debut only in 1970.
They always admired each other’s work and were extremely important not only for British music but for the evolution of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Over the decades, Sabbath’s vocalist Ozzy Osbourne talked many times about Led Zeppelin and even revealed which was his favorite record from the group formed by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones.
Even though Led Zeppelin is often recalled as a Hard Rock band, Ozzy chose one of their records as one of his favorite Heavy Metal albums of all time when he made the list for Rolling Stone in 2017. “I’ve always been a huge Led Zeppelin fan. All of their studio albums are classics. But this is one of my all-time favorites,” Ozzy Osbourne said about Zeppelin’s fourth album “Led Zeppelin IV”.
That record that Ozzy chose as his favorite from the band was released in 1971. Once again it was produced by the guitarist Jimmy Page. It has many classic tracks like “Black Dog”, “Rock and Roll”, “Stairway To Heaven” and “Going To California”.
When Led Zeppelin released their self-titled debut album in 1969 the whole music business was shocked with their sound and Ozzy Osbourne also was impressed. That record had tracks like “Good Times Bad Times”, “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”, “Dazed and Confused” and “Communication Breakdown”
In an interview he gave for the 1995 documentary “History Of Rock and Roll” (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), Ozzy recalled how he reacted when he first heard the album. “Led Zeppelin I”. “I remember listening to the first Zeppelin album. It was like such a great breath of fresh air for somebody doing something acceptable, but yet so different”.
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2004, he also praised that album, choosing the track “Dazed and Confused” as one of his favorites of all time.
Over the decades Zeppelin was accused many times of using many Blues lyrics, licks and riffs without properly crediting the original artists. But during the last decade they were dragged into court by an American group from the 60s. They were accused by the band Spirit of using their instrumental song “Taurus” to write the famous intro of “Stairway To Heaven”. Zeppelin won the case in 2016 and in 2020 the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
In 2016, Ozzy Osbourne called that trial a “waste of fucking time” in an interview with Rolling Stone. He also said that Zeppelin never needed to rip-off anybody. “It’s fucking crazy, actually. That should have never gone to court. I heard the original thing. There’s just a slight similarity. It’s like saying any fucking song with that kind of a guitar on it is a rip-off.”
“It’s not fair. There’s only so many fucking notes on a guitar. It wasn’t that much like ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ I’m amazed it lasted so fucking long, you know? You listen to ‘All Right Now’ by Free and you listen to Steve Miller’s ‘Rock’n Me’. It’s exactly the same riff and they haven’t sued each other. It’s exactly the same.”
“I’ve met John Bonham. I’ve met all of them. That group is fucking phenomenal. What do they need a fucking songwriter for? Why would they rip anybody off? It’s just a waste of fucking time. I’m really surprised it went to court. It’s fucking crazy.”
“They don’t deserve it. It’s like, do you honestly think they’ll sit there and go, ‘Oh, we’ll steal this and change it a bit like this so it sells.’ Fuck. Give me a break. The song that was played was kind of a bit similar. But it was only the chord sequence,” Ozzy Osbourne said.
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG