The legendary singer Ozzy Osbourne helped to form Black Sabbath in 1968, in Birmingham, England alongside Bill Ward, Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi. With the release of their groundbreaking self-titled debut album in 1970, the music industry was quite shocked, not only for the unique and heavy music they put out but also for the lyrics, talking about death and satan. Until the mid-70s, the band released undeniable albums which are some of the most praised of all time but there was decline, caused mainly by addiction by the end of the decade, which forced the band to fire Osbourne.
Around that time, Rock and Roll had evolved once more, but taking things back to the basics again. Punk Rock was the new thing and the bands from that new genre were making a statement with their attitude and lyrics. That new style caused a lot of friction on the scene, because there were many old artists who loved the music but there were also a few ones who really didn’t enjoy what was happening. Ozzy once talked about Punk Rock and mentioned the only band from that genre that he likes.
There is a big discussion about which band really invented Punk Rock. Some people might say it was The Stooges, The Ramones or even The Sex Pistols. But their influence in this kind of music is undeniable and they were really important to the evolution of Punk over the decades.
But Ozzy only likes The Sex Pistols as he told GQ Magazine in 2020. “Punk was a spinoff of Sabbath. It was anti-Establishment. The only band of them I liked was the Sex Pistols; that one album was great, it captured something. But Johnny Lydon, whatever his name is, wants to stop talking and make some fucking music,” Ozzy Osbourne said.
The album mentioned by Ozzy is “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols”, which is their only studio album, released in 1977. That record was an instant hit and sold almost 2 million copies worldwide, besides having songs banned from BBC at the time.
During that year, Black Sabbath didn’t release a new studio album. But he already had seven records out and were one of the biggest and best-selling bands in the world. In the following year, the band finally released “Never Say Die!”, which ended up being Ozzy’s last album with the group until “13”, released in 2013 when they reunited.
One of Ozzy Osbourne’s favorite albums is The Beatles and he always praised them during his career, saying it was hearing them for the first time that really changed his life. It was a turning point that led him to the path of becoming a professional musician.
Talking with Rolling Stone in 2002, the musician recalled that he was shocked when The Sex Pistols guitarist Brian Jones told him that he hated the Fab Four. “I absolutely worshiped the Beatles. Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols once said to me, “I hated the Beatles.” To me, that’s like saying you hate air.”
Ozzy preferred not to be labeled as Heavy Metal and said the same thing about Punk bands. During the promotion of the 1978 album “Never Say Die!”, the musician talked with Record Mirror magazine about what was going on in the music industry. He gave Punk as an example of being labeled, something he never liked as a member of Black Sabbath.
“But it was cheap to manufacture and a cheap money return for the record companies. In the end they were forgetting what they were putting out. I don’t like being branded. I don’t think I’m a star. I’m a rock and roll singer. I only let it influence me once – I used to believe what I read in the Press. But not any more. I never expected to be a successful rock and roll singer,” Ozzy Osbourne said.
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