December 3, 1948: Ozzy Osbourne Born

On this day in 1948, John Michael Osbourne was born in Birmingham, England. Under his nickname, “Ozzy,” he has become the Godfather of Heavy Metal.

Ozzy OsbourneOn this day in 1948, John Michael Osbourne was born in Birmingham, England. Under his nickname, “Ozzy,” he has become the Godfather of Heavy Metal.

Osbourne’s first band, Black Sabbath, launched the heavy metal genre with its dark, bone-crunching sound. When Osbourne was fired from the band in 1979, he embarked on a solo career and became the darkest music of the 1980s. He bit the head off both a bat and a dove, peed on the Alamo and famously proclaimed that “Sobriety fucking sucks.” The fact that he was the same age as my dad only added to his notoriety.

The irony was that unlike the doom and gloom of Sabbath’s tracks, Osbourne’s solo music was actually… well, fun. And as he has settled into a life of sobriety that didn’t suck, he has become embraced and accepted by a legion of Americans who know little about his music.

Whether your knowledge of Osbourne does not extend beyond his shenanigans, reality TV and “Crazy Train,” here are five great solo songs worth downloading.

5. I Don’t Want to StopBlack Rain (2007)
Fun song sums up anyone who has a smidgeon of drive in them.

4. Flying High AgainDiary of a Madman (1981)
This song summed up Osbourne’s feeling after his career was resurrected from the doldrums.

3. Perry MasonOzzmosis (1995)
The most controversial performer of the 1980s sings about one of the most conservative shows of the 1950s and 1960s. Awesome.

2. I Don’t Want to Change the WorldNo More Tears (1991)
Osbourne won a well-deserved Grammy for this one.

1. Crazy TrainBlizzard of Ozz (1980)
Unforgettable riff launched Osbourne’s solo career. Who would’ve thought that you’d one day hear this song at weddings? 

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