If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a big fan of the 1980s hard rock scene. Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, and Poison were some of the biggest bands back then. When it comes to solo artists, there was none bigger than Ozzy Osbourne. He always picked great guitarists to play on his records: Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde. If anyone is deserving of the JT’s Ultimate Mixtape treatment, it is Ozzy Osbourne.
The rules are simple:
- Every studio album must be represented by one and only one song.
- That song does not have to be an official “single” released by the artist to promote said album.
- Compilation albums can be included, but only songs that are new, previously unreleased, or remixes of songs from prior albums are eligible for the list.
- Live albums are a waste of time. This is a general rule that applies to most, but Ozzy’s Tribute album is obviously exempt.
JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Ozzy Osbourne edition…
- “Crazy Train” (Blizzard Of Ozz, 1980)
- “Over The Mountain” (Diary Of A Madman, 1981)
- “War Pigs” (Speak of the Devil, 1982)
- “Bark At The Moon” (Bark at the Moon, 1983)
- “Shot In The Dark” (The Ultimate Sin, 1986)
- “Suicide Solution” (Tribute, 1987)
- “Crazy Babies” (No Rest for the Wicked, 1988)
- “No More Tears” (No More Tears, 1991)
- “Mama, I’m Coming Home” (Live & Loud, 1993)
- “I Just Want You” (Ozzmosis, 1995)
- “Back On Earth” (The Ozzman Cometh, 1997)
- “Dreamer” (Down to Earth, 2001)
- “Sunshine Of Your Love” (Under Cover, 2005)
- “I Don’t Wanna Stop” (Black Rain, 2007)
- “Let Me Hear You Scream” (Scream, 2010)
Ten very solid studio albums, three live albums, a compilation and a covers album are all represented on JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Ozzy Osbourne edition. But, as always, we’ve got to have some bonus tracks. It was hard to whittle this list down, and I didn’t even include any Black Sabbath material (that will come later…oooh, foreshadowing).
- Was (Not Was) “Shake Your Head (Let’s Go To Bed)” (Born to Laugh at Tornadoes, 1983)
- Lita Ford “Close My Eyes Forever” (Lita, 1988)
- Gary Moore “Led Clones” (After the War, 1989)
- Ozzy Osbourne “Purple Haze” (Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell, 1989)
- Bill Ward “Bombers (Can Open Bomb Bays)” (Ward One: Along the Way, 1990)
- Alice Cooper “Hey Stoopid” (Hey Stoopid, 1991)
- Infectious Grooves “Therapy” (The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move…It’s The Infectious Grooves, 1991)
- Motörhead “I Ain’t No Nice Guy” (March Or Die, 1992)
- Ozzy Osbourne with Miss Piggy “Born To Be Wild” (Kermit Unpigged, 1994)
- Ozzy Osbourne “Walk On Water” (Beavis And Butt-Head Do America, 1996)
- Ringo Starr “Vertical Man” (Vertical Man, 1998)
- Rick Wakeman “Buried Alive” (Return To The Centre Of The Earth, 1999)
- Coal Chamber “Shock The Monkey” (Chamber Music, 1999)
- Tony Iommi “Who’s Fooling Who” (Iommi, 2000)
- Rob Zombie “Iron Head” (The Sinister Urge, 2001)
- Black Label Society “Stillborn” (The Blessed Hellride, 2003)
- Mountain “Masters Of War” (Masters of War, 2007)
- Slash “Crucify The Dead” (Slash, 2010)
- Eminem “Going Through Changes” (Recovery, 2010)
Man, this guy gets around! And I didn’t even include everything that I could have! Of course, the duet with Lita is a no-brainer, but Ozzy has really contributed a lot of great material to other bands.
What’s on your Ultimate Mixtape for Ozzy? Try to stick to the rules laid out above!
Cover songs are a dime a dozen, and most of them can be thrown away pretty easily. Either they are so poorly performed, pale in comparison to the original, or are so faithful to the original to make them unnecessary. But when done well, cover songs can be thrilling. Think about Jimi Hendrix covering Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower.” Completely different arrangement and delivery, making it almost unrecognizable but still unforgettable.
A good recent example is this Krokus song from the new album, Dirty Dynamite. Listen to it carefully…do you recognize it at all?
So who did Krokus cover? Who was the original artist for this song?
That’s the Beatles, folks. They took that classic pop song and turned it into a sticky sweet 1980s ballad, complete with a crying guitar solo. I absolutely love Krokus’ version of this song.
How about Reggie Watts’ version of “Panama”…which is really nothing like the Van Halen song at all, but still pretty interesting.
Have you ever thought, “I wonder what ‘Stairway To Heaven’ would sound like if it had been performed by the Doors instead of Led Zeppelin?” Wonder no more, my friends…
Alex Skolnick, guitarist for metal band Testament, also has a jazz band that covers heavy metal songs. Check out “War Pigs” below:
If jazz isn’t your thing, how about flamenco guitar? Benjamin Woods did an album called Flametal of cover songs, like Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon”…
One more for this post, and then we’ll turn it over to the comments section…The Byrds singing “Friday,” a song originally written and recorded but never released by Bob Dylan. The song was made popular a few years ago by Rebecca Black.
So now it’s up to you…tell me some of your favorite offbeat cover songs in the comments, with a YouTube link if you can find one!
(December 6, 1956 – March 19, 1982)
Thirty years ago today, guitar legend Randy Rhoads was killed in an airplane crash. He was on tour with Ozzy Osbourne at the time. He had previously played with Quiet Riot. There are two studio albums by Quiet Riot featuring Randy Rhoads released only in Japan, as well as a collection that Kevin Dubrow released in the USA in the 1990s. With Ozzy, Randy recorded two studio albums; there is also a live Ozzy album featuring the guitarist.
Tomorrow night on Hard Rock Nights, we’ll be going through some of the most mortifying hard rock ever recorded! Of course there will be some KISS, Ozzy and Alice, but we don’t stop there! We’re going to rock out with some seldom heard Fastway, Dangerous Toys, and Armored Saint, and we’re even throwing in a couple of new tracks from Randy Piper’s Animal and Stone Gods!
So mark your calendars, tie a string around your finger, whatever you need to do to remember: Halloween is coming early to Hard Rock Nights! Saturday, October 25, 9-11 pm eastern time. Listen on-line at classxradio.com!!!
The show will be on again tonight from 9-11 pm eastern time. Log on to classxradio.com and follow the links to listen live. I’ll have some Ozzy, KISS, Faster Pussycat, Skid Row, Aerosmith…and new stuff from Lynam and Endeverafter. Tune in! And be sure to stop by the Hard Rock Nights blog after the show for the full playlist!