Ozzy Osbourne is the undisputed heavyweight godfather of planet metal. When his band Black Sabbath emerged from working class Birmingham in the late Sixties, there were no precedents for their sludgy, barbiturated, Hammer Horror Rock. Three and a half decades on, no one has topped the awesome grind of Paranoid, Sweet Leaf', 'Iron Man','War Pigs', 'Supernaut' and other Sabbath classics. Sabbath remain the template for rock as much of an influence on grunge as on Nu Metal. Few gave Ozzy much change of carving out a meaningful solo career when he departed Sabbath in the late Seventies. Drunk and overweighm snacking on bats, he was in danger of turning into metal's saddest clown. Into his life stepped Sharon Arden, soon to become his manager and wife. From the annual Ozzfest to MTV phenomenon The Osbournes, the couple have masterminded one of the most enduring careers in the rock and roll show business. Rock's Backpages, the Online Library of rock 'n' roll, here collects the best pieces ever written on Ozzy and Sabbath.
Barney Hoskins has been writing about music for 25 years. He was Associate Editor of MOJO before setting Rock Backpages.