Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My 12 Favorite Ozzy Ballads

Ozzy will always be one those names I go back to, no matter where I am in life. While I certainly haven't agreed with many of his professional decisions, I find myself always looking forward to an Ozzy-related release. Right now there don't seem to be any releases in the near future, though. Ozzy's last solo studio album was 2010's Scream and Black Sabbath's 13 is already over a year old, too. 

With nothing else eminent, I suppose I will make do with what I have and see if I can't conjure up a decent list of the material that Ozzy and the gang of musicians that have accompanied him over the years have managed to accumulate. As you know, I am a fan of all eras of Ozzy much like I am a fan of all eras of Sabbath so I'm sure my list will always be vastly different from yours. But that's part of the fun, I guess. Everyone would be boring if they were exactly the same. 
A runner-up on this list was Ozzy's beautiful
duet with Miss Piggy. 

This list concerns the ballads that Ozzy has made during his solo career. I mean, he only made one ballad when he was in Black Sabbath and while I certainly could include that I won't because then that'd open a whole different can of worms. While I like Changes, I wouldn't call it one of my favorite ballads. I much prefer the instrumentals Laguna Sunrise and Fluff. Now those are technically Ozzy-related so I could include them, but... anyway, that's why I won't include Sabbath material here. However, you will see a lot of Ozzmosis here. No, it's not one of my favorite albums, but it does feature more Ozzy ballads than any of the other Ozzy albums. 

12. So Tired - Sadly, this is Jake E. Lee's only appearance on this list. I suppose this is more of a guilty pleasure kind of entry on this list. But what the hell. I do think the harmonic backing vocals are a bit much and maybe the orchestra could have been toned down a bit, but all in all this is one of those songs that's perfect for those frustrated souls on Valentine's Day. 

11. Here For You - Yeah, I know. A lot of people didn't care for Black Rain. The good news is that I don't care what people think, either. I do think this is a better song than Dreamer, although it was a toss-up between this or Life Won't Wait at this spot. Zakk Wylde, say what you will about his guitar playing techniques, has always had an ear for ballads. This song is an unabashed lighters-in-the-air love song and it isn't the only one of its kind on this list. 

10. Running Out of Time - This is the "other" ballad from Down to Earth. Although I suppose it is a bit too heavy in parts to considered an actual ballad type of song. And it's not about anything too lovey dovey. This is about what the bitter wear of time can do to someone. 

09. Old L.A. Tonight - For a minute you think you are listening to an Elton John song, but nope, that's Ozzy. I could have done without that synthesised drum sound on this song, but this was the Ozzmosis period and the entire album was kinda like that. 

08. Mama, I'm Coming Home - I've heard this a gazillion times, yeah. At times I didn't always like it because I have heard it so much. I'm feeling charitable today, though. But it's still not my favorite ballad from No More Tears

07. Back On Earth - I wish this song would have been on Ozzmosis. Unfortunately, it's only available on the often forgotten compilation The Ozzman Cometh. Don't know why, maybe it's the post-apocalyptic feel I get from the song or the fact that it invokes shades of See You On the Other Side, but this has always been on my list of favorite Ozzy gems. 

06. I Just Want You - Not quite sure what half of the lyrics mean, but it's some damn good songwriting neatly wrapped up by the phrase "I just want you." Not sure if it was ever performed live, but he could have introduced the song as I just want you to show me your fucking cigarette lighters!

05. See You On the Other Side - I suppose you could say this is really Ozzy's most "down to earth" song, if you catch my drift. I know Ozzy prefers the demo (definitely worth hearing if haven't heard it yet), but I love the original version heard on the album. It's my go-to grieve song next to Type O Negative's Everything Dies... and one other song higher up this list. 

04. Road to Nowhere - I went through a phase when I was younger where I listened exclusively to No More Tears. I think it was probably my freshman year in high school although it could have been sometime during middle school. This song in particular spoke to my teenager mind in a way such "heavyweights" of the mid-2000's like Korn (yawn) couldn't do. 

03. Tonight - Can someone please explain to me how this song has vanished off the face of the earth? I've always liked it and I think Randy Rhoads really nailed the guitar work. I mean, he always did in every song, but you'd think this would be one of those that wouldn't get shoved aside during the passage of time. 

02. Aimee - Obviously, this song is for Ozzy's out of public eye daughter Aimee. This was also left off of the album Ozzmosis and it's another of those songs that have just kinda fallen off the face of the earth. Someone needs to make a music video of this involving cat pictures so this song can be revived immediately. 

01. Goodbye to Romance - I used to hate this song intensely and I never knew why. Then I later heard the song in a different light. This song is about dealing with loss and starting over when I first heard this song I just wanted hard rock songs and I didn't really get it with this. After Dimebag Darrell died I listened to this song a lot. I wonder if that's ironic or not. 

Well, this concludes my list. Should I have included The Liar? Close My Eyes Forever? Fire in the Sky? Or maybe You Can't Kill Rock N Roll? Although, I don't think that last song is a ballad, I do consider it to be one of Ozzy's strongest songs ever. It's tough to say what is and what isn't a ballad these days. I consider what I feel while listening to it to be a large ingredient, too. 

These are the ones I think are Ozzy's best ballads. My list is final. Until tomorrow. 

1 comment:

  1. "Tonight" tops my list.

    I also like "So Tired." I'm not really sure why. It's a little more lush than I usually like but there is an authenticity about it that saves it.