Ozzy Osbourne recently parted ways with guitarist Zakk Wylde. It was news that mostly made me shrug my shoulders because I think Ozzy is way past the point of making music that will be relevant much less good. I think most folks who heard Ozzy's last release Black Rain would tend to agree with me although a lot of people gave up on him after the album before that, Down To Earth. I thought Down To Earth had it's moments and I actually rather enjoy its predecessor Ozzmosis, but Ozzy's last amazing, barn burning, fantastic album was 1991's No More Tears.
I remember very clearly when that album came out. It was released the same day as Guns N Roses' Use Your Illusion I and II albums. I had gone to the now defunct Kemp Mill Records with enough money for exactly two CDs ($25.06) and being a huge fan of both Ozzy and GnR, I was having a really difficult time deciding which two albums to purchase. Should I just get both GnR albums or should I get one GnR album and No More Tears? And if I only get one GnR album, then which one do I get? What if I don't pick the better of the two? [For the record, II is the superior album.] After 90-120 minutes of debate, I eventually went with both GnR albums. I arrived home and my mother asked me where the heck I had been. She was guessing that I had gotten yet another detention, but I explained to her where I was and why it took me so long. She looked a little confused, but just shrugged her shoulders and I took off to go lock myself in my room and crank some GnR. A few days later I was sitting in my room when my mom came in with her arms behind her back. She explained to me that she was morally opposed to Ozzy Osbourne (a good Irish Catholic mother practically has to be right?) and that she never let my older brother listen to him (he totally had Sabbath and Ozzy albums and listened to him anyway), but when I came home from the record store the other day, I seemed so passionate about my decision making process about choosing just two of three albums to purchase that (and then she brought out a CD from behind her back) she went out and bought me No More Tears. Pretty cool mom right? Needless to say I was really psyched and turned on the album immediately. No disrespect to Randy Rhoads and the two amazing albums, Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman, that he made with Ozzy, but I've always felt that No More Tears was Ozzy's best album. The title track, "Hellraiser", "Mr. Tinkertrain", "I Don't Want To Change The World", "Road To Nowhere" and every other song on the album are awesome and a large part of the album's appeal is Zakk Wylde's guitar playing.
Ozzy's new guitarist might be an amazing player, but I'm not really interested in hearing what he does with Ozzy. I'd rather just listen to No More Tears (or even No Rest For The Wicked).
"No More Tears"
"Mama I'm Coming Home"
"I Don't Want To Change The World" (live)