Ozzy Osbourne, lovingly known as The Prince of Darkness, wrote heavy metal history with his first band Black Sabbath in the 1970s and continued writing music history with his solo career from 1980 to 2010. His solo discography includes 11 studio albums, which we will rank from worst to best in this article. This ranking is subjective and I base it on my personal taste and feelings that each album evokes in me.
Ozzy’s ninth studio album, which consists entirely of cover songs. Actually a good album, but personally, nothing I can do with it. Alice in Chains’ guitarist Jerry Cantrell does a good job, but the album lacks real ‘metal’ for me compared to all the other albums.
Ozzy’s eighth studio album includes an intriguing band with Zakk Wylde (guitar), now-Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, and Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin. However, this is the first album that Zakk Wylde did not contribute as a songwriter since joining Ozzy in 1988. Even though the album has sold over 1.6 million copies worldwide and is an easy listening, it does not contain songs that can be deemed classics.
It already starts becoming hard to rank Ozzy’s albums, because now, they’re all great in my humble opinion. Scream, Ozzy’s thus far latest studio effort as a solo artist, holds great songs such as Let Me Hear You Scream, the epic Life Won’t Wait, and Time. Having brought on board guitar phenomenon Gus G was a great move, given his creativity and freshness.
The third studio album in Ozzy’s discography is a strong metal album with legendary songs on it. Bark at the Moon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel, or So Tired are definitely classics. The entire album holds what it promises, atmospherical 80s metal with good vocal hooks.
Ozzy’s sophomore album is considered a milestone in heavy metal. Randy Rhodes’ guitar wizardry certainly validates that statement, as well as the greatness of classics such as Over the Mountain, Flying High Again, and Believer.
Zakk Wylde makes his first appearance in an Ozzy album and proves to be a great addition. Songs like Miracle Man, Crazy Babies, and Tattooed Dancer are characterised by Zakk’s screaming metal guitar that will be a signature of Ozzy’s music for many years to come.
After what I deem Ozzy’s lost studio albums decade, The Prince of Darkness released an album that blew my mind. Black Rain is a heavy punch in the nuts with excellent songwriting. Maybe the return of Zakk Wylde as a songwriter made Black Rain such a great album. For me, the perfect sequel to Ozzmosis, also in regard to the sound. There is not one filler on here, only killers.
I consider 1986 a fantastic year for heavy metal that brought to live many wonderful albums. One of them is Ozzy’s fourth release, The Ultimate Sin. It is an underestimated metal jewel with songs like the title track, Secret Loser, Thank God for the Bomb, and the top-ten hit Shot in the Dark. Jake E. Lee’s best guitar work.
This album had the very difficult task to build upon the legacy of Ozzy’s arguably most epic album, No More Tears. Very astutely, Ozzy and his band created a worthy sequel that stands on its own feet. Ozzmosis brings new sounds to the listener and lives in a darker world that its predecessor. Maybe some of that can be credited to Black Sabbath bass genius Geezer Butler, who lends his uniquely beautiful bass sound and musical approach to the album, as well as to legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman known for his tenure in Yes. Classics such as the opener Perry Mason, Ghost Behind My Eyes, See You On The Other Side, Denial, and My Jekyll Doesn’t Hide make Ozzmosis another undervalued classic heavy metal album that does not get enough credit.
After breaking up with Black Sabbath, biting the head off a pigeon and not knowing if there will be a career in music any longer, Ozzy wrote music history with his debut album Blizzard of Ozz. The album not only carries a handful of legendary tunes, it also introduced Randy Rhodes’ genius to the world. The combination Ozzy & Randy is just like nitro & glycerin. Bombastic classics such as I Don’t Know, Crazy Train, Goodbye To Romance, Suicide Solution, Mr. Crowley and all the other tracks on this album were born from that combination.
This is the album that made me fall in love with Ozzy’s music. As I wrote elsewhere, ‘The album is full of honest lyrics that might make you laugh, cry, happy, sad, or simply make you stop to take a moment and reflect on your own life.’ No More Tears is a masterpiece of heavy metal and a milestone in music history. Every song is excellent and every single note on it is gold. I must have given this album thousands of spins in the past 25 years of its release. No More Tears was one of the first CDs that I have ever bought with my own money, and I am still holding on tight to it and enjoying its greatness to this day.