‘I Said, ‘OZZ, Did You Take Vocal Lessons For ‘Sabotage’?’ He Says, ‘No, ZAKK, Just Lots Of Drugs’: ZAKK WYLDE On BLACK SABBATH’s Legacy

During a recent captivating episode of “The Power Hour,” the legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde delved into the depths of reminiscence, unraveling Ozzy Osbourne‘s fascinating perspective on the zenith of BLACK SABBATH’s illustrious career, juxtaposed against Geezer Butler’s profound admiration for the quintessential essence embodied in “Master of Reality.”

The first eight opuses of BLACK SABBATH stand as towering pillars within the pantheon of heavy metal, revered and cherished for their unparalleled influence. However, a curious divergence emerges when discussing the acclaim bestowed upon albums like “Never Say Die!” (1978) and “Technical Ecstasy” (1976), which some aficionados do not hold in the same lofty regard as the band’s initial sextet.

“Ozz doesn’t put ‘Sabotage’ in that list,” Zakk disclosed. “Ozzy said that the classic run of SABBATH records ended with ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ for him. To him, that was it. He would always measure [the record] by the memories that were attached to making the records. What he always remembers whether he had a good time making it, or he was miserable.”

Reflecting on the turbulent genesis of “Sabotage,” Zakk expounded: “That’s the reason why the album’s called ‘Sabotage’ — all the management things they were going through and everything. The wheels started coming off at that point, for them anyways, with all the outside interference coming in, I suppose. The band’s making records, touring, having fun, [and] the world started collapsing at that point with SABBATH.”

Zakk, an ardent admirer of the album, recounted Ozzy’s wry response to his admiration for the vocalist’s performance: “‘I love his vocal performances on all [the records], but Sabotage — all of it; his phrasing, how bluesy his voice is on ‘The Writ,’ the whole record. It’s just absolutely amazing. I said, ‘Ozz, were you taking vocal lessons or something?’ And he goes, ‘No, Zakk, just lots of drugs.'”

In another intriguing anecdote, Zakk recalled probing Geezer Butler about the quintessential BLACK SABBATH album, to which the esteemed bassist unequivocally proclaimed: “I remember when we were working on the ‘Ozzmosis’ record [1995] with Geezer [Butler], and we were going back from the studio one night. And I said, ‘Geez, if you could only have one SABBATH record from the Ozzy years [you could play to someone who] never heard BLACK SABBATH before [and say], ‘Here you go, this is what BLACK SABBATH Is’, [which one would you pick]? And Geezer said ‘Master of Reality.'”


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