This is the album that established Ozzy as a successful solo act. It seemed that the Ozz man wanted to separate himself as far away from Black Sabbath as he could because this album doesn’t sound like anything he had done before. The seemingly demonic themes found before in his music were absent here and instead replaced with themes of loneliness, self loathing, and death. It’s as if with this record, Ozzy wanted to show his fans and the world that he was human after all.
The album opens with the insecure ridden “ I Don’t Know.” Of course it begins with a kick ass riff by guitar favorite Randy Rhoads. The way it rocks out fast and loud makes you think it’s about a good time, but when you take a look at the lyrics you see that it’s not that simple. In it Ozzy sings “Everyone goes through changes/looking to find the truth/Don’t look for me for answers/Don’t ask me-I don’t know.” Here he is debunking his god like status that he gained while in Black Sabbath. Rather than basking in that glory he’s telling people he’s not a god; he doesn’t have all the answers. This is just one of the many songs where Ozzy seems to be down on himself.
Everyone’s favorite track is of course “Crazy Train.” This song has to have the best opening in metal history. The way he shouts “All Aboard!” and laughs manically makes you wonder if he’s actually lost it. Then that fierce riff comes in and even years later, it still gives you chills. But again we return to Ozzy’s vulnerable side when he says “Mental wounds not healing, who and what’s to blame.” It could be a reference to some of his behavior in his Sabbath days and how he hasn’t really gotten over them. I mean, it was only 3 years since he was fired from Black Sabbath; it’s no surprise that he would have some left over feelings from that.
This album is important in music history because it marks Osbourne’s solo debut, but I think it’s also important because it actually humanizes Ozzy. It’s like hes trying to show through these songs that he has feelings and desires like the average Joe. And no song expresses that better than the somber track “Goodbye to Romance.” It’s a slow, heartbreaking track that finds the front man singing about his loneliness, saying goodbye to old friends and his past. I think this is a direct reference to what he felt after he was kicked out of Black Sabbath. He was dumped, with no one to turn to, and if you read his biography you learn that he was drowning himself in alcohol every night. It’s a really powerful song, but the synthesizers that come in at the end are kind of cheesy. But there are other songs that show that the Ozz man is human like the rest of us.
Probably the oddest song on the album and one that doesn’t really fit is “No Bone Movies.” The riff is fun and playful, but still manages to be hard rocking. What makes the song odd is that it’s obviously about porn and masturbation, but rather than condoning the behavior he seems to be condemning it. He’s not necessarily saying that it’s bad and you shouldn’t do it; it’s more that the subject of the song is disgusted that he seems to be addicted to the behavior. Another song that stands out from the album for different reasons is “Mr. Crowley.” The opening of this track sounds like it belongs in a Gothic horror movies with lots of castles. The dark tone of the song is emphasized when Ozzy sings “Mr. Crowley, what went on in your head?” The song is among the best here, but I always thought the “Won’t you ride my white horse” line was weird. I’m not sure if he wants to bone Aleister Crowley or what.
Overall, the album gets 8/10. Even today it’s still a great metal album that’s stood the test of time. Not only did the record prove that Ozzy could hold his own without the aid of Sabbath, it also seems like his way of telling the world he has the same insecurities and fears like everyone else. The album has spawned some of Osbourne’s biggest hits; ones that fans still love hearing now.