There isn’t much that Ozzy Osbourne hasn’t achieved in his career. As the leading man of Black Sabbath, he delivered a brand new vision of what a lead singer should be. Then, Osbourne went on to become a defining face of a brand new scene as he led the heavy metal revolution from the front. No matter Osbourne’s forward-thinking style, he was never afraid to pull some inspiration from the past and, when asked to pick his favourite singers of all time, there were only two names that would be at the top.
Asked by Rolling Stone to select his 20 favourite singers of all time, two names occupied the gold and silver prize that, admittedly, were far ahead of the other names on the list. It’s an impressive list, too, including AC/DC’s Bon Scott, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and the legendary reggae hero Bob Marley, but they all pale in comparison for Osbourne. For him, there would only ever be two singers that deserved the crown, and they came from the same band.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney are the two names at the top of the pile for Ozzy Osbourne. While many people have likely noted The Beatles for the revolutionary rock sound, their conceptual albums and their ubiquitous songwriting prowess, few land Lennon and McCartney as their favourite singers of all time. Ozzy may be known to be a little bit wild, flippant almost, but be sure that his selections were made with the utmost care and attention.
Simply put, Ozzy Osbourne loves The Beatles. Osbourne once proudly proclaimed, “When I heard the Beatles. I knew what I wanted to do,” when speaking to Blabbermouth in 2019. “My son says to me, Dad, I like the Beatles, but why do you go so crazy? The only way I can describe it is like this, ‘Imagine you go to bed today and the world is black and white and then you wake up, and everything’s in colour. That’s what it was like!’ That’s the profound effect it had on me.”
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Osbourne says, sharing the first time that his ears were greeted by the dulcet tones produced by The Fab Four. “I was walking around with a transistor radio on my shoulder. And ‘She Loves You ‘came on. And I don’t know, it just went, ‘Bang! And that’s what I want to do! Wouldn’t it be great?'”
Osbourne was inspired to become a rock legend by Lennon and McCartney and was lucky enough to meet the latter. “Meeting Paul McCartney was fucking phenomenal,” the Prince of Darkness told Heat. “I was in the studio at the same time as him and tried to get him to play bass on one of my songs. But he said he couldn’t improve on the bassline that was there. I said, ‘Are you kidding? You could piss on the record, and I’d make it my life’.”
So while we don’t have all the words on why Osbourne believes Lennon and McCartney to be the greatest singer of all time, we can be sure it’s because they enriched the mind of a young man destined for greatness. The Beatles didn’t only give the world the ‘heavy metal horns‘ but also one of the scene’s greatest legends.