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Credit: Ted Van Pelt

Music

Why Ozzy Osbourne wanted his sister to marry a Beatle

The Beatles’ imprint is apparent in Jeff Lynne’s work, Noel Gallagher’s work, Andy Partridge’s and Roy Wood’s. There’s an excellent chance that Neil Innes might be familiar with their work, and I have a feeling Paul McCartney has heard a Beatle song or two in his time. Lame jokes aside, The Beatles have influenced artists as far-reaching as Ozzy Osbourne, The Prince of Darkness who remembered how much the band meant to him for years.

“I was Beatles all the way, man,” he revealed. “My bedroom wall was in fact, completely covered, the wall, ceilings, doors… any Beatles pictures were stuck on my wall. I used to have these fantasies of Paul McCartney marrying my sister, all these kinds of crazy stuff and how wonderful (It would be).”

Considering his mass success, it’s likely he didn’t feel obliged to further the dream, but it’s interesting to hear how much the band inspired him to become the musician he was always destined to become. As such the songs – ripping with possibility and potential – were bolstered by a hybrid of influences, from the barrelling backdrop of Led Zeppelin to the melodicism of Neil Young and Genesis.

Osbourne and Black Sabbath didn’t always play songs filled with Beatlesque chords and cadences, but there was much more to the band, particularly on the haunting ‘Planet Caravan’, which featured a yearning, Magical Mystery Tour-esque vocal. And then there was ‘Changes’, a yearning ballad that sounded like a continuation of ‘Yesterday’, the Help! ballad that was mournful as it was rich with meaning.

More interestingly, Osbourne has embraced the Beatle banner as a solo artist, which started with the pleasantly McCartneyesque ‘Goodbye To Romance’ which was heard on his first album, Blizzard of Oz. The tune is mournful, yet rich with opportunity and presentation, complete with one of Osbourne’s most explosive vocal deliveries.

Osbourne has gone on to recreate his inner Lennon and McCartney on subsequent songs, including a rousing cover of ‘How?’, which was one of Lennon’s most impressive vocal melodies. Unlike the more nuanced standout from the Imagine album, this version of ‘How?’ was thrusting with explosive guitars, exhibiting a sense of bravado that showed the former Black Sabbath vocalist at his most unhinged.

But the singer avoided the Liam Gallagher technique, and instead of channelling his inner Beatle, Osbourne creates a smoky vocal that was his and his alone. Osbourne thrust himself into the world of solo Beatledom, lacing it with his own truth and sense of perspective. Music doesn’t have to be layered to be truthful, but truth needs to be found within the layers in the hope of creating a song based on impact.

Ultimately, Osbourne is like you or me: a Beatlemaniac. The Beatles are bigger than you, me or Black Sabbath, and as long as there is someone to wave the banner for the world at large, there will be someone out there to impress the point that there is much to be found within and without the orbit. So, he never got to see his sister marry a Beatle, but he did get to sing like one.