Since there have been times during his four decade career where he has put on as many pounds as Jim Morrison did before he died, been banned from San Antonio for pissing on the monument across the street from the Alamo (while wearing his future wife Sharon's dress, no less), been the stuttering star of an unlikely reality TV show and, in general, acted more like the idiot clown of darkness than the prince of it, we might easily forget that back in his prime John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne was the lean, mean charismatic vocalist for the pioneering band Black Sabbath who laid down a blueprint for all following Heavy Metal and its many subgenre offspring.
Happy Birthday to Mr. Osbourne who today turns 61.The band also influenced seminal American hardcore punk bands such as Black Flag, some rap artists and grunge acts. Here are the boys (for the band's glory came from so much more than just Ozzy's vocals) performing the diabolical riffer title track from their eponymous debut LP.
Not only was Black Sabbath a groundbreaking band when they arrived on the scene in 1970, they were one of the dividing lines between the generation that had cut their teeth on rock and roll's arrival (think Elvis, Buddy Holly, etc.) and then matured into the sixties and those younger kids who had been waiting in the wings to become the headbanging nation that would eat stuff like this up. Bill Graham, the entrepreneur behind the Fillmore West and East, despised the band after they appeared at his legendary venue and Robert Christgau called the first LP "the worst of the counterculture on a plastic platter."