Song Lyric Sunday – Comparison

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday is about comparing two songs or the contrast between the two. I had many thoughts and potentials for this week’s challenge. I do enjoy listening to remakes of songs and comparing the two. Most often the original wins out in my opinion, but that is not to say the redo isn’t amazing. (Take “Sound of Silence” for example – Simon & Garfunkle and Disturbed. Both amazing. And, in my opinion, when listening to the songs sung by each artist…each conveys or emphasizes a slightly different meaning in the song.)

But for this week’s challenge I decided to open what has always been a controversy amongst my friends and family and that is not so much a song lyric comparison, but rather an artist comparison. The band is Black Sabbath, the song is War Pigs, and the comparison is between Ozzy Osbourne, the undisputed face of Black Sabbath, and Ronnie James Dio, a man of ah-maz-ing talent.

I am a huge fan of Dio. I loved him in Rainbow and was thrilled when he replaced Ozzy in Black Sabbath. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Ozzy fan as well. I had almost everything Ozzy ever did, including when he was with Black Sabbath. But Ozzy – to me – could not sing live. Dio could. That often spoils it for me and one of the reasons I stopped going to concerts. It ruined it for me to hear an artist come out sounding nothing like the music I was so fond of.

Ozzy, born John Michael Osbourne, was born in England and was the front man for Black Sabbath until he was fired for drug and alcohol use in 1979. Being fired from Black Sabbath, however, did not, in anyway, hurt his career. Ozzy went on to have many multi-platinum albums during his solo career and reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. When seeking out a video to post, I found the one Ozzy performed during “the End” tour with Black Sabbath, but in all fairness to Ozzy, he has, in my opinion, become Dylan-ish in his old age and you cannot make out a word he says. So I chose one of him in the 70’s before he was released from Black Sabbath and when his vocals were “not so bad”.

Ronnie James Dio, born Ronald James Padavona, was born in New York and began his music career in the late 50s. Dio is known for popularizing the metal horns – HORNS UP. This particular act reminds me of my thrash metal loving brother and often when his name is brought up in memory – it is often followed by the metal horns by all of his friends and family.

One of my favorite things about Dio was his range. I seem to lean toward the operatic range of rock singers (Geoff Tate, Bruce Dickinson, etc.). Dio was one of them in my mind. Dio did not enjoy having to sing the Black Sabbath songs made popular by Ozzy. As a matter of fact, he was instrumental in reforming Black Sabbath into Heaven & Hell so he would not have to sing Iron Man, War Pigs and Sweet Leaf, to name a few.

Early in the changeover, there was some bad blood between Ozzy and Black Sabbath, as was to be expected.

“Sabbath is dead now. It’s not that I don’t like what they are doing. It’s great music what they are doing. It’s not Black Sabbath. It’s a new band. It’s a different band. It doesn’t even remotely sound like Sabbath apart from Tony Iommi’s thundering riffs. It wasn’t until I left that I realized how much of a part of Sabbath I was, you know? It’s not like losing a bass player or drummer. “

Dio, however, when pushed to comment derogatorily about Ozzy, threw some shade:

I’ll make a derogatory statement for you that you can play to Ozzy if you like. He’s talking from the context of when he was in Black Sabbath. Granted a bass player or drummer leaving a band would not make much of an impression as a vocalist or a guitarist player. He’s right about the drummer. This band is not the band that did “Iron Man” or “War Pigs”. Because I don’t sound like Ozzy. At least I hope I don’t sound like Ozzy. I don’t try to. I don’t want to. This is a band that has progressed where Ozzy either refused to progress or was incapable of progression. I’d like to think he was incapable. I can tell you things that the other people in the band won’t tell you. I’ve seen things in Creem Magazine and Rolling Stone that Ozzy has said about Tony and myself in particular. To reply to the things Ozzy has said is like dueling with an unarmed man. I feel like someone who has a sword up against someone who has no clue what a weapon is. I find the man to be stupid. Totally devoid of intelligence. An animal.I can give you examples to back up what I’m saying. I would not say them if I didn’t firmly believe them. I doubt very much Ozzy could carry a tune if you gave him a radio in a suitcase and gave it to him in his hand. Remember this is what the people who worked with him for twelve years should be saying, and I’m saying it for them. It’s about time someone replied to the idiocies this man has been saying. And we don’t bite the heads off birds, and we don’t spit blood at people. We don’t need to. We wish Ozzy success.” Metal Injection, September 28, 2018 – Flashback: Ozzy & Dio’s War of Words.

Despite Ozzy and Dio having a somewhat antagonistic relationship, after Dio died in 2010 of stomach cancer, Ozzy had nothing but great things to say about him. Ozzy is an icon in the rock music industry and will forever be remembered. Dio was touted to be one of the greatest singers of all time. I can argue the benefits of both, but if I had to choose, Dio would win out every time.

Generals gathered in their masses
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction
Sorcerer of death’s construction

In the fields, the bodies burning
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind
Poisoning their brainwashed minds
Oh lord, yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah

Time will tell on their power minds
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess
Wait till their judgement day comes, yeah!

Now in darkness, world stops turning
Ashes where their bodies burning
No more war pigs have the power
Hand of God has struck the hour

Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan laughing, spreads his wings
Oh lord, yeah!

So tell me…are you Team Ozzy or Team Dio?

Published by SadiRose

Blogging gets the noise in my head least for a little while. I use blogging to weed through all that noise and find the humor in each situation, even if it takes some time to find it. I am not selling anything, just sharing experiences as a mother, Amma, wife, paralegal, volunteer, Muslimah, sister, daughter, mother-in-law, woman.

2 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – Comparison

  1. SadiRose I saw Black Sabbath in 1971 and I remember them playing War Pigs. By the time Ronnie James Dio joined Black Sabbath in 1979, replacing the fired Ozzy Osbourne, I had stopped listening to them. He is very good and maybe that was a poor decision on my part.


    1. I do not believe Dio was ever well received by Sabbath fans and that is the ongoing family argument here. Sabbath was Ozzy…period. Just like some say Van Halen was David Lee Roth when Sammy Hagar was such a better singer. In my opinion.


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