The 60 best Ozzy Osbourne songs of all time

30. Believer (Diary Of A Madman, 1981)

As if the menacingly creeping guitar lines weren't enough to set the nerves on edge, Believer goes ahead and chucks horns and droning, wailing guitars to make sure the unsettling vibes are in full swing for this Diary Of A Madman track. Shifting away from the arena rock bombast of Blizzard Of Ozz, Diary allowed Oz to return to the horror-adjacent aesthetic so carefully cultivated with Black Sabbath. The sheer buffet of tones on display shows indicates the more experimental tendencies that were creeping into the band's songwriting, in turn playing up to the over-the-top madman persona Ozzy had come to inhabit. 

29. Mr. Tinkertrain (No More Tears, 1991)

Admittedly, Ozzy's material throughout the 80s (or 70s for that matter) wasn't exactly sunshine and daisies, but even so to open 1991's No More Tears with a song about a paedophile felt like a risqué move even for the Prince of Darkness. It was all in aid of showing the darker, more serious tone Ozzy was putting on display for the record however, dispensing with the b-movie theatricality of the previous decade for songs about abuse and serial killers that reflected the societal angst of the 90s perfectly. 

28. S.A.T.O. (Diary Of A Madman, 1981)

Picking up again on those experimental tendencies, S.A.T.O. opens with the usage of cosmic tones that wouldn't sound out of place on a Hawkwind record, or in Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds. But when the track properly gets underway it is full-pelt heavy metal, the nimble-fingered riffs a clear marker of Randy Rhoads brilliance on guitar, but also a portent for the faster-than-thou arrival of thrash just two years later, feeling like sped-up NWOBHM as is. 

27. Degradation Rules (Patient Number 9, 2022)

Almost a decade on from releasing his final album with Black Sabbath - and bringing the curtain down on the band's career with The End tour, Ozzy teamed back up with Tony Iommi on 2022's Patient Number 9. Of the two tracks the pair collaborate on for the record, Degradation Rules takes top spot for it's sheer bluesy brilliance, evoking some of the Sabbath heft whilst still feeling like a distinctly solo outing for Ozzy, while the inclusion of some harmonica even brings some of the early Sabbath blues influence back into the mix. Basically, it's the best Sabbath song that they never released. 

26. I Don't Wanna Change The World (No More Tears, 1991)

Based around a riff guitarist Zakk Wylde came up with as a joke (telling Hammer it was based on the idea of "cruising for girls and going to the local strip club"), I Don't Want To Change The World is exemplar of the enormously anthemic power Ozzy was harnessing for No More Tears, its chorus begging to roared by thousands every night (which, glancing at Ozzy's setlists since its release, it has been). The song even nabbed Ozzy a Grammy - for Best Metal Performance in 1992. 

25. Fire In The Sky (No Rest For The Wicked, 1988)

Ever wondered what Ozzy soundtracking Top Gun would sound like? Fire In The Sky is the answer. So gloriously OTT 80s it comes with its own aviator shades and product placement, Fire In The Sky is nonetheless a genuine anthem and it is criminal that the song is not more of a mainstay in Ozzy's live sets. As much as anything, Fire In The Sky is proof that Ozzy's aspersions about the production on his previous record were correct - complaints that everything felt homogenized proven utterly correct when compared to the dynamic range of songwriting shown across No Sleep For The Wicked. 

24. Miracle Man (No Rest For The Wicked, 1988)

Ever the punching-bag for conservative Christians throughout the 80s, with Miracle Man Ozzy offered up his own retort, pointing out the hypocrisy of figures like televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who was involved in a prostitution scandal earlier in the year. Ozzy wasn't playing coy about it either, calling Jimmy out by name in the song's lyrics. The fact that the message came nestled in one of the catchiest songs on the No Rest For The Wicked album served as fiendishly brilliant icing on the revenge cake. 

23. Close My Eyes Forever (Lita Ford - Lita, 1988)

A duet with glam metal icon Lita Ford, Close My Eyes Forever was featured on Ford's third solo record Lita and proved to be the highest charting single in both artist's careers when it peaked in the top 10 in the US. The song's conception could all be traced back to Sharon Osbourne, who managed both acts at the time and recognised the opportunity to see both artists combine forces - bagging commercial gold in the process.

22. Road To Nowhere (No More Tears, 1991)

The closing track to No More Tears, Road To Nowhere stylistically owes more to the classic 80s Ozzy sound than it does to the stylistic shifts found elsewhere on the record. A quintessential album closer, the track trades in anthemic sing-alongs and raised lighters like grunge wasn't just about to up-end the rock landscape, providing one last massive power ballad for Ozzy to get out of his system before the new regime set in. 

21. I Don't Wanna Stop (Black Rain, 2008)

We won't lie, there's something awkward about hearing Ozzy sing about being 'a junkie without an addiction' (we've read the books, Oz) but nonetheless the lead single from 2008s Black Rain proved to be an affirmation that Oz was back on great form. The largely ignorable Back To Earth in 2001 and 2003 release of Changes made it so that Ozzy was trundling through the 21st Century without any real demonstration of why he was such an icon in the first place. I Don't Wanna Stop provided that and then some, a hard-driving single that updated Ozzy's sound without removing any of the essential character. 

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.