The 60 best Ozzy Osbourne songs of all time

20. Under The Graveyard (Ordinary Man, 2020)

Flashing back 40 years, the video to Under The Graveyard effectively acts as a proof of concept for the Ozzy and Sharon biopic reportedly currently in the works. Covering the period after Ozzy had been fired from Sabbath and had set in to drink (and drug) himself into oblivion, the track's sombre tone shows just how close to being a rock'n'roll casualty Ozzy became and how dire his circumstances were before reinventing himself as a solo artist in 1980. A ballad without the schmaltz, the song is an ode to depression and chemical dependency, the line 'my misery owns me now' all too familiar to anyone who has struggled with the black dog. 

19. I Just Want You (Ozzmosis, 1995)

A very different kind of ballad, I Just Want You isn't Ozzy pining for 80s power ballads, but rather embracing his more reflective side in a moody yet stirring composition. The song's chorus feels almost as though it is based on moody mid-90s alt rock, but somehow Ozzy and co make it work, the final single from Ozzmosis capturing the zeitgeist whilst not losing sight of who Ozzy is in the first place. 

18. Revelation (Mother Earth) (Blizzard Of Ozz, 1980)

Feeling slightly off-key, the grand production of Revelation (Mother Earth) showed that Ozzy wasn't just playing on stadium rock tropes with his reinvention as a solo artist. The kick-in for Revelation (Mother Earth) feels especially Sabbathian, the contrast between the guitars and chiming bells easily imaginable on the first few Sabbath records. Ozzy might have been forging a new identity with Blizzard Of Ozz, but that didn't mean he had left behind his past and the blending of classical elements and 80s production is sublime, the interplay between the synths and pianos being particularly brilliant. 

17. Suicide Solution (Blizzard Of Ozz, 1980)

Its meaning often misconstrued, Suicide Solution was initially written by Ozzy in response to mounting deaths of iconic rock stars like Bon Scott and John Bonham and the perils of excessive alcohol consumption. The fact the song could almost as easily apply to the singer himself wasn't lost on fans (nor on songwriter Bob Daisley) - after all, Ozzy had nearly found oblivion at the bottom of a bottle when fired from Black Sabbath, and would again on numerous occasions through the 80s. The song later caused major headache for Oz when parents of a 19-year old fan alleged the teen had killed himself at the urging of the song, taking Ozzy to court over supposed subliminal messaging. 

16. Dreamer (Down To Earth, 2001)

Ozzy has never made any great secret of his love for The Beatles, but Dreamer takes his adoration for John Lennon to a whole new level. Styled on Imagine, the song toes the line between schmaltzy pap and heartfelt ballad, but considering the period it was released in (coming just a month after the 9/11 attacks) we can forgive Ozzy's call for 'better days'. 

15. I Don't Know (Blizzard Of Ozz, 1980)

The opening track to Ozzy's first solo album Blizzard Of Ozz, I Don't Know couldn't be further from the 'peace and love' messiah complex of Dreamer, Ozzy's simple answer to the woes of the world being 'don't ask me/I don't know'. Randy Rhoads' galloping riff is a sonic cousin to his work on Crazy Train, a handy shorthand to help ease the transition fans may have felt exploring Ozzy's output as a solo artist after a decade in Black Sabbath. One of Ozzy's most enduring songs, played at almost every show in the 40 years since its release.

14. Goodbye To Romance (Blizzard Of Ozz, 1980)

The original Ozzy solo ballad, Goodbye To Romance is a remarkably restrained affair when compared to later Ozzy power ballads. Synths, strings and all other cheap emotional tactics are stripped away to focus purely on the instrumentation of the song, its gentle melodies sidestepping schmaltz to achieve a sense of emotional honesty. Supposedly written as a farewell to his time in Black Sabbath, the song fittingly feels like a poignant parting of the ways, whilst giving Randy Rhoads a chance to break out a wonderfully melodious guitar solo just over the halfway point.

13. You Can't Kill Rock And Roll (Diary Of A Madman, 1981)

Much can be said of Randy Rhoads' technical capabilities as a guitarist and how his classical training helped inspire legions of neoclassical guitarists in the years since his death. Less discussed is the man's sheer command of tone - though his time in the Ozzy Osbourne band was cut short, not guitarist since has managed to perfectly segue between different tones as seamlessly as Rhoads could on songs like You Can't Kill Rock And Roll - shifting between the brittle notes of the song's ballad section and its breakout heavy metal moments, Rhoads imbues the song with a sense of drama and dynamics that shows just why he was so revered in the first place. 

12. Ordinary Man (Ordinary Man, 2020)

The title-track to Ozzy's 2020 record, Ordinary Man dissects Ozzy's history in a more candid way than almost any other song in his canon. A beautifully crafted piano ballad, it makes perfect sense that Ozzy would draft in fellow rock icon Elton hn as a guest for one of his most well-crafted ballads. Forget Lemmy, Lita, Kelly and Miss Piggy - this is the definitive Ozzy duet, a reflective masterpiece that caps off a career spanning over half-a-century. 

11. Perry Mason (Ozzmosis, 1995)

The first single released from 1995's Ozzmosis, Perry Mason announced the return of Ozzy Osbourne from retirement with an enormously theatrical production. With a swell of strings underpinning the song's natural drama, Perry Mason puts Zakk Wylde through his paces as he swings from juddering, chugging riffs to wailing guitar leads that underpin one of Ozzy's most underrated choruses. Though barely played in Ozzy's live sets, Perry Mason feels like the quintessential track to demonstrate just how dynamic Ozzy's compositions can get. 

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.