Ozzy Osbourne once released a song with Frank Bruno and Billy Connolly and it's extremely jolly

Frank Bruno, Ozzy Osbourne and Billy Connolly
(Image credit: Frank Bruno: Ciomic Relief | Ozzy Osbourne: Mark and Colleen Hayward | Billy Connolly: MediaPunch Inc / Alamy Stock Photo)

Between 1990 and 1995, viewers in the UK's Central TV catchment area were treated to an animated series entitled The Dreamstone.

Watched by four million people per week at its peak, the series told the story of two realms. One realm was called the Land of Dreams, which was inhabited by Noops, while the other, the Land of Nightmares, was populated by Urpneys. It was the traditional battle for the ages: Dream vs Nightmare, Good vs Evil, Noop vs Urpney.  

And into this wondrous world of Noops, Urpneys, Wottles, Argorribles and Frazznats stumbled former Black Sabbath legend Ozzy Osbourne, future world heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno, and much-loved comedian Billy Connolly. 

The unlikely trio had been asked by Wombles creator and composer Mike Batt to record a song for the series, and lo, it did come to pass. The Urpney Song was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and released on 7" vinyl, picture disc and cassingle. Amazingly, it failed to trouble the charts. 

  

The Urpney Song is not the greatest song ever recorded, but neither is it terrible. It's extremely jolly, with horns that parp regally, strings that swoop and swirl, and a trio of singers who perform with enthusiastic aplomb, even if there's a noticeable creak in Ozzy's voice as he reaches for the high notes. As show tunes go it's hardly Fiddler On The Roof territory, but it's probably better than No Bone Movies.     

The Urpney Song was later given a more exciting title, The War Song Of The Urpneys, when it appeared on The Dreamstone soundtrack album, where it slotted into a track listing alongside Into The Sunset – sung by Batt and Welsh songstress Bonnie Tyler – and The Vile Bros Mountain Band, which featured famed "Chirpy Cockney" singer Joe Brown and subsequently-disgraced glam rock icon Gary Glitter (when the soundtrack was re-released by Batt in 2009, this song was omitted).

The Dreamstone legacy, however, lives on. Late last year a Kickstarter campaign was launched to fund a set of 30th Anniversary miniatures (opens in new tab), allowing fans to obtain their own Noops. And just before Christmas Batt posted a picture of himself with Ozzy, Bruno and Connolly, happily describing them as his "temporary bandmates."     

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 37 years in music industry, online for 24. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.