Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

2001 – Part 1.5: Ozzy Osbourne – Down To Earth

This is the final album that makes up the 2001 – Part 1 post.

The first post was “In Search of Truth” from Evergrey. 

The second post was “Origin Of Symmetry” from Muse.

The third post was “Supercharger” from Machine Head.

The fourth post was “The World Needs A New Hero” from Megadeth.

The title according to Ozzy in an interview with Guitar World, for the November 2001 issue is in reference to Earth, the original name for Black Sabbath. His whole career is down to his involvement with Earth/Sabbath, hence the title of “Down To Earth”.

In addition, the photos of an X-Rayed Ozzy interspersed with physical Ozzy makes it look like someone is coming down from somewhere, with the destination hopefully being Earth.

Zakk Wylde was basically a session guitarist on this album. 

While Ozzy said that if it wasn’t for Tim Palmer, the album wouldn’t be, Zakk had a different view of Palmer. Tim Palmer’s resume at that point in time included working with U2, Tears For Fears and other British pop acts. He was definitely an unlikely choice for the producer gig. 

In the November, 2001 issue of Guitar World it was mentioned that, Palmer, apart from being the Producer is also a co-writer on the majority of the tracks and when it came time to Zakk redoing his riffs, the two didn’t see eye to eye. There were times in the studio where Palmer would take the guitar out of Zakk’s hands and say to Zakk, “can you play it more like this?”.

Zakk of course didn’t like this. Palmer also asked Zakk to use a Telecaster and Zakk said it’s Les Paul and Marshall’s all the way.

In the same Guitar World issue, Zakk was also displeased that he had to play riffs to some songs that Dave Grohl wrote, which Dave Grohl clarified a few years later that those same songs, he ended up using on his Probot project (King Diamond sang on one track and the Trouble singer, sang on the other track) as Grohl didn’t hear back from the Osbourne camp that any of the songs would be used.

“Foo Fighters is a fucking candy ass girl band, but you’ve got that motherfucker submitting songs for the album and those douche bags from the Offspring submitting songs, too.

I mean, none of these guys could play a Randy Rhoads solo if they tried. Dave Grohl. Fuck Dave Grohl. Let him get up there and play “Mr Crowley”; he can’t fuckin do it. And it’s like, you’re getting this guy to write songs for Ozzy? Just because he played drums for fucking Shitvana?”

Zakk Wylde – Guitar World, November 2001 issue. 

Yep, Zakk didn’t hold back.

“Gets Me Through”

A haunting piano riff starts the ride. 

Then the riff kicks in, heavy and syncopated. It’s not written by Zakk but Zakk made it sound like Zakk even though the person who wrote it, Tim Palmer didn’t end up being Zakk’s bestie.

I try to entertain you the best I can

The organ in the verses plays a Kashmir like chromatic ascending chord progression.

Stick around for the lead break. Zakk is melodic, then pentatonic, then emotive

“Facing Hell”

The intro riff is head banging material. This song is written by Osbourne, Palmer, Scott Humphrey and Geoff Nicholls.

Zakk mentioned that in the Guitar World, November 2001 issue he “just wanted to make it as slammin’ as he could.”

He changed a lot of the tracks around, not to the point where he would get a song writing credit on it, but he would change the riffs and modify them to what he wanted to do. 

“Dreamer”

It reminds me of “So Tired” from the “Bark At The Moon” with a bit of Lennon chucked in. It’s written by Marti Frederiksen and Mick Jones with Ozzy also listed as a writer.

Lyrically, it’s taken a page from Bob Daisley and the lyrics he wrote for “Revelation Mother Earth”. 

Your higher power may be God or Jesus Christ

I always found the lyric a bit weird, because God and Jesus Christ come from the same place of faith. If the song writing team was looking for a three syllable word then Buddhism fits to showcase a different higher power.

Make sure you check out Zakk’s lead break. 

“No Easy Way Out” 

It’s written by Osbourne and Palmer and it sounds like a cut from “No More Tears”. So whatever Zakk added to the riffs it works.

The crushing weight on my shoulders now is bearing down and it seems

“That I Never Had”

This one is credited to Osbourne, Frederiksen, Joe Holmes and Robert Trujilo but the riff sounds like it came from “Miracle Man.”

“Junkie”

The riff is excellent.

This one is credited to Osbourne, Frederiksen, Holmes and Trujilo. The title is pretty self-explanatory.

Running Out Of Time

It’s from the same “Dreamer” song writing team, who try and re-write the same song, but this one in the Chorus reminds me of the “Old L.A Tonight” bridge.

“Black Illusion”

This is a cut that is written by Osbourne, Palmer, Nicholls and Andy Sturmer from Jellyfish.  

It’s got a foot stomping groovy riff and it sounds like something that Zakk would write for Black Label Society.

“Alive”

It’s written by Danny Saber with Osbourne.

This is Ozzy telling the world that he is still alive and he doesn’t have any plans to go anywhere as he likes living. And if you look at the drugs and alcohol that Ozzy has abused his body with, rockers who have done less, didn’t make it.

“Can You Hear Them?”

The marching drum beat sends an image of the voices marching to its beat. This one reminds me of Jake E Lee for some reason. Maybe it’s the pre-chorus riff which sounds like something from “The Ultimate Sin” album.

So sick and tired of living and so afraid to die

I’ve lived so many lives and still I wonder why

The way the world perceives me is not the way I am

The one half thinks I’m crazy, the other thinks I’m mad

There is a bias when it comes to Ozzy.

He’s been labelled Satanic, but his whole life he’s worn the crucifix of Christ. He’s done some crazy stuff, but who hasn’t when they’ve been juiced up with drugs and alcohol.  

Check it out.

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