Every time Ozzy Osbourne covered John Lennon and The Beatles

When the 1960s dawned, rock legend Ozzy Osbourne was only 11 years old. Therefore, he experienced the revolutionary wave in rock and roll during his formative teenage years. When exploring the ’60s rock scene, thoughts invariably turn to The Beatles, whose musical evolution profoundly impacted the Prince of Darkness.

Following the formation of Black Sabbath alongside Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, and Bill Ward, Osbourne and the band stunned the world with their unparalleled heaviness and ominous lyrics. This groundbreaking approach reshaped the musical landscape, establishing their legacy as pioneers in the metal genre and influencing countless artists. Alongside his iconic tenure, Osbourne pursued a thriving solo career, actively engaging in discussions about his top musicians and songs of all time.

Though known for his affiliation with heavy music, Osbourne harboured a profound fondness for diverse genres, especially those boasting compelling lyrics and memorable melodies. His musical journey took shape in the early ’60s, profoundly impacted by his initial exposure to The Beatles’ tunes on the airwaves.

Hearing their music inspired him to carve a musical path for himself. In an interview for The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne, he recalled the experience of hearing them for the first time. “Nothing really happened to me in my life until The Beatles happened,” he said. “Then it was like someone had turned the world into me. They’ve played ‘She Loves You’ on the radio and I remember thinking ‘Fucking hell, this is incredible.’ From that moment after I heard ‘She Loves You’ I knew I wanted to be a Rock star for the rest of my life.”

As decades passed, his love for the Fab Four persisted, leading him to cover some of their greatest hits. In his 2005 covers album Under Cover, he reimagined ‘In My Life’ and delivered a live rendition of the song alongside Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash as a special guest. Additionally, the album featured Osbourne covering two solo tracks by John Lennon: ‘Woman’ and ‘Working Class Hero’.

Half a decade later, in 2010, he unveiled another rendition of Lennon’s ‘How?’. As an ardent admirer of the late Beatles frontman and guitarist, he reminisced about his prowess many times, once vividly recalling the moment he received the tragic news of Lennon’s passing. “I was in Wales,” he recalled. “I was writing and rehearsing. Sharon calls me up and says, ‘You’ll never guess what happened.’ She says, ‘John Lennon got shot last night.’ My world just fuckin’ stopped.”

It was Lennon’s 1971 album, Imagine, that deeply resonated with Osbourne. The album adopted Lennon’s established Beatles style, combining it with Phil Spector’s expansive wall of sound production, ultimately claiming the number one spot. “I must have played this album thousands of times over the years,” Osbourne admitted during an interview with Forbes.

Adding: “The songs, ‘Imagine’, ‘Jealous Guy’, ‘Gimme Some Truth’ are just timeless, which is the sign of what a great songwriter John Lennon was. Lennon was a poet, a rebel, and had an incredible passion, all of which are so evident on this landmark album.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *