Ozzy Osbourne - 1988 No Rest For The Wicked

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited January 12 in year-1988

Listening to this album, the material on board is very dark (drugs, alcohol, addiction, murder, good vs evil), what was Ozzy up to at around this era?

Ozzy Osbourne - 1988 No Rest For The Wicked
ARTIST: Ozzy Osbourne
ALBUM: No Rest For The Wicked
SERIAL: ZK 44245
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: Ozzy Osbourne - vocals * Zakk Wylde - guitars * Bob Daisley - bass * John Sinclair - keyboards * Randy Castillo - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Miracle Man * 02 Devil's Daughter * 03 Crazy Babies * 04 Breaking All The Rules * 05 Bloodbath In Paradise * 06 Fire In The Sky * 07 Tattooed Dancer * 08 Demon Alcohol

WEBLINKS: Site Link | FB Page


1988 was a busy time for heavy metal, with major label acts all over the airwaves and MTV trying to get their message across. This was especially true in the USA. Ozzy Osbourne was no exception, a new album was due in 1988 and he also had a new band in tow.

Drummer Randy Castillo returned from 'The Ultimate Sin' recordings, while Daisley was rehired after several falling outs with Osbourne earlier in the decade, Wylde and former Uriah Heep keyboardist John Sinckair were the two new additions.

Zakk Wylde was the most interesting newbie, as he didn't really have a track record to speak of (local New Jersey indie bands Stone Henge and Zyris don't really count) before this album. He auditioned as a potential replacement for Jake E Lee who was fired in 1987, and got the gig. The rest as they say is.. history.

The cover art depicted Ozzy on a throne, apparently emulating Jesus Christ. I'm not sure what the Conservative Right saw in all of this. Probably just as outrageous as biting the heads off bats, stirring up controversy just for public relations sake.

The album was released on October 22nd 1988, and by the end of the year had achieved US gold status (selling 500k units).

The Songs

Produced mostly by the duo of the late Keith Olsen and Roy Thomas Baker, this is a slick affair with no compromise on the quality. Musically, Zakk Wylde announces his six-string credentials right across the album. His tendency to pull pinch harmonics at every street corner defined a new generation of guitarists to follow.

The song 'Miracle Man' was a direct arrow shot from a bow pointed at TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart who was outed in a prostitution scandal earlier in the year (Feb). The two had often sparred during the mid 80's, unfortunately, Swaggart got made to look like a hypocrite.

Zakk Wylde's surging guitar riffs and Randy Castillo's booming drum work dominate 'Devil's Daughter', a song about good and evil. The lyrics read like a script from The Exorcist.

'Crazy Babies' was a reference to children born from crack/cocaine addled mothers, a sick subject truth be told while 'Breaking All The Rules' is all about teenage rebellion. A rock n rebel huh?

'Bloodbath In Paradise' is another sinister track written by Ozzy's team, in reference to the Charles Mason murder of actress Sharon Yate, an infamous event in Hollywood's history.

'Fire In The Sky' is an interesting track, there is an Egyptian theme during the middle section, some have interpreted this to refer to Aleister Crowley and his attachment to the Pharaohs. Fire in the sky meaning the vehicle travelling between our reality and then onto the afterlife. Pretty obtuse huh?

Ozzy and the boys rev it up on 'Tattooed Dancer', with more mangled riffs from Zakk amidst twisted vocals from Ozzy, this one is about drug addiction (tattoo = needle). The album finishes with the absolute chugging 'Demon's Alcohol', and I don't mean chugging as in drinking. Lol. The CD version of the album contains a hidden track called 'Hero'. Check it out if you have it.

In Summary

Listening to this album, the material onboard is very dark (drugs, alcohol, addiction, murder, good vs evil). You have to wonder where Ozzy's mental state was at around this era. It was an album I did buy at the time but I didn't play it that often due to the subject matter.

'No Rest For The Wicked' did well on the Billboard album charts, reaching as high as #13, and reaching double platinum status in 1994, but the main single 'Miracle Man' only reached #87. The other singles 'Crazy Babies' and 'Breakin' All The Rules' didn't chart at all. Ozzy would release a live EP 'Just Say Ozzy' in 1990 and would return with the same lineup for 1991's excellent 'No More Tears'.


Miracle Man

Crazy Babies

Breakin' All The Rules

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    To be fair, Ozzy wasn't particularly famed for upbeat lyrics. Crazy Train, Suicide Solution, Diary Of A Madman, So Tired... and so on! lol!

    I like this album but it's not one of my go to Ozzy records. It's still all about the first two for me, with No More Tears a close third.

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    Ozzys first four albums are by far his best. Everything else has been bollocks, this particular album the best of a tepid bunch.
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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    I'd add 'No More Tears' as a decent set. Might find time to write that one up too.
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