Ozzy Osbourne’s Bark at the Moon: Turmoil, Deception and Magic
by Steve Syda For The Laguna Spectator
December 13, 2015
In 1983 Ozzy Osbourne fans were anxiously awaiting a new LP to complete the perfect trifecta from Ozzy and Randy Rhoads. Sadly, Randy’s tragic death in a small plane crash prevented that from happening and brought the Blizzard of Ozz era of Ozzy Osbourne’s musical journey to an abrupt end.
Fans were not sure what to expect from a grief stricken Ozzy and his new guitar player Jake E. Lee. Fortunately for Ozzy’s legion of fans a new, exciting and creative era was about to begin. Bark at the Moon was the third studio solo album for Ozzy Osbourne.
A grief stricken Ozzy was once again face to face with fresh challenge to keep his status as the Godfather of Heavy Metal intact.
After being fired from Black Sabbath and his crippling drug addiction, Ozzy’s future prospects were looking grim in every sense of the word. Sharon Arden and Randy Rhoads came to the rescue and revived Ozzy’s career. It was really a team effort because Sharon could not have done anything to resurrect Ozzy's career with out the brilliant lyrics and bass playing by the legendary Bob Daisley. Combined with the perfect rhythm section of Daisley and Lee Kerslake on drums. Ozzy's vocals and Randy Rhoads brilliant and revolutionary guitar playing put the finishing touches on two masterpieces of heavy metal vinyl in The Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman. But then, in a flash Randy was gone. A tremendous hit to the band, especially with a follow up to the Diary of a Madman album on the front burner. Soon enough Ozzy strikes his mark once again reeling in hot shot L.A. guitarist Jake E. Lee formerly of RATT.
Jake E. Lee probably saw this as a great opportunity and was more than likely unaware of the demon that lurked amid the Ozzy Osbourne camp. Lee would learn his lesson the hard way as he would later be cut out of publishing credits and denied decades of royalties. His proportional contribution to the album was dismissed.
At this point in the bands history members were being hired, fired and rehired as a blood thirsty Sharon Osbourne was on the war path and Ozzy was at a drunken plateau. Bob Daisley, Ozzy’s original studio and touring bass guitarist and primary song writer from the two previous albums had been fired and replaced by Don Costa. Generally for not wanting to fire his wingman Lee Kerslake, so they were both canned. Not too far down the road Ozzy decided he’d had his fill of Costa punching him in the face breaking his nose and firing him. Daisley returned and reportedly wrote all the lyrics and music for the Bark at the Moon album along with Jake E. Lee.
Once again he would reportedly become a victim of Sharon Osbourne’s con game. How much abuse can one man take? The way legend tells the story, Lee and Daisley worked remarkably well together in the studio on Bark at the Moon. Ozzy drunkenly pops in and out of the studio and suggested song titles such as Bark at the Moon and the final track Waiting for Darkness. Touring drummer Tommy Aldridge was now in place as the new studio drummer in place of studio and touring drummer Lee Kerslake. Kerslake played drums on Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. Aldridge would be fired after the completion of Bark at the Moon and was replaced by Carmine Appice who would soon also be fired due to a “conflict in schedule”. Tommy Aldridge would be roped back in again.
Bark at the Moon is similar to its predecessors as far as the opening track and title track Bark at the Moon. The song starts with a blazing, frantic guitar riff from Jake E. Lee. The song’s lyrics are written in proverbial Ozzy Osbourne style.
Now You See It Now You Don’t. Bob Daisley later stated that this song is about Sharon Osbourne. “Overbearing woman, making it so hard for me, this is why I always come and come and go”.
Jake E. Lee’s unique guitar style brings a fresh approach to Ozzy’s solo music starting with ‘Bark at The Moon’.
The ballad on this album is entitled ‘So Tired’. It is too lovey dovey for me as opposed to ‘Tonight’ from Diary and ‘Goodbye to Romance’ from The Blizzard of Oz. ‘So Tired’ is just a blubbering love song which is out of character lyrically for Bob Daisley. It was reported at the time that Jake E. Lee hated the orchestra.
The album cover was actually shot outside of Ridge Farm Studio at night where the album was being recorded. Ozzy’s makeup work for the album cover shoot lasted from 6:30 am until 11 pm.
Bark at the Moon is one of Ozzy’s finest achievements to date. It is a great hard rock album with nasty guitar riffs and high energy. A nice collection of songs you can rock out too start to finish.
The album was followed by a self-mutilating year plus long world tour of debauchery with Motley Crue. It’s amazing they all made it out alive. That’s rock and roll folks…