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NOD TO THE GODS: Ozzy Osbourne, ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’
May 12, 2013
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Another night of music from music lovers for music lovers and we start things off with Ozzy Osbourne.

After 10 years of sobriety from drugs and alcohol, Ozzy's had a tough time of late having confessed on Facebook that he relapsed 18 months ago.

As his wife Sharon put it, "he's been using alcohol and prescription drugs for the last year-and-a-half and that he's been in a very dark place."

"Everybody knows he's been struggling with this his entire life, I never knew that he was using prescription drugs, I knew he was drinking, occasionally, but I didn't realize to the extent," she said.

Well tonight, we extend our thoughts to Ozzy and his family, and pay homage to his career with 'Mama I'm Coming Home' off 1991's 'No More Tears' LP.

Mama is Sharon Osbourne. Ozzy nicknamed her "Mama" and refers to it in his 1981 song 'Flying High Again' and 'Running Out of Time' from 2001's 'Down to Earth'.

In the liner notes for 'The Ozzman Cometh' compilation album, he wrote: "I had been walking around with the melody in my head for a couple of years, but never got a chance to finish it until I was working with Zakk [Wylde] on the album. At that time, Zakk and I were doing a lot of writing on the piano. 'Mama, I'm Coming Home' was always something I'd say on the phone to my wife near the end of a tour."

Lemmy Kilmister of 'Motorhead' also helped co-write and the ideas reflect Ozzy's decision to give up on drugs and alcohol.

It was a significant change of image for the Prince of Darkness. In fact, it was his first album without a sinister title like 'The Ultimate Sin', 'Diary of a Madman' or 'Talk of the Devil'.

It also marked his only U.S. Top 40 hit, besides 'Close My Eyes Forever' in 1989, a duet with Lita Ford. The video for 'Mama' was directed by Samuel Bayer, who has shot and directed for The Rolling Stones, Green Day, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, and Justin Timberlake.

But perhaps his most memorable videos are Blind Melon's 'No Rain' and this one by some band named Nirvana.

Fast-forward to 2011, at Sunset Strip's Whisky a Go Go, where it was announced the original Black Sabbath lineup of Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward would reunite for a world tour and a new album.

Unfortunately, Bill Ward dropped out for contractual reasons with 'Rage Against The Machine's' Brad Wilk stepping in. Sabbath have been slaving away with iconic producer Rick Rubin on their nineteenth album, '13'.

It's been nearly 45 years since the Birmingham boys dropped their self-titled debut and 35 since the original line-up recorded.

Black Sabbath's 2013 Canadian dates are:

14 August - Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
22 August - Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC

For further musical musings, new and old, join the collective for The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, every Sunday night at 8PM. And if you'd like to catch up or re-listen, all of the episodes are archived on our Radio page.

NOD TO THE GODS: Buffalo Springfield, 'For What It's Worth'

NOD TO THE GODS: Guns N' Roses, 'Patience

NOD TO THE GODS: Iron Maiden, 'Run To The Hills'


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