Friday, November 15, 2013

Ozzy Osbourne - Bark at the Moon

Today (November 15th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Bark at the Moon, the third solo studio album from Ozzy Osbourne. This multi-Platinum seller went to number 94 in Australia, number 24 in the UK, number 19 on the US Billboard Album chart, and number 9 in Sweden.

Performing with Osbourne on the record were Don Airey (keyboards), Tommy Aldridge (drums), Bob Daisley (bass) and Jake E. Lee (guitar).

Side one rises with the title track “Bark at the Moon”, a rocker that tells of the return from the grave of an ominous, evil force. Released as the first single, it peaked at number 109 on the US Billboard Hot 200; in the UK it hit number 21 and on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart it rose to number 12. My favorite part has to be the guitar at the beginning and is repeated throughout the track.

The slower ballad “You’re No Different” is about being torn down by someone, made to feel small and worthless. It points out that the person being critical is really no better than the one they are mocking.

The mid-tempo “Now You See It (Now You Don’t)” tells about conflict in a relationship that ends with Ozzy taking off to get away from it. Daisley took a shot at Ozzy’s wife Sharon when he penned the lyrics.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel” is Osbourne’s response to the media and how it interprets his onstage persona and act.

Side two begins with “Centre of Eternity”, which appeared on a number of European releases of the album under the title “Forever“. The riffs on the chorus of this one are kind of catchy.

“So Tired”, the second single, slumped in at number 104 on the US Billboard Hot 200. In the UK, it did much better, charting at number 20. When it starts up, I wondered if another track came up from another album in error; this ballad opens with a lovely, unexpected piano part. Where the rest of the album is pure metal rock, this one sounds like adult contemporary pop music. It definitely shows that Osbourne was capable of a variety of styles.

“Slow Down” advises against living life constantly on the edge.

The album closes with “Waiting for Darkness”, a song about loneliness and isolation. I like how the music builds in a symphonic sort of fashion to the final dramatic conclusion.

The Japanese release and the 1995 CD release included a bonus track “Spiders of the Night”. On the 2002 CD re-issue, this track was renamed to just “Spiders”. That latter release also included “One Up the ‘B’ Side”, the B-side to the first single.

Most of my exposure to the tracks from Bark at the Moon back in the early 80’s would have come from the local album-oriented rock stations. Ozzy just was not on my regular listening diet. Looking at it now, thirty years later, I can see that there were a lot of musical elements going on here. I rather enjoyed listening to it.

For my review of Ozzy’s 1982 live album Speak of the Devil, click here.

1 comment:

HERC said...

This album still holds the record at my old high school for most kids wearing the shirt the day after the concert. I'd estimate 9 out of 10 guys rocked it. Special credit goes to one little lady (I wanna say Carmen?) who carved up her shirt so it displayed her ample assets. Well played, Mam.