I am so sick and tired of the following scenario:

I am in a bar with friends. Black Sabbath comes up. I go on my soapbox about how unbelievable the Ozzy years were, peaking with the mind-boggling ‘SABOTAGE’ from 1975. An older guy, often sporting a mullet or thick cocaine-trapping moustache takes it upon himself to interject on behalf of the ronnie james dio years, more often than not trying to leverage his argument with the album heaven and hell. My friends and I try to squeeze said douche out of our conversation for fear that the dio starter might be a means of segue into his real objective, a full out night ranger solicitation. Douche persists and leaves me no other choice than to flat out disrespect his opinion (because it is wrong. Wrong based on the fact that the only reason he thought it sounded good then is because he was so high on blow all the time that the Good Taste Neurons in his head were skipping and the constant claxon of dio’s vowels sounded more like a razor chopping more dope than a vocalist delivering charming or meaningful vocals*) and tell him Black Sabbath actually ceased to be after Ozzy left. This often leads to a situation where moustache tries to pick a fight.

What the hell is it about RJD that some people find so great, let alone listenable? I’ll be the first to acknowledge that yes, I know Ozzy was really just the voice of Sabbath and in fact did not write most of the amazing lyrics. I’ll also be the first to admit that based on that fact if it were any other band I would probably be arguing against the singer’s necessary existence within the band. But come on – this is Sabbath.

First, and I hate to judge a band of Sabbath’s heft by a superficial fact but dio is the ugliest old lady this side of Rod Stewart. I mean, come one, this is someone’s grandmother. Maybe king diamond’s, as they sound alike, look similar and KD has that annoying habit of howling ‘Grandma!!!!!’ into the microphone. But really, old women should not front metal bands, let alone good, seminal metal bands. Unless it’s Bea Arthur. But she’s dead, so her collaboration with Sepultura will most likely (*sigh*) never see the light of day. But dio? Nope, sorry mullet man, he just doesn’t cut it.

How can anyone listen to something like ‘The Writ’ on Sabotage, or ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ on Paranoid and ever think anyone other than Ozzy could front Sabbath. ‘Cuz smokin’ and trippin’ is all that you do?’ – really? Ozzy lived that shit.

Seriously, Ozzy-era Sabbath is the cream of the crop when it comes to music from that era of proto-metal, and even though the man went on to play the devil card while sporting the worst Jackie O/ Ron Wood mullet ever, anyone who has sat and soaked in the glory of those first eight albums (okay, seven – I’ll give you that Never Say Die, while great, does not quite ante up to its predecessors) cannot possibly convince me that they have done enough acid to consider dio anything other than a schlep, let alone a suitable or, ha, better replacement, even if all of the other creative engines were still firing on all fronts.

Now, if we could send Matt Pike from Sleep and High on Fire back in time to pick up for Ozzy while he runs around snorting ants and mispronouncing Aleister Crowley’s name for profit then I might be buying you a beer at the bar instead of laughing in your coke-addled face Mullet man.

And Takashi – don’t even think about it!!!


* I’m just saying. And Good Taste Neurons do exist. If you have more of them you tend to appreciate things like Jazz and Trip Hop; if you have less it’s kid rock and dio. Clincally proven, I swear…