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Ozzy Osbourne: My 10 Favorite Metal Albums

Singer on his love for classic LPs from Megadeth’s ‘Rust in Peace’ to Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’

Ozzy Osbourne's 10 Favorite Metal Albums

Ozzy Osbourne, who appears on Rolling Stone's Greatest Metal Albums list more than any other artist, counts down his favorite metal records.

Mike Hutson/Getty

When Rolling Stone began compiling the 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time, we noticed one trend very early: Ozzy Osbourne was the genre’s MVP. He appears on more records than any other single artist on the list, including five with Black Sabbath and two of his own solo releases. Moreover, he appears on three records in the top 10 – his first solo LP (Blizzard of Ozz, number nine), Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut (number five) and Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, which topped the entire list.

For going on half a century, the singer’s stentorian voice has gamely pierced through the monolithic guitar tones of Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads and Zakk Wylde. He’s an indefatigable frontman whose onstage and offstage antics have inspired countless legends. And, even though he hasn’t always been the most amenable to being described as a heavy-metal artist (“I hate that terminology,” he told Rolling Stone last year, “because it goes from Poison to fucking Black Sabbath and there is quite a fucking difference”), he’s been an ardent supporter of the genre. He took Metallica, Motörhead and Mötley Crüe out on their first big tours, and on his frequent Ozzfest festival tours, he’s provided stages for Slipknot, Tool, Pantera, Slayer and countless others.

Because Osbourne is not only one of metal’s progenitors but one of its biggest supporters, Rolling Stone reached out to him early in the process of compiling the Greatest Albums list to find out what his favorites were. He emailed us a list of his 10 favorites along with a few words about why they’re cornerstone albums for him and for metal.

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 04: Photo of Alice in Chains at the Offramp in Seattle (Photo by Alison Braun/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Alison Braun/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Alice in Chains, ‘Facelift’ (1990)

Another amazing debut. “Man in the Box” is a classic. Layne Staley was a lovely guy. It’s such a shame that he couldn’t overcome
his demons.

Axl Rose and Slash of Guns N' Roses in concert circa 1987 at the Vaious Venues in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

Guns N’ Roses, ‘Appetite for Destruction’ (1987)

One of the greatest debut albums of all time. There’s not a weak song in the bunch. I never get tired of hearing it.

British heavy metal group Judas Priest perform onstage at the Rockford Speedway, Loves Park, Illinois, July 27, 1980. Pictured are guitarist KK Downing (left) and singer Rob Halford. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Judas Priest, ‘British Steel’ (1980)

What can I say, the guys in Judas Priest are not only mates of mine from my hometown of Birmingham, but one of the best
metal bands of all time. This album had
“Living After Midnight,” “Breaking the Law” and “Metal Gods.” British Steel
is a classic that will definitely stand the test of time.

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 01: HONOLULU Photo of LED ZEPPELIN, L-R. John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page performing live onstage at the Honolulu Civic (Photo by Robert Knight Archive/Redferns)

Led Zeppelin, ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ (1971)

I’ve always been a huge Led Zeppelin fan. All of their studio albums are classics but
this is one of my all-time favorites.

UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of METALLICA and James HETFIELD and Cliff BURTON; Cliff Burton (L) and James Hetfield performing on stage (Photo by Pete Cronin/Redferns)

Metallica, ‘Master of Puppets’ (1986)

I took Metallica on tour with me after the release of Master
of Puppets
. The album was a
milestone for the band and for heavy metal.

NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND - 22nd MARCH: Motorhead perform live on stage at City hall in Newcastle, England on March 22nd 1982. Left to Right: Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Taylor (Philthy Animal), Eddie Clarke (Fast Eddie) (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)

Fin Costello/Redferns

Motörhead, ‘Ace of Spades’ (1980)

The album that put Motörhead over the top. The title track “Ace of Spades” is Motörhead’s “Paranoid.” It’s one of the great metal anthems and, to me, a band hasn’t made it until they have their own anthem. This is theirs.

UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Dimebag DARRELL and PANTERA; Dimebag Darrell performing on stage (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Pantera, ‘Cowboys From Hell’ (1990)

These guys were some of the biggest party animals I
ever toured with. Dimebag’s guitar
playing shines on this album. This one should be in every metal fan’s
collection.

Rob Zombie performing at OzzFest 2002 during OzzFest 2002 at Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion at Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion in Devore, California, United States. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

Rob Zombie, ‘Hellbilly Deluxe’ (1999)

Rob Zombie is also someone I’ve toured with quite a
bit. He’s a true artist in every sense
and Hellbilly Deluxe is Rob’s best in my opinion.

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