Battle Of The Black Sabbath Singers: When Dio Rightfully Defended Himself From an Ozzy Diss

Ted Van Pelt, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Photobra|Adam Bielawski, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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Given the fact that they are arguably the most important band in the history of heavy metal, the subject of Black Sabbath has been known to inspire intense debate among their passionate fanbase.

More often than not, these heated arguments tend to center around the quality of their two best-known frontmen, founding vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and his formidable replacement, Ronnie James Dio.

After years of erratic behavior, Black Sabbath was forced to part ways with the Prince Of Darkness in 1979. Rather than break up as anticipated, the band recruited Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio to step up to the mic.

In short order, his banshee-like power and sense of theatrics catapulted the once-struggling group into a new era of relevance. 

While Dio’s inclusion appeased critics who were overwhelmingly dismissive of the last two Ozzy-fronted records, it proved to be a polarizing development for fans. At the time, the general consensus seemed to be that this new incarnation of Black Sabbath was indeed good, but it wasn’t the same band without Ozzy.

Understandably, Dio took issue with these fairweather fans and bristled at comments by his predecessor. While agreeing that Black Sabbath didn’t sound like the same band, he said in a radio interview: “He’s right. It is not the same band. It’s a band that has progressed where Ozzy either refused to progress or was incapable of progression.”

He went on to say that “Replying to the things Ozzy has said to me is like dueling with an unarmed man. It really is. I really feel like someone who has a sword up against someone who just has no clue what a weapon is.”

I find the man to be stupid, totally devoid of intelligence, an animal, and I could give you examples of all these things to back up what I’m saying,” he went on. “I would not say them unless I firmly believed these things. And I wouldn’t say them unless I felt that at some point someone need reply to moronic statements that Ozzy has made about people who, let’s face it, made him all the money in the world.”

Continuing: “It wasn’t Ozzy Osbourne who wrote any more than perhaps two of the songs that Black Sabbath has ever done. Geezer Butler wrote all the lyrics to the songs that you’ve heard that have been hits: ‘War Pigs’, ‘Paranoid’, right down the line, ‘Iron Man’, but yet Ozzy claims to have written the song.”

“Not only does he claim at this point to have written the lyrics; he claims to have written the music,” said the frontman.

“I doubt very much that Ozzy could carry a tune if you put a radio in a suitcase and gave it to him in his hand. I sincerely doubt that, and I know it for a fact because I’ve heard this from the people who have worked with him for 12 years.” 

No matter what side you stand on in the Battle of the Black Sabbath Frontmen, you’ve gotta hand it to Dio’s ability to belt out with the best of them… and to deliver a sick burn. Listen to the interview right here.