In 1980 Ozzy Osbourne had been kicked out of Black Sabbath and began working on his own solo material. He went on to release his first solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, later that year. The record was a smash hit, going five times platinum in the US after selling more than 5 million copies. One of the biggest songs on the album, Crazy Train, was written by Ozzy, his guitarist Randy Rhoads and bassist Bob Daisley. Although the single wouldn’t be complete without the mannerisms of Ozzy in the first few seconds of the song, these were not planned to be included.
Daisley recently spoke out about recording Crazy Train in 1979.
He recalled: “So, we’re doing Crazy Train and all of a sudden, we’re doing the first line, so I’m playing the intro, the beginning of the intro, the whole riff, and [Ozzy] goes ‘Oi!’ He goes: ‘I’m kind of laughing, leave it on there,’ because you can keep everything, basically.”
This distinctive shout can be heard in the first few seconds of the single, something that has become one of the most iconic parts of the song.
Daisley went on: “So I leave it on there and he sings the first line, and he said: ‘How was it?’ I said: ‘Good, Ozzy, now double it.’ So coming from the beginning of the song again, and he hears this ‘Oi,’ and he goes ‘Oi’ after it, so we start laughing, and then we decide to put one more on there.”
Daisley said: “So he goes: ‘Oi, oi, oi,’ so it was a mistake, actually. He was supposed to double the ‘Oi,’ but he didn’t, and then we added another one to make it not seem like a mistake.”
The final mix of the song has these shouts from Ozzy.
However, Daisley went on to reveal the song has since been changed – and not to his liking.
Since the original mix, Crazy Train has been altered once again to include an echo of Ozzy’s voice.
Daisley explained: “If you hear it with that ping-pong echo left-right, then it’s a remix for sure because I didn’t do that.
“That’s what I’m trying to work out because I heard that today, and it wasn’t loud enough to tell whether it’s the original or not, I’m really not sure. It would be interesting to find out.”
The other writing partner for Crazy Train, Rhoads, died just two years later in 1982 in a plane crash.
Ozzy himself began reminiscing about old times recently.
He appeared on BBC Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker, where he waxed lyrical about former Motorhead star Lemmy Kilmister.
He said: “My rock god is Lemmy Kilmister.
“Lemmy was a guy – he shot from the hip every time. ‘That sucks,’ or, ‘I like that.'”
He added that Lemmy helped him with a number of song lyrics over the years.
Ozzy said: “So, I’d give him a tape, and I had this book on World War II.
“I haven’t read it and I told him: ‘Tell me what you think. And I have a bunch of these lyrics – whenever you can…’
“I’m thinking, it’s gonna be a week. And he says, ‘Come back in about four hours.’”
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