The Life of Ozzy and His Contribution to the Recording Industry "Retirement sucks!" These are the famous words from one of the most captivating musical artist living today. Ozzy Osbourne has taken this world by surprise with his stunning actions, energetic motivation, and of course his music. His presence in the music industry inspired many artists today, and has taken everyone by surprise. In this paper I will discuss some history about the recording industry, background on the Ozzman himself, and how he has sparked the recording industry.
History of Recording Industry Thomas Edison has to be credited with starting the recording industry, because without his invention of the phonograph, there might not be music on the radio, or on tapes and CD's today(Biagi 143). In 1887, a man by the name Emile Berliner replaced Edison's phonograph with the gramophone and in 1947 Goldmark introduced the LP, or Long-playing record(143-4).
Working in the recording industry takes a lot of time, patience, and money. Starting with making records, to 8 tracks, to 4 track tapes, and now to CD's, there have been many changes in bettering the production. There are five separate levels of responsibility the industry must go through before it reaches the public(148). One is the Artists and repertoire, which develop and coordinate talent. The Operations manage the technical aspects of the recording, such as: sound technicians, musicians, and even the people that copy the discs(148). Marketing and promotion decide the best way to sell the record, while Distribution gets the record in stores. Lastly, and probably most importantly, is the Administration. This handles the bills and keeps track of how well the record is doing in the market(148). Without the help of each of these particular levels, the recording industry would have problems. The only other problem would be to make sure people hear the music and buy the record.
The one thing about the recording industry is that, it depends on the radio, as well as, the radio depends on the recording industry(149). Both need one another for profit. Without the recording industry, the radio would be obsolete because there wouldn't be any music to play. Of course there doesn't have to be music on the radio, but the ratings would slide down if there were no music. Same goes if there were no radio. The recording industry wouldn't need to exist because there would be no music to be heard. Without either of these, artists wouldn't be heard and businesses wouldn't exist.
There are four major issues that face the recording industry today: piracy, payola, contents of recording, and authenticity of performances(150). Piracy is the recording of music without the consent of the musician or business(149). To put it bluntly, the recording industry, as well as the musician, lose money when a person records the musicians music and sells it to someone else. Instead of buying it at a store, the person has a copied tape of the same music without giving money to who it should go to. Payola is when a disc jockey collects fees and favors to play certain records. Contents of Recordings is when the recording industry has to put warning labels on the cover for music with explicit lyrics(153). Authenticity of Performances is when a person lip sings someone else's song and takes credit for it. An example would be Milli Vanilli. They never actually sang on the record and got credit for it(154).
Although the recording industry seems hard and complicated, it really isn't. Everything was just a refinement of what Edison built and carried a little bit further(155). Today there is a new technology that is competing against CD's called, Digital Audiotapes and there still are new technology in the making(155).
History on Ozzy Osbourne John Michael Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948 in Birmingham, England. His father John Thomas was a tool maker and his mother Lilian worked in a car plant(GString). He got the name "Ozzy" by students in his class. They shortened his last name(Lalonde). There was a student in Ozzy's class named, Tony Iommi, who Ozzy did not get along with. The funny thing about this was, years later they formed the famous band "Black Sabbath".(Lalonde) Ozzy used to be a trouble maker and he ended up having to serve jail time(Lalonde). There he tattooed O-Z-Z-Y in his left knuckles and tattooed smiley faces on his knees. After getting out of jail, Ozzy turned to music. He appreciated the fame people got and such bands like the Beatles were very popular(Lalonde). He went through numerous bands until finally he put an ad in a paper and lone behold, Tony stumbled across this and tried out(GString).
"Black Sabbath" consisted of 4 members, Ozzy, Tony, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward("Ozzy"). What started out as a soft blues band turned in a more heavier, metal sound known as, heavy metal("Ozzy"). Black Sabbath took the world by storm, making a record in one week, and supposed were an inspiration to many new bands today. Such bands like Nirvana, Metallica, and Pantera looked up to this band as children and copied a similar style("Ozzy"). Black Sabbath went on to make many records and had great success, but as many incidents happen with bands, the success had to come to a halt(Lalonde). In 1979, Ozzy was booted from the band and left with nothing, marking his lowest point in life(GString).
After being fired, Ozzy stay in his hotel room grieving of his loses and failures. He soon started to turn his life around, getting a new manager, Sharon Arden(later to be his wife), and found a new guitarist who he adored(Lalonde). Randy Rhoads was one of the greatest musicians, and he and Ozzy would sit and write numbers of songs together. In 1981, they produced "Blizzard of Oz," and in 1982 they made "Diary of a Madman."(Lalonde) Yet with success comes tragedy, and in Ozzy's life, he was hit hard once more("Ozzy"). On March 19, 1982, Randy got into a plane crash and died. This once again put Ozzy in tears and put a halt to his success. He continued his tour in April with many new guitar players, none being to his delight or enthusiasm(Lalonde). Heavily into drinking and drugs, Ozzy did outrageous actions, from destroying hotel rooms to eating live animals to urinating on public property. He went on to make a couple other albums and finally got off drinking and drugs around 1991. His last tour for his "No More Tears" album was called No More Tours, saying "I want to spend time with my family. Something I haven't done in a long time."(Lalonde) Four years later, rumor had it that Ozzy was returning to the music industry. People eagerly awaited to see his return and hear his new album. After going on tour, he decided to start huge festivals, like Lollapalooza, called Ozzfest. He brings new bands, old band, and just last year reunited with former band mates of Black Sabbath("Ozzy"). After much complaint about reuniting with Black Sabbath, Ozzy caved in and made it official to reunite. This year Sabbath will be headlining Ozzfest("Ozzy).
With everything that happened in Ozzy's life, he ended up getting what he wanted. Fame, publicity, money, etc. He is what every man dreams to be and he's happy. Ozzy is doing what he wants and living like no tomorrow.
Ozzy and the Record Industry During all this recording with Black Sabbath and his solo project, Ozzy has done crazy things to market himself and help the record industry. The music itself carried the record industry alone, but Ozzy's outside fiascoes played a much bigger role. With Ozzy drinking a lot and doing so much drugs, weird things happened on stage and after concerts. One incident everyone is familiar with is the biting of a bat's head off(Lalonde). With over a thousand people at this concert witnessing this, everyone was astound. Yet, record sales went through the roof. Another incident was when Ozzy went for a meeting with CBS and he bit the head off a dove. Photographers and journalist marketed this story across every nation, but record sales still went through the roof.
Ozzy was a very crazy man back in the day. Of course all the drugs and drinking he did carried many of these acts out, he still kept surprising people with devastating incidents. He took the media by storm and was even banned from some states, such as Texas, for urinating on the Alamo(GString). His stunts may have been outrageous, but it got publicity and money.
Surprisingly enough, Ozzy has bidded those days farewell and has started other projects like Ozzfest and starting his own record label. His life went through many tragedies. Even still, he has proven to overcome them and still was able to be successful. I have given background to the record industry, and a history on Ozzy Osbourne, as well as how he has contributed to the record business. As Ozzy would end his concerts, "You guys are the f***ing greatest, I'm gonna miss ya til next time." Works Cited Biagi, Shirley. Media Impact. New York; Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1996.
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"Ozzy.com." 26 November 1998. Online. Netscape. www.ozzynet.com. 5 May 1999.
"The GString." 24 October 1998. Online. Netscape.
angelfire.com/ia/ozzydirect/ozzbio.html. 5 May 1999.