Correction: Any places at the Egodeath website (http://www.egodeath.com/sablyrics.htm) or discussion group where I wrote or implied that Ozzy wrote the lyrics on the album Diary of a Madman, I should have written "Bob Daisley" instead. Bob Daisley was a bassist and lyricist for Ozzy Osbourne.
Classic Rock Revisited presents an exclusive interview with Bob Daisley
Jeb: Were you involved in any of the writing or arranging of the songs? What are you most proud of on that record?
Bob: You obviously haven’t checked the credits on Blizzard Of Oz. I co-wrote all of the songs. We started putting music together -- just me and Randy and Ozzy. Ozzy had these vocal melodies and he would sing them with any words that came into his head. Ozzy and Randy sat up one night trying to write lyrics and I came down and saw what they had done and I thought, “Oh my God.” It was awful. It was embarrassing and amateurish. I told them, “I tell you what, I will write the lyrics.” I wrote all of the lyrics for the rest of the albums.
Jeb: I didn’t know that.
Bob: I wrote all the lyrics on Blizzard Of Oz, Diary Of A Madman, Bark At The Moon, The Ultimate Sin and No Rest For The Wicked. I didn’t write any lyrics for No More Tears, I just played on that one.
Jeb: I am a huge fan of Ozzy’s and I always assumed that he wrote the lyrics.
Bob: The lyrics drive the direction of the band, the image of the band and define what the band is about.
Jeb: The lyrics really set you guys apart from a lot of the mindless heavy metal at the time.
Bob: I remember one review that said that we were the thinking man’s heavy metal. I was really proud of that. Whether people knew it or not, I knew that I had written the lyrics. What I am most proud of is “Crazy Train.” Randy came up with the riff and Ozzy came up with the vocal melody and I wrote the lyrics and the musical section that Randy soloed over in the middle. It has become a Rock N Roll anthem and I am really proud of that. When I was with Rainbow, one of my Rock N Roll ambitions was to write a hit single or to be involved in writing one with somebody else. In Rainbow, Ritchie and Ronnie wrote everything and they didn’t need anyone else. When Blizzard Of Oz happened it was great because I got to realize one of my ambitions.
The main text on the poster on the wall in the front and back cover photos
reads "Ozzy Osbourne" and "the band". The words above the picture of the band reads "The Ozzy Osbourne band" but the irony is that the musicians shown are not those who played on the album, and the lyricist Bob Daisley is credited for contributing to the songwriting, but isn't shown as a performer in the picture or its caption. Just who is in the Ozzy Osbourne band? The Ozzy corporation keeps changing it.
That script is the Witches' Alphabet, aka the alphabet of Honorius of Thebes, aka "Theban script".
Above the lyrics on the sleeve is the word Sunday and the word dhudsday (?). I don't know about the large quantity of Arabic text below the lyrics.
I am embarrassed for not being able to see this before. I've been studying the album Diary of a Madman since the late 80s. Only now (a few minutes ago) do I see the complete meaning of the cover.
The front cover shows a child Ozzy eager to learn Satanism, and a raving madman adult Ozzy. There is an upside-down cross on the wall.
The back cover shows the raving Ozzy dead and covered with cobwebs, and a new reborn Ozzy -- crucified! I was blind to his being crucified, before; I did notice that the cross was now ambiguous with bottom hidden so you can't tell if it's the top part of an upright cross. It is hidden by Ozzy with arms outstretched -- crucified on the suggested right-side-up cross. This is very similar to the Rush 2112 cover showing a single-point-up pentagram.
A single-point-down pentagram represents a goat, which represents self-will, or free will, or ego worshipped as a God outside time, able to create its own stream of mental constructs. An upside-down cross similarly represents self-will.
A sheep is usually white, and represents non self-willed; no-free-will. Ozzy's white outfit is sheep-colored -- and is only shown on the crucified Ozzy; the others are wearing mostly black. On the front cover he has essentially an astrological necklace; on the back, instead, sun rays.
(Per Amazon.com reviews, don't buy this rerecorded 2002 remix -- get the older album.)
http://www.egodeath.com/sablyrics.htm#xtocid229123 -- Allusions to dissociative-state phenomena in the Ozzy Osbourne album Diary of a Madman
A dim memory seems to be returning -- you know, I think I was starting to recognize dissociative allusions in Heavy Rock as early as 1988, with this album -- and before that, in 1987, the album Van Halen. In fact I now remember hearing the Van Halen song "Hot for Teacher" as a mystic altered state song: much of Classic Rock is charged with altered-state double-entendres. That's why we need to speak of "High Classic Rock" as an entire genre and even a grand tradition.
Acid-influenced Rock is the authentic mystery religion of our time. The uninitiated might assume that such allusions in Greek poetry would only be a special case, or that such allusions in Classic Rock would only be a special case. But no, it is a grand tradition woven all throughout the genre, from the Beatles' Help! to Slayer's Divine Intervention.
So I am revising what I wrote recently about Caress of Steel or Ride the Lightning in the mid-1990s being a sudden discovery of altered-state allusions. I had been working on an altered-state reading of Diary of a Madman as long ago as the late 80s -- pretty early in my philosophy research -- as well as other Heavy Classic Rock songs. I would now say that Diary of a Madman is the first album I analyzed closely and systematically.
What Caress of Steel actually marked was a dawning awareness of the huge extent of such allusions thoughout Classic Rock, not just on a rare song or album here and there. I do think Caress was the first time I ever considered whether Rush used such double-entendres. A major attractor that caught my attention for taking a closer look at Caress (12" vinyl album) was the baroque lyric text against a stone-tablet background, that waved and warped tremendously.
Before the mid-1990s, I had relatively conventional views, thinking that of course Hendrix had allusions, and an Ozzy album or two, but that's all.