The ’70s were Ozzy’s decade, which is quite ironic since he likely doesn’t remember a lot of it.
While Black Sabbath took over the charts and played huge venues such as Royal Albert Hall by 1971, Ozzy lived fast and he lived hard, spending time between concerts in alcohol and drug-induced haze. According to Ozzy, before the band got into heavy drugs all they did was smoked a couple of joints every now and then, but in early 1971 he got introduced to cocaine by Mountain’s guitarist, Leslie West – and it went downhill (well, depending on who you ask), from there.
1971 was significant for Ozzy in another way: he met his first wife Thelma Riley. Married her the same year too – and obviously, the speedy marriage wasn’t a very happy one. His constant alcohol and drug abuse as well as frequent touring had a heavy toll on the relationship. Later Ozzy even admitted he couldn’t even remember when his children from Thelma – Jessica and Louis – were born.
By the second half of the ’70s, the substance abuse had started to affect his work life as well. Black Sabbath was at the top of the world, not only bathing in the audience’s love but finally getting some favorable reviews from critics as well, but the universal love didn’t last long. Ever the prolific writer, Ozzy participated in the creation of each album (and Sabbath put the albums out at least once every couple years) but he admits that his heart wasn’t in studio work. Tommy Iommi could spend days upon days working on records, while Ozzy just didn’t see the point. Additionally, due to a sleep disorder he used to get up and started getting trashed earlier than the rest of the guys, so by the time they were ready, he’d already lost his spark.
The band’s dissatisfaction with Ozzy’s work ethic finally reach the height by the end of the decade and in 1978 he was sucked.
Now see Ozzy Osbourne in the 80’s !