At a time when heavy metal progenitor Ozzy Osbourne struggling with sobriety and working with a new production team, he released one of the most successful albums of his solo career. No more tearswhich featured blazing performances by the guitarist Zak Wylde and four songs written by Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmisterreleased on Sept. 17, 1991.
At the beginning of the songwriting process, Osbourne drank heavily and felt quite productive. “[When I wrote] ‘No more tears‘ I was completely drunk out of my face and I came up with that riff. And it worked!” he said in a promotional interview.
Then, halfway through the process, after 24 years of heavy drinking, he decided to get sober with the help of a therapist. He succeeded, but seeing the world with clear eyes for the first time in decades was terrifying, and he felt insecure throughout much of the creative process.
Ozzy Osbourne, “No More Tears” music video
Fortunately, he had guitarist Zakk Wylde to co-write all but one of the songs on the album. Ozzy’s singing performances ranged from anthemic on “I don’t want to change the world“that creepy on”Hellraiser“and heartfelt on the tearful ballad”Mom, I’m coming home.” Ozzy worked on the record with producers Duene Baron, John Purdell and Tom Fletcher, who gave the guitars and drums a heavy edge while pulling out the many melodic hooks.”Zombie Stomp” with its tribal beats and Zeppelin groove offered another side of the multi-faceted rocker.
As good as the songs were, Osbourne was unable to recognize his performances. “I’m five months sober and it’s very hard,” he said Guitar words. “I do not know if [the record] is good or not.”
Although Ozzy was unsure about the album, the band’s fans embraced it, and shortly after its release, the title track climbed the charts, hitting No. 5 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks. But it was “Mama, I’m Coming Home” that took the album over the top, reaching No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and No. 2 on Mainstream Rock Tracks. Before Nov. 12, 1991, No more tears became gold and before dec. 16 it was platinum. In May 2000, the album was certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA.
When Ozzy sobered up, he could look back on No more tears in a new light. “It’s one of my favorites,” he said Guitar world. “Every time I put a new band together, it gets to a certain point where you know each other and you are sure of each other. Having recorded and toured together for a few years, Zakk and I were at that point. And everything fell into place.”
No more tears was not without its drama. The album marked the final appearance of bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Randy Castillo. The former rubbed Osbourne and his wife Sharon so badly that when Ozzy reissued his first two solo albums, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madmanhe hired Robert Trujillo to retrace the bass parts.
After recording the album, Ozzy also announced that the tour to support it would be his last. He dubbed the play “No More Tours”. It should have been an uplifting farewell to an industry giant. Instead, it became a pain in the, err, ankle.
“Ten concerts in the tour I trained [to get in shape],” Osbourne told a radio interviewer.”[Then I] jump on stage and break my ankle. And all those years when I should have broken my neck, falling down stairs and out of windows and crashing through panes of glass, I walked away unscathed.”
After the No More Tours tour, Ozzy naturally changed and decided he wanted to continue playing shows. And in 1996, after the release of Ozzmosis he launched the well-received “Retirement Sucks” tour.
Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legendsco-author of Louder Than Hell: Metal’s Definitive Oral Historyas well as the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthraxand Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, The Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Front book My riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.