No More Tears

Ozzy Osbourne

Epic Records, 1991

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


The first decade of Ozzy Osbourne’s solo career was a roller coaster emotionally. He experienced great success with his first two albums, then suffered the tragic loss of guitarist Randy Rhoads. He resurrected his popularity (thanks in no small part to MTV) with The Ultimate Sin, then backslid with a sub-par effort on No Rest For The Wicked. Through it all, he suffered (and would continue to fight) addictions to numerous substances.

Knowing his ability to rise like a phoenix, it should not be a surprise that No More Tears, Osbourne’s 1991 effort, ended up to be one of the stronger offerings in his solo career. The swansong for bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Randy Castillo, this collection features some of the strongest singing, tightest playing, and best songwriting to this point (the final item courtesy of some help from Osbourne’s long-time friend Lemmy Kilmister).

Things admittedly get off on the wrong foot with “Mr. Tinkertrain,” a track that often sounds like a more polished leftover from the my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 No Prayer For The Dying sessions. It’s not a terrible song, but hardly one that makes the listener sit up and think that this could be one of the strongest albums Osbourne had ever released.

Things start to turn for the better with the next four tracks, three of which were co-written by Kilmister. “I Don’t Want To Change The World” is a tentative step in the right direction, while “Mama, I’m Coming Home” simply knocks things out of the park. It’s not necessarily the style of music people might have expected Osbourne to perform (though songs like “You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll” and “Killer Of Giants” all danced along the same stylistic lines), and it has gotten quite a bit of airplay in the past three decades. Still, a good song is a good song, and it definitely qualifies. “Desire” returns Osbourne to a more rock-centered style, and could be a hidden gem on the disc.

It is the title track, though, that cements this disc’s legacy. With Daisley laying down a killer bass groove, and guitarist Zakk Wylde wringing his Les Paul’s neck to squeeze out every suitable note to go along with it, it all lays the foundation for Osbourne’s solid vocal performance. The track’s success, quite simply, is in the sum of all of its parts—and it makes seven and a half minutes fly by.

The second half of No More Tears isn’t quite as strong, but likewise has some great moments. One final collaboration with Kilmister, “Hellraiser,” might have been released before Motorhead’s version, but it somehow still pales a bit compared to the version off March Or Die. But tracks like “Time After Time” and “Road To Nowhere” keep in the stylistical vein of “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” and prove to be among the most powerful efforts that Osbourne had recorded to that point in his career (and prove that power isn’t necessarily equal to the volume or speed a song is played at). But for these strong moments, there are the occasional mis-steps, as on “Zombie Stomp.”

Still, the mistakes are few and far between, and No More Tears was rightfully lauded as one of the best albums of Osbourne’s career circa 1991 (though I’d even argue it deserves a higher place than even Blizzard Of Ozz). It also proved that to simply write Osbourne off after a lesser release proved to be a huge mistake, and even after 10 years as a solo artist, he still had plenty to say.

Rating: B+

User Rating: C-



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