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This song is about Aleister Crowley, a British practitioner of black magic in the early 1900s. Known as "The Wickedest Man Alive," Jimmy Page based some of the Led Zeppelin album covers on his work.
Ozzy mispronounces Crowley's last name. It is in fact pronounced with the first syllable sounding like "crow" in English. (thanks, Daz - Lufkin, TX)
The line "Won't you ride my white horse" is a drug reference. Crowley was a known user of opium.
When Crowley was born they scattered the afterbirth because he had a birthmark shaped like a swastika. Ozzy sings about it in the line "They scattered the afterbirth."
In the liner notes for The Ozzman Cometh, Ozzy wrote, "I'd read several books about Aleister Crowley. He was a very weird guy and I always wanted to write a song about him. While we were recording the Blizzard Of Ozz album there was a pack of tarot cards he had designed lying around the studio. Well one thing lead to another and the song 'Mr. Crowley' was born." (thanks, Matthew Daubert - Mequon, WI)
The single was backed with the song "You Said It All," which was not available on the album.
This featured Randy Rhoads on guitar, who co-wrote it with Ozzy. Rhoads died in 1982 when he went up in a small plane and the pilot started buzzing the tour bus. It hit the bus on the third pass and crashed into a house, killing Rhoads, the pilot, and the tour hairdresser.
Ozzy's album Diary Of A Madman is named after Crowley's autobiography.
This was included on Ozzy's 1987 album Tribute, which contained live tracks featuring Randy Rhoads.
Aleister Crowley was also the topic of the Bruce Dickinson (formerly and presently of Iron Maiden) song "Man of Sorrows" on the album Accident of Birth. The title of the song was a quote of Isaiah 53, supposedly a description of Jesus, whom Crowley hated; Dickinson is somewhat anti-Christian, and was not above assigning a title of Christ to the self-appointed antichrist.
Ion Vein covered this for the 1999 compilation Land of the Wizard: A Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne.
Two Ozzy Osbourne tribute bands have the name Mr. Crowley. One is American, the other German. (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for above 3)
Ozzy dedicated the album to Aleister Crowley, claiming that through him, he "Really learned to believe in the devil." Ozzy often played up his Satanic image for effect. (thanks, Greg - Calgary, United States)
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