Over the Mountain

Album: Diary of a Madman (1981)


  • Osbourne wrote this song with Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, who were his bandmates for his first two albums after leaving Black Sabbath. The project was supposed to be a group, not three guys backing up Osbourne. Conceived as a band called Blizzard of Ozz, it became an Ozzy solo project when their first album was released in 1980 with Osbourne the only one on the cover and his name in large letters. Despite the misappropriation, Rhoads, Daisley and Kerslake hung on for a second album, which was Diary of a Madman.
  • In our interview with Bob Daisley, he talked about writing this song:

    "It wasn't called anything for quite a while, because I hadn't written any lyrics and I didn't know what I was going to write it about. So musically it came together when we were rehearsing and writing in London before we went to Ridge Farm to record it. Then I wrote the lyrics at Ridge Farm while we were recording the Diary of a Madman album.

    I was searching for a while for what it could be about. I don't like your typical cliché love songs, and with the musical approach on that song - the aggressiveness and the heaviness - it couldn't have had light lyrics. It had to be a bit different: a bit philosophical, and a bit cryptic. I didn't come up with the lyrics for that until we were actually recording at Ridge Farm."
  • This was issued as a single in the UK, but it didn't chart.
  • Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot claims that he came up with the drum pattern for this song. In a Songfacts interview, he told the story: "I had an apartment in West Hollywood - this small, one-bedroom apartment - and I was having to hustle as many gigs as I could and as many sessions as I could just to meet my monthly rent while all my other friends were still couch-surfing. I get a call one morning... from Randy Rhoads.

    Randy had a really low voice. Everybody thinks he had a high voice because he was a tiny little guy, but he had a really low voice. He goes, 'Frankie, do you want to play with Ozzy?' And I said, 'The guy from Black Sabbath?' He says, 'Yeah.' I go, 'OK! I have my drums, but I don't have a car.'

    So he borrowed a car that was big enough. He came and picked me up and we went down to rehearsals. And when I say, 'pick me up,' he picked me up with my 1969 green Ludwig sparkle set with a 26-inch bass drum. I brought a gong - the whole thing. We went to this rehearsal studio called Mars - on Melrose and Western - and we rehearsed for about a week. It was interesting. It was great to play with Randy, and the bass player oddly enough was Dana Strum, who eventually became the bass player in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion and then Slaughter. Essentially, that was the band.

    Ozzy was interesting - he was nothing like what I expected. He was quiet and he sat down on a piano bench with a little ghetto blaster, and he was recording essentially everything we were doing. That ended up becoming 'Over the Mountain,' which at that time wasn't really fleshed out. A lot of those parts were guitar parts that Randy brought in from older Quiet Riot songs from the '75-'79 period, and that triplet thing is something that I was doing at every session because I figured, 'If it ever comes out, I'm finally going to get it on a record,' because I really enjoyed it. It's derivative of the 'John Bonham triplet.' John Bonham is one of my favorite drummers, so that's how that came about.

    Now, originally, they were going to record the record in LA, but Jet Records had spent so much money flying Ozzy between London, LA, and New York looking for musicians and they were really unsure what Ozzy's future was going to be. Ultimately, they decided to just record it in England, because it would be less expensive, and they would only pay to fly one guy over. And obviously, 'the guy' was Randy Rhoads. That was my brush with Ozzy-ness, so to speak."

Comments: 2

  • Jodie from XxThis is one of my favorite Ozzy songs.
  • Chris from Norman, OkI read that Ozzy said randy came up with the solo on his own which is very similar to one in "Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath. Ozzy also said randy had never heard it. Eerie.
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