Suicide Solution

Album: Blizzard of Ozz (1980)
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  • This song is about the dangers of alcohol. The "suicide solution" is drinking yourself to death, and the song is a warning against it: "Suicide is slow with liquor..."

    There is some controversy over both who wrote the words to this song, and who they're about. Ozzy has stated that he wrote the lyric about AC/DC's lead singer Bon Scott, who was found dead after a night of drinking. Bassist Bob Daisley, however, maintains that he wrote the lyric about Ozzy, who was struggling with his own alcohol problems at the time. Evidence is in Daisley's favor, as he was the lyricist for the project.

    After leaving Black Sabbath (whose lyricist was Geezer Butler), Ozzy formed a new band with Daisley and guitarist Randy Rhoads, which was called the Blizzard of Ozz. The trio wrote most of the songs for their debut album before drummer Lee Kerslake joined, including this one. Ozzy's contribution was vocal melodies. In our interview with Bob Daisley, he explained:

    "Usually the music came first, Ozzy would sing a melody, and then I would take a tape away into my room and write lyrics by myself to Ozzy's phrasing and melodies that would fit with what he was comfortable with. He wasn't a lyricist and neither was Randy, so I had to wear the lyricist hat."

    When the album was released, it looked like an Ozzy Osbourne solo effort, with just the singer pictured and his name in big letters above the phrase "Blizzard of Ozz." The record company (Don Arden's Jet Records) had decided to turn the band into Ozzy's solo project, and that's how it stood, even though early promotional materials clearly indicate Blizzard of Ozz as the name of the group.
  • On October 26, 1984, a 19-year-old American named John McCullom shot himself in his bedroom while listening to Osbourne's Speak of the Devil album on his headphones. McCullom had been listening to Osbourne's Diary of a Madman and Blizzard of Ozz earlier in the evening on the living room stereo, and his parents singled out "Suicide Solution" as a song that encouraged him to kill himself. In October 1985, they sued Ozzy and his record company on grounds of negligence, product liability, and intentional misconduct. The case was dismissed in August 1986, but McCullom's parents filed an appeal that brought even more attention to the case, which had become a first amendment litmus test. In the appeal, the plaintiffs made a case that Ozzy's songs contained themes of devil worship and death, and quoted the lyrics "suicide is the only way out" from "Suicide Solution" as evidence that it contributed to their son's death. Additionally, they argued that the song contained "masked" lyrics that weren't printed on the album: "why try, why try, get the gun and try it, shoot, shoot, shoot."

    The court took a good, hard look before dismissing the case in 1988, ruling that the lyrics did not explicitly encourage suicide, and that music is protected by the first amendment. How a song about the dangers of alcohol abuse could be put on trail was baffling and frightening to many musicians, who feared legal ramifications over misinterpretations of their songs. The case was especially bewildering in Ozzy's home country of England, where the idea of blaming a song for someone's death was laughable.

    Osbourne told Mojo magazine, August 2010: "Listen, it'd be a pretty bad career move for me to write a song saying 'Grab a gun and kill yourself.' I wouldn't have many fans left.

    Anyhow, that track was about me drinking myself to death. Look at the lyrics:

    Wine is fine but whiskey's quicker
    Suicide is slow with liquor
    Take a bottle drown your sorrows

    I knew even then I had an alcohol problem."

    While this case was going on, two others were filed by families convinced that this song compelled their kids to commit suicide. They were also dismissed.
  • In the mid-'80s, song lyrics became a political issue as advocates pushed for a rating system on albums (which led to warning stickers for albums with explicit songs). "Suicide Solution" became a talking point because of its misinterpreted title and controversy over the lawsuit. In a 1986 forum on the Tom Snyder talk show, Don Arden, whose record company released this song, was a guest. When this song was brought up, he said: "I would be doubtful as to whether Mr. Osbourne knew the meaning of the lyrics - if there was a meaning - because his command of the English language is minimal anyway, so I wouldn't think there was any evil intent there."
  • The lawsuit over this song claimed that it contained subliminal messages saying: "Get the gun, shoot, shoot, shoot." Acoustic analysis showed that there were some sub-audible words, but it was not clear what they were. On the album Tribute, the line is listed as "Get the flaps out," which is a reference to the private part of the female anatomy.
  • The word "Solution" in this song is meant as a mixture, meaning a drink containing alcohol. The alternate interpretation is "Solution" as the answer to a problem, but the song is in no way suggesting that suicide is ever the answer, just that heavy drinking can kill you.
  • Ozzy was going to appear in an episode of Miami Vice, but was dropped because of the controversy this song generated.
  • The 1999 compilation Land of the Wizard: A Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne featured a cover of this song by the band Coffin Texts. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brett - Edmonton, Canada

Comments: 47

  • Greyhound from Staffordshire EnglandPeople read what they want to read in a song.
    It's just a great song like so many others. I read it as a warning of the excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaGet the flaps out, Satan, Satan, Satan, ha ha ha

    Look: he's taunting Satan, calling him a p*ssy! He's saying life has nothing tofear from Satan. Satan has no power over your life. It's YOU & YOUR choices. Ozzy kept going -- no suicide there - yeah, he kind of is saying his drug & booze use is a slow suicide, but that's not praising it, it'sd crying for help.
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaOzzy's lyrics show he was all about life & living it to the fullest. He preaches love & joy, not darkness & demons(as are the accusations from haters); his Church of Satan thing sold records & concert tickes, that is all! This song speaks of how bad suicide is, whether fast or slow. The kid who listened to it for 8 hours straight had a problem & he hoped to find a doorway out in the lyrics. Likely he sensed there was an underlying message of salvation, but was having trouble zeroing in through his own depression & suicidal feelings. Ozzy says suicide is NOT a solution, ultimately. People make it one, but it doesn't work, because you still were born & lived.

    Ask fans, not haters, what songs mean!
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaWhile various interviews have Ozzy stating that he wrote this song about deceased AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Bob Daisley (bassist, writer and lyricist for several solo Ozzy records) has claimed that he actually wrote the lyrics about Ozzy and his excesses at the time. The two camps have fought over correct credit and publishing for years.

    The main guitar riff in the song, written by guitarist Randy Rhoads, is loosely based on the riff that Rhoads wrote for the verse of the Quiet Riot song “Force of Habit.” Rhoads was Quiet Riot’s guitarist in the early years, and can be heard on their two first albums, released in Japan only, and a later compilation featuring songs and demos from that era, re-mixed and re-tooled.
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaIn his autobiography "I Am Ozzy," Ozzy tells the story of how he and Randy created the song:

    We were at a party for a band called Wild Horses at John Henry’s, a rehearsal studio in London. Everyone else was f--ked up on one thing or another, but Randy was sitting in a corner experimenting with riffs on his Flying V, and all of a sudden he just went “Dah, Dah, D'La-Dah, DAH D'La-Dah.” I shouted over, “Whoa, Randy! What was that?” He just shrugged. I told him to play what he’d played, then I started to sing this lyric I’d had in my head for a while: “Wine is fine, but whiskey’s quicker, suicide is slow with liquor.” And that was it, most of the song was written, right there. The night ended with everyone on stage, jamming.
  • Jodie from XxI don't know if any of you have read Bob Daisley's book "For Facts Sake", but it's really good book and well written by Bob himself. In that book he talks about the writing process of these great songs like this one that he wrote for Ozzy. He wrote the lyrics to quite a few of Ozzy songs, including this one. He's a very interesting and extremely talented guy.
  • Brandee from Santa Clara, NmTo me, it always sounded like he was just saying suicide in an echo. By the way one of my fave Ozzy songs
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationThe words "bodge" and "flaps" heard in some Ozzy songs such as "No Bone Movies" and "Suicide Solution" are alternative words for vagina and breasts.
  • Ian from Los Angeles , CaOur justice system in america looks pretty dumb because we believe that a song could kill. If thats not stupid i dont know what is. Sure Ozzy gets crazy at live events but he doesn't tell people to get the gun and shoot themselves.To the parents of the child: your child was depressed and couldn't take it anymore. Dont go blaming a song just because it has the word suicide in it. If judge dismissed the case then he probably thinks that hes wasting his time on a pointless case.
  • Alice from Norwood, United Kingdomi am related to the boy who killed him self he is my moms cuz and the boy was nuts he lisend to the song for 8-10 hours straight that says something so i say that ya it is not Ozzys fault and my ma talked to him on the radio and told him that after the boy died(she is a big Ozzy fan to)
  • Luke from Saint Augustine, Flyou know parents instead of blaming the songs themselves maybe you should blame yourselves. your parenting must be sub-par if your kids even want to commit suicide. and maybe instead of just buying what ever band or song your son/duaghter want to listen to why dont you look into ozzy's song. prince of darkness anyone?
  • John from Vilseck, GermanyBon Scott died in February 1980. Blizzard of Ozz was released in September 1980. Perhaps the song was written about Bon Scott, but given Ozzy's less-than-lucid state of mind, you could have told him that the song was about zebras and he may believe it.
  • Josh from Detroit, MiThis song was indeed written by Bob Daisley(as were the majority of the first five Ozzy albums). I find it incredibly disrespectful that Ozzy claims he wrote it about Bon Scott, especially considering that the song was written BEFORE Bon died. It's one thing to steal another artist's lyrics, but it's just disgusting to lie about a dead supposed friend.
  • Josh from Detroit, Mi"The song's main riff was initially a way that Randy was tuning his guitar."

    While Ozzy is on record saying this, it's not true. The riff was actually directly lifted from a Quiet Riot song, "Force Of Habit". In fact, if you listen to Randy's work in Quiet Riot, you'll recognize a lot of pieces he would later use in the Blizzard Of Ozz band.
  • Otepmanson from Grand Junction, CoI love this song,My second favorite Ozzy song actually.
  • Jason from Denver, CoSome stupid lawyer claims that there is a subliminal message which says " Get the gun, Get the gun, Shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot" repeatedly during the middle part of the song. Ozzy even admitted that there is an effect. It sounds like he was saying the word SUICIDE through an echo box.
  • Mp from Toronto, OnCkathy, judging by your comments on other songs, I guess we're one of the few who understand how badly Ozzy and Sharon screwed Bob Daisley. I really hope one day justice will be served cold.
  • Wendy Hieter from Elmira Heights, NyI'm sick of people saying Ozzy and metal music causes people to commit suicide or any other crime.I bet they hide the fact that some people who listen to gospel or christian music have commited crimes too.I've been an Ozzy fan for over 20 years and i still haven't killed anyone(there is still time left,lol,jk)
  • Richard from St. Joseph, MoIf this song caused people to kill themselves there wouldn't be any Ozzy fans left.
  • Jessica from Chattanooga, Tnthis song was about no commiting suicide if u read in the prince of darkness box set it says its not and he don know how the story got so twisted he was sued twice for this song judge threw it out maybe it was 3 pretty sure it was 2 isnt this why he wrote dont blame me? makes since to me
  • Ckathy from Glasgow, ScotlandIn an Interview Bob Daisley said That Ozzy came up with the first line "Wine is fine but whiskey's quicker, " Which is something he probably heard somewhere else. Daisley wrote the lyrics, they were about Ozzy himself whp was a bad alchoholic and a Plagerist.
  • Joel from Columbia, ScI am sooo sick of (mostly ignorant) people trying to blame music on everything bad that happens. If someone is going to kill themselves than they will regardless of what music they happen to be listening to at the time.
  • Mark from Ann Arbor, Miwho cares if it doesnt have a solo, the main riff to this song is one of my favorites. And yes the live version off tribute is dank.
  • Alex from St Louis, Moif only he wrote a solo for this song... aside from the live thing
  • Josh from New York, Nythe live version of this song is SICK with rhoads on guitar. get it off the tribute album. amazing guitar solo.
  • Geoff from Hanover, Canadahey Jennifer Moncton, the same thing happened with this song.
    Amazing song, obviously not Ozzy telling people to kill themselves if you listen to the lyrics. Simply a song of warning in regards to drinking. Amazing vocals and Rhoads is a genious.
  • Jennifer from Moncton, United StatesJudas Priest was the suicide contraversy not Ozzy
  • Jennifer from Moncton, United StatesThe reference about the lawsuit and the teen suicides was about a Judas Priest song, not Ozzy.
  • Dan from Renmark, Australiayeah Pat Boones ok but when I really wanna get down I whack on the ole Engelbert Humperdinck. now there's some good songwriting
  • Derek from Brampton, CanadaI can't believe that some dimiss the great songwriting abilities so quickly. What do you listen to Pat Boone? Not such a great person to mimic, but to simply dimiss some of the best music of the '70s is ludicrous. I have two teenage boys and all of their friends still follow his music. Yes it is that good that it has stood the test of time!
  • Ivan from Vancouver, CanadaI would hardly say admired by all the teenagers. In fact very many nowadays only know him for the show that he makes a fool of himself in.
  • Scott from Columbus, OhThere's a much deeper root of the cause that brings people to suicide... and it usually lies in the realm of depressive issues and unresolved anger, which is far beyond the emotions presented from a song.
    Though, music can sometimes innacuratetely remind and project how we might have felt in some situation or give a deeper meaning to the feelings we never quite understand.
    I would certianly never blame a song for mental instability, but it certainly is an easy way to lose yourself, and it scares me how easily people are so easily influenced.

  • Timothy from Vancouver, CanadaDooga, have you not seen a ozzy concert? he is the godfather of metal and admired by all teenagers around the world
  • Josh from Taft, CaI dont Blame Ozzy He is one of my heros besides all of the drugs.
  • Dooga from Cairns, AustraliaOzzy Osbourne, not really someone to be followed or admired musically. Couple of decent songs with Sabbath but for the most part not music for the ages. Just another 70's icon kids want to be rebellious following. And what a pitiful TV show. Seems like a good Dad though.
  • Ravyn from Hell, Ny"This song cause me lawsuits from parents and scorn from religious leaders. I'll never know why the message got so twisted. The lyrics are about drinking yourself to death. I was not condoning suicide."
    - Ozzy Osbourne
  • Josh from Las Vegas, NvBon Scott and Ozzy both rule.
  • Canice from Bangalore, Indiathe words were 'just do it' from stained class-judas priest-in the 90s
  • Ferris from Ohio, OhI also heard about how there was this one case where these other kids commited suicide because of this one "hidden message" in a Judas Priest song. It was a pretty famous case.
  • Angela from Seattle, WaI think it's nuts to blame a song for somebodys death it's like blaming Madonna for having sex with someone!
  • Eef from Zoutleeuw, BelgiumActually, it's just their own fault, I mean who's stupid enough to do shoot themselfs trough the head because a song tells them it would be the same as, when someone asks you to jump off a cliff...
  • Jennifer from San Jose, Cai dont know guys, ozzy is a pretty strange dude...
  • Echooes from Atlanta, GaYes no one can deny the lyrics of this great master piece, but as usual some stupid freaks gave this song a whole different meaning than the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy tried to relay. It is more like you can do all sorts of things...u can drink heavily, kill yourself, but ultimate question comes to "how does that help"
  • Josh from Sunbury, PaScrew all the a__holes who think Ozzy is the reason why America is bad or that he is spitting out harmfull meanings.... if anything, this song probabally helped people....
  • Jose from Concord, CaHe says 'Come one now people, why try. Get the flasks out'.
  • Damien from Somewhere, Irelanddamn straight no way is an artist gonna tel his liseners to kill themselves its idiotic . subliminal messaging my bollox
  • Xero from Warsaw, MoThe words 'Why try why try, get the gun and fast, shoot shoot shoot' were supposidley in the song, but was claimed to have just been Ozzy screwing around on the sound effects processor. Ozz was sued 3 times over this. All of the cases were dismissed.
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