Ozzy vs Dio

V-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
4,377
Reaction score
3,422
Time for an unoriginal rehash, maybe with a twist. A discussion, of Sabbath vs Sabbath, Ozzy, vs Dio (the bands), and Ozzy vs Dio (the men). My $0.02 in TL;DR form - Ozzy > Dio in all band formats, but Dio destroys Ozzy otherwise.

Interested in seeing what you think and why.



Sabbath

I see a number of ppl preferring Dio-era, and I get it if that was what one was raised on in High School or something, but it is otherwise no contest AFAIC. There are complete A-Side to B-Side Ozzy-era albumS where every song is a hit or is plain un-skippable on the stereo. Sabbath was a tired band by the time Dio came on, and he was a complete vitamin/steroid shot in the arm, but there are no Dio-era albums that were track-to-track hits (nor were there any in latter Ozzy-era after Sabotage). In fairness, the first two Dio-era albums roundly defeat the last two Ozzy-era (more apples-apples comparison in terms of band’s maturity and overall energy), but the best Dio-era rarely outdid the best Ozzy era, either in greatest hits or greatest albums.

Song strength was also an issue, where much of the reliance fell more on RJD’s amazing vocals. Tailoring those same albums to Ozzy’s vocals with him singing instead of DIO and you can really imagine how they are far less exciting/worthwhile songs. I’d say not (just) because RJD is vocally superior, but the songd that aren’t ”greatest hits” canon are merely “strong rockers” rather than “legendary tunes”. Also the greatest hits are few and far between, rarely overtaking the best of Ozzy-era greatest hits. That said, Heaven and Hell (the song) is a viable competitor as one of Sabbath’s best 3 songs ever… certainly in the top 5.

The eras’ sounds seems to me much like a 2203/2555 comparison. The former is lower gain, but more gritty, raw and aggressive, whereas the latter is higher gain and more refined but less ballsy, and though much loved, is less preferable to the former. Sabbath sound is fucking Sabbath to 1975. By 1980, it’s an excellent hard rock precursor to iron maiden and 80s priest, but the produced sound seems indistinct from most of what was produced for the next half decade.

Solo Acts

Dio should have crushed Ozzy here, but for the talent Ozzy acquired. There simply is no touching RR (and JEL was no slouch either). This is coming from an absolute fan of Vivian Campbell, who was IMO the greatest NWOBHM guitarist out there (Sweet Savage) second perhaps to the likes of Priest’s Glenn Tipton. BOTH have churned out legendary albums that inconsistently showcased absolute rock anthems along side fan (only) favorites that paled in comparison to the greatest hits of the albums. I wager the RR albums, particularly Blizzard had a little more track-to-track consistency. Either way, the gap between which was better narrows considerably here compared to Sabbath eras.

Musicians

I can’t imagine this being any contest. Ronnie was a better vocalist at every level compared to Ozzy. You could somehow dislike literally everything he did, and still have to concede he is an immensely talented singer. Ozzy OTH is one of those top 5 rock vocalists like Axl where you either love the character (the individual / voice): or you just hate Ozzy. Ronnie could weave his voice into the song tapestry as its own strong melody. Ozzy more often than not was stuck singing the rhythm if not the riff, unable to meander artistically like Dio mastered. My understanding was that Ozzy worked in the (simpler) vocal melodies, but rarely/never wrote lyrics. Dio, OTOH was capable of both.
 

jeffb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
1,696
Reaction score
3,455
Ozzy is only has good as the band he's playing with- because they essentially do most of the work. Ozzy is historically very hit or miss with quality of his voice- sober or otherwise. He's not a natural singer, his range is limited...but he just has that thing..that indescribable thing that makes him unique and easy to listen to.

RJD as a technical singer is worlds better than Ozzy could ever hope to be. There is no comparison. He also suffers from the the "only good as my band" syndrome. He has many gems, and every song has amazing vocals, but half of the songs (or more) on those early records are easily forgotten. Like many artists (Iron Maiden post 1985 for example) his music really started to sound like it was recycled.

I like Sabbath, and I know a few tunes, but I'm not a fan(atic).

I like Dio (the band), and I know a few tunes, but I'm not a fan(atic)

Ozzy era Sabbath> Dio era Sabbath

Ozzy Solo > Ronnie solo

I would rather listen to Ronnie in Rainbow than all of the above.
 

Mitchell Pearrow

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2018
Messages
16,551
Reaction score
34,150
Location
Moreno Valley CA
Ozzy is only has good as the band he's playing with- because they essentially do most of the work. Ozzy is historically very hit or miss with quality of his voice- sober or otherwise. He's not a natural singer, his range is limited...but he just has that thing..that indescribable thing that makes him unique and easy to listen to.

RJD as a technical singer is worlds better than Ozzy could ever hope to be. There is no comparison. He also suffers from the the "only good as my band" syndrome. He has many gems, and every song has amazing vocals, but half of the songs (or more) on those early records are easily forgotten. Like many artists (Iron Maiden post 1985 for example) his music really started to sound like it was recycled.

I like Sabbath, and I know a few tunes, but I'm not a fan(atic).

I like Dio (the band), and I know a few tunes, but I'm not a fan(atic)

Ozzy era Sabbath> Dio era Sabbath

Ozzy Solo > Ronnie solo

I would rather listen to Ronnie in Rainbow than all of the above.
Rainbow was where I had first learned of RJD. I have been a fan of all eras of Sabbath, Dio, Ozzy.. Al great rockers in their own right.

Cheers
 

Lo-Tek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2013
Messages
5,155
Reaction score
4,571
Location
Traverse City, Mi.
Ozzy for me. Never could take Dio's voice. Maybe if I dug deeper into his catalog but....just don't like the style I guess.
 

Dblgun

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
433
Reaction score
768
Location
AZ
Both had some great bands behind them for years. After Sabbath Ozzy was lucky to get hooked up with Rhoads, Lee and Wylde as was Ronnie with Campbell, Goldy and Aldrich. In my opinion Heaven and Hell and The Mob Rules are by far the two best Sabbath albums. The production was just much better and Ronnie was a great vocalist where Ozzy is best described as a chanter. I'd take Dio any day of the week.
 

Matthews Guitars

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
6,010
Reaction score
9,457
Both are awesome but I have to agree, Dio had more strength as a singer separate from the band. He could sing very well in most any context with any competent backing band. Ozzy has more of a specific "texture" and the texture of what the band is doing has to mesh well with it for it all to work well.

Check out the videos that come up on YouTube when you search "Early Ronnie James Dio".

His versatility covered a lot more than just metal.
 

Dogs of Doom

~~~ Moderator ~~~
Staff Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
27,363
Reaction score
37,793
Location
Los Angeles
As a Sabbath .. and a Priest fan this is great..
It was an awesome concert! 2 nights at Pacific Amphitheater. They opened up for Ozzy!

No More Tears tour, & Dehumanizer...


the night before, Sabbath played a slightly different set:


The last night, was when they did the Original Sabbath reunion & played 3 songs as an encore. Bill Ward hopped on stage w/ Geezer, Tony & Ozzy...

At the time, Halford was kicked out of Priest. When they did this, the CBS moguls wanted to sign them to a contract to do Sabbath w/ Halford fronting them.

That gave Halford & Priest a push to get back together eventually...
 

-BOOGIEMAN-

Active Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
137
I’ll go with the Dio years in Sabbath and his solo years. About the only thing I liked about Ozzy was the guitar players he had play for him.
:nutkick:
 

Latest posts



Top