Zakk Wylde reflects on three decades of Ozzy Osbourne’s No More Tears

Ozzy and Zakk Wylde
(Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

In addition to 2021 being the year Black Label Society are releasing their 11th album and getting back onstage, it also marks the 30th anniversary of the release of No More Tears, Wylde’s biggest album with “the boss”, Ozzy Osbourne.

It was something we couldn’t ignore, so during our recent interview time with Wylde, we fired him a few questions about this particularly fruitful period with the Prince of Darkness.

What do you recall most about the experience of recording No More Tears?

“Well, obviously [1988’s] No Rest for the Wicked was my first record with the boss. And I was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I’m gonna contribute to the sound and the direction of Ozzy’s music!’ Being such a huge Randy [Rhoads] fan and Jake [E. Lee] fan and Sabbath fan, that was a big thing – I remember it like it was yesterday. 

“So we had an ass-kicking time making that record, and then after the craziness of that tour, No More Tears was more of a relaxed kind of atmosphere. We just had more experience, which led to bringing in songs like Road to Nowhere and Mama, I’m Coming Home.”

How did the title track come together?

“I remember with No More Tears, Mikey [Mike Inez] started jamming that out on the bass. And then Randy [Castillo] started in on drums, and John [Sinclair] started playing that keyboard thing. I had a slide laying around because of my love for the Allmans and Skynyrd and everything, and I started doing that line, the major-key, Skynyrd-y Allmans thing. 

“Then we stopped, and Mike was still playing the bass and Randy was playing the drums and we did like the whole War Pigs, Black Dog thing, where Ozzy sings and then we play the riff. That was how that happened. The song almost wrote itself. But overall we had a blast making that record. And the tour was frickin’ hilarious, too. It was just a lot of fun times, man.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.