The Day Ozzy Went New Wave… and Disco!

ozzy-new-waveI was never really a Black Sabbath fan. Sure, I had a compilation I wanted for my birthday at age eleven with the excellent single “Paranoid” on it, but as the eighties dawned, I much preferred The Dickies’ 200 m.p.h. cover version by far. Ozzy by this time frame was famous for [allegedly] geeking a bat and having a nascent solo career apart from Black Sabbath. So it was pretty shocking to the core when the second Was (Not Was) album, “Born To Laugh At Tornadoes” was released in 1983 and it sported a guest appearance by Osbourne on the very, extremely New Wave synth pop number “Shake Your Head [Let’s Go To Bed].” By the time that Mel Tormé guested on “Zaz Turned Blue,” the album’s closer, one’s senses were braced for anything!

Geffen Record | US LP | 1983 | GHS 4016

Geffen Record | US LP | 1983 | GHS 4016

Was (Not Was): Born To Laugh At Tornadoes US LP [1983]

  1. Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like A Rubber Ball)
  2. Bow Wow Wow Wow
  3. Betrayal
  4. Shake Your Head (Let’s Go To Bed)
  5. Man Vs. The Empire Brain Building
  6. (Return To The Valley Of) Out Come The Freaks
  7. Professor Night
  8. The Party Broke Up
  9. Smile
  10. Zaz Turned Blue

The album mix of “Shake Your Head” sounds not completely unrelated to the cut “What’s A Girl To Do,” which Don Was co-wrote for Cristina’s “Sleep It Off” album that was released the following year. It’s a bouncy New Wave synth dance number with Ozzy pasted on top of it singing; as large as life. Now that I think about it, he beat Van Halen to the synthpop punch by a year, didn’t he?

Fontana | UK | CD5 | 1992 | WAS CD11

Fontana | UK | CD5 | 1992 | WAS CD11

Was (Not Was): Shake Your Head UK CD5 [1992]

  1. Shake Your Head – Featuring – Kim Basinger, Ozzy Osbourne [Remix] – 3:42
  2. Spy In The House Of Love [Remix] – 5:27
  3. I Blew Up The United States – 3:51
  4. Robot Girl – 4:10

Then nine years later, things got really, much weirder when there was the first Was (Not Was) compilation album called “Hello Dad, I’m In Jail!” It featured some new mixes of material on it and it seemed that the Ozzy cut had been given a Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley house remix as well as featuring added guest vocals by… Kim Basinger?! Who needs LSD with Was (Not Was) around to liven things up? The how and why of this occurrence is even more contrived than the event itself. Apparently, when the original recording was made in 1982, it featured backing vocals by Madonna, who was thanked in the credits. Within a year, she was signed to Sire Records and on her way to the top. Of course, she withheld rights to her performance, leaving the band having to make do with Kim Basinger instead, who was trying at the time for a singing career.

Fontana Records | UK | 12" | 1992 | WASX 11

Fontana Records | UK | 12″ | 1992 | WASX 11

Was (Not Was): Shake Your Head [remixes] UK 12″ [1992]

  1. Shake Your Head [12″ Remix] – 6:49
  2. I Blew Up The United States – 3:51
  3. Listen Like Thieves (Giant Club Mix) – 7:14
  4. Listen Like Thieves (Vandal Dub) – 6:04

There also exists a remix 12″ of this single, with the full length House Mix by Hurley. Truly, a paradoxical object, considering the vocalists it featured. but there is one more unholy variant available in a pressing mixup that wasn’t supposed to happen.

now dance 92Various Artists: Now Dance 92 UK 2xLP [1992]

Disc 1

  1. Was (Not Was) – Shake Your Head (12″ Mix)
  2. Undercover – Baker Street (Extended Mix)
  3. East 17 – House Of Love (Pedigree Mix)
  4. The Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode (Beatmasters Club Mix)
  5. Utah Saints – Something Good (12″ Mix)
  6. U96 – Das Boot (Techno Version)
  7. Bizarre Inc – I’m Gonna Get You (Original Flavour Mix – Radio Edit)
  8. U2 – Even Better Than The Real Thing (Perfecto Edit)
  9. Erasure – Voulez Vous
  10. Neneh Cherry – Money Love (The Perfecto Mix)
  11. Inner City – Pennies From Heaven (Kevin’s Tunnel Mix)
  12. Wag Ya Tail – Expand Ya Mind (Hendrix 7″ Mix)
  13. Soul II Soul – Joy (Brand New Heavies Remix)

Disc 2

  1. Ce Ce Peniston – We Got A Love Thang (Silky House Mix)
  2. Shanice – I Love Your Smile (Driza Bone Club Mix)
  3. Dina Carroll – Ain’t No Man (Lowmac 12″ Mix)
  4. Incognito – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing
  5. Loose Ends – Hangin’ On A String (Frankie Knuckles Radio Edit)
  6. The Brand New Heavies – Don’t Let It Go To Your Head (12″ Version)
  7. Innocence – One Love In My Lifetime (7″ Edit)
  8. K.W.S. – Rock Your Baby (Boogaloo Investigators Mix)
  9. Salt ‘N’ Pepa – Start Me Up (Radio Edit)
  10. SL2 – On A Ragga Tip (Original Mix)
  11. Messiah – I Feel Love (7″ Mix)
  12. K-Klass – So Right (Pearl Edit)
  13. Bassheads – Back To The Old School (Edit)
  14. 2 Unlimited – Twilight Zone (7″ Version)
  15. Doctor Spin – Tetris (7″ Mix)
  16. Rage – Run To You (Vital Organs Mix)

If the prospect of hearing Madonna and Ozzy Osbourne duetting on a house remix of a synthpop New Wave dance tune thrills you, know that the first track on disc one, side one of this EMI compilation LP mistakenly featured the 12″ remix of the track that Madonna nixed. I don’t actually have this in my Record Cell, but it’s not unaffordable, considering all of the thousands of Madonna collectors probably out there. I should obtain a copy while it’s still safely under $50 in cost.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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4 Responses to The Day Ozzy Went New Wave… and Disco!

  1. Tim says:

    Pass on Ozzy but I could listen to mixes of “Out Come the Freaks” until the freaks come home.


  2. postpunkmonk says:

    Tim – Aren’t you at least the least bit curious how the Madonna/Ozzy duet sounds? I can’t stand her… and that’s why I’m thinking I need to hear this!


  3. Tim says:

    I bought that album in a cutout bin years ago while grabbing every iteration of “Out Come The Freaks” that I could lay my mitts on. I was underwhelmed with the rest of the album; I’m a big fan of the later album and I really like the Orchestra Was effort…..quite glad that I only paid a buck or two for this one.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – Different strokes, I guess. I am pretty enamored with every Was (Not Was) album, with the weaker one for me being “Are You Okay?” That one I can almost give a pass. But many thanks for bringing up Orchestra Was… I forgot about that one!! [memo to self…]


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