Dee Snider Says Ozzy Osbourne Never Wrote a Song

Dee Snider Says Ozzy Osbourne Never Wrote Any Songs

Dee Snider Says Ozzy Osbourne Never Wrote Any Songs

Former Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider says he didn't write a note on his latest solo album, For the Love of Metal, and that's okay. 

Snider says a lot of people are surprised by his honesty regarding the process of making his album, but he's far from the first big-time vocalist to hire others to write for him. 

Elvis Presley wasn't a songwriter. Frank Sinatra wasn't a songwriter. 

"There's a lot of people out there, they put their name on it and they didn't write a thing," Snider told Eddie Trunk in a recent interview. "Or if you read the credits, you'll see they didn't write, but they'll talk like they did."

Trunk agreed, saying it's common for big stars to employ songwriters and negotiate writing credit and the largest share of the publishing. If the true songwriters aren't agreeable to that arrangement, their songs won't get used and therefore they won't make any money. 

Trunk offered Ozzy Osbourne as an example of an artist who's done exactly that. Indeed the Prince of Darkness has been the subject of a number of lawsuits from former members of his solo band over writing credits and unpaid royalties.   

"Yeah," Snider agreed. "I don't think he's ever written...boy, we're gonna get lambasted, here we go! But I don't think he's ever written anything." 

Snider made the comment during the same conversation with Trunk in which he discussed selling music publishing rights of his entire catalog to Universal Music Group.

Snider says he stopped writing songs in 1995. While he loves modern heavy metal, Snider says he understands that he can't write it. Whenever music he's tried to write since the '90s, he says sounds like imitation.

So on For the Love of Heavy Metal, Snider turned over the reigns to a throng of elite modern metal composers and let them do what they do best. Snider says he's more than happy to give credit where credit is due. He said his producer, Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta, did an amazing job writing lyrics from Snider's point of view.

There's no question Ozzy is a heavy metal icon and a legendary frontman. But Snider says Ozzy has benefitted from a long line of amazing bassists who also wrote great lyrics. 

Geezer Butler was Black Sabbath's primary lyricist throughout the band's history. While Bob Daisley was responsible for most of the lyrics on Ozzy's first three solo albums. Even Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister was a frequent Ozzy collaborator. 

But Ozzy still claims to have written many of the songs in his solo catalog. Daisley earlier this year corrected the singer's assertion that his song "Suicide Solution" was written about late-AC/DC frontman Bon Scott

Daisley said that not only was Ozzy taking credit for lyrics he didn't write, he was completely wrong about the inspiration for the song.

"He's dreaming," Daisley recently told The Metal Voice with a laugh. "I knew Bon Scott. Bon Scott died after I'd written the lyrics to 'Suicide Solution.'"

"It was my title and it was about Ozzy," he continued. "It was inspired by Ozzy's drinking, because he was drinking himself into oblivion lots of days and it was affecting him. I even had a talk with him about it one day. He was getting drunk during the day."

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