Ozzy Osbourne - Mr. Crowley - Meaning of the song
This song is about Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), a British practitioner of black magic. Known as "The Wickedest Man Alive," Jimmy Page based some of the Led Zeppelin album covers on his work. The song helped Ozzy play up his mock-Satanic image, which he often did for effect. This his something he did in his band Black Sabbath, who likened their music to horror movies.
Bob Daisley, who was the bass player on the album, wrote some of the lyric for this song.
"I wanted to look at the darkness and question Aleister Crowley. 'Aleister, what were you thinking?' You know. All this darkness and negativity. So that was a snag that I put on it."
In the liner notes for The Ozzman Cometh, Ozzy wrote, "I'd read several books about Aleister Crowley. He was a very weird guy and I always wanted to write a song about him. While we were recording the Blizzard of Ozz album there was a pack of tarot cards he had designed lying around the studio. Well one thing lead to another and the song 'Mr. Crowley' was born."
Randy Rhoads played guitar on this track and co-wrote it with Ozzy and Bob Daisley. "Mr. Crowley" is a great example of both his striking guitar technique and creative riff-making, skills that helped Ozzy escape the long shadow of Black Sabbath and establish a solo career. Rhoads worked on two albums with Ozzy before his untimely death in 1982 at age 25. Rhoads died during a tour stop when he went up in a small plane and the pilot started buzzing the tour bus, trying to get a rise out of Osbourne, who was in it. The plane lost control and crashed, killing Rhoads, the pilot, and the tour hairdresser.
Mr. Crowley - Lyrics
Mr. Crowley, what went on in your head? Oh, Mr. Crowley, did you talk to the dead? Your life style to me seemed so tragic With the thrill of it all You fooled all the people with magic Yeah, you waited on Satan's call Mr. Charming, did you think you were pure? Mr. Alarming, in nocturnal rapport Uncovering things that were sacred Manifest on this Earth Conceived in the eye of a secret And they scattered the afterbirth Mr. Crowley, won't you ride my white horse? Mr. Crowley, it's symbolic, of course Approaching a time that is classic I hear that maidens call Approaching a time that is drastic Standing with their backs to the wall Was it polemically sent l want to know what you meant I want to know, I want to know what you meant, yeah