S-Tier Songs, Vol. 22

Time again for an S-Tier song. For the list of the others and also the ground rules of this whole deal, head to the main page.

Today it’s time for yet another singer to get his second song on the list. I’m still running with the “only one song per act” rule (it’s almost over), but being in two different projects or one band and solo outing works fine. Joining Bruce Dickinson and Maynard James Keenan as two-timers is the one and only Ozzy Osbourne, who has a prior S-tier song as a member of Black Sabbath and now gets one from his solo catalog.

Ozzy Osbourne – Steal Away (The Night)

Today’s song is the closing track from Ozzy’s debut solo album Blizzard Of Ozz, released in 1980. The album is a banger from front to back, so odds are good that this album will have other appearances on this list in the future.

Steal Away is an experience from the word go, and it starts immediately out of the prior song Revelation (Mother Earth). It is a jarring and pretty awesome way to kick the track off, and an experience that’s almost necessary to have a physical copy of to achieve. Digital music in a lot of forms has inserted gaps between songs, rendering this kind of playback ineffective. Though I did play with it on Spotify and it seems to hold up there with maybe just a nanosecond between the closing and opening notes.

There is a good variety of music on Blizzard Of Ozz, but the closing track is a pretty straightforward, high-engery rocker. There isn’t anything at all wrong with it – everyone is in top form on their instruments – the immortal Randy Rhodes on guitar, Bob Daisley on bass and Lee Kerslake with the drums. Add in Ozzy’s typically underrated sense of melody and we’re off to the races.

The song’s lyrical matter is not some deep plunge into existential lore – this is a song about enjoying the night and having a good time. It’s beyond the “party rock” stuff common to this decade, though. This is Ozzy truly living as the Prince of Darkness. Ozzy and whatever woman of the evening hours he has found are off on an adventure in lyrics that fit the music like a glove.

There is no talking about an early Ozzy song without talking more about the guitars. Randy Rhodes is in fine form here and playing a very nice riff that is certainly more than what the average guitar player would have brought to a tune like this, but also is not “full Rhodes” either. The solo, which gets a fair amount of time in this short song, does have a bit more of Randy on offer but even then he is playing more to the song in the full instrumental break as opposed to getting up to any virtuoso stuff.

Being that Steal Away The Night wasn’t a single, there isn’t a lot of statistics or lore to go over. The song did get played hundreds of times in the early Ozzy setlists, though it was taken out after 1985 and hasn’t been played live since (at least according to Setlist.fm) There is a live version on the 1987 Tribute album dedicated to Randy Rhodes – the song boasts an 8 minute runtime but is the song played normally then followed with a Tommy Aldridge drum solo.

Why is this an S-Tier song?

Steal Away The Night is a blistering track that showcases a great collection of talent. It is primarily the work of Randy Rhodes that shines, but this was a songwriting and recording effort that fires on all cylinders. It it a fun song that adds to the aura that Ozzy Osbourne would develop through the 1980’s and is also a great track for the ’80’s in general.

7 thoughts on “S-Tier Songs, Vol. 22

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s