Guitarist Zakk Wylde shares the 10 albums that changed his life

By Jeb Wright

If there is one thing that we’ve learned from guitarist Zakk Wylde, it’s that you never know what entertaining tidbit or tale he might share during a conversation. Well, that, and his language will be at least as colorful as the story he’s sharing.

Zakk Wylde/Scott Uchida photoWylde’s list of the albums that changed his life is no different. For starters, he willingly admits that he watched “The Sonny & Cher Show.” And — file this one under “irony” — he confesses that the Black Sabbath album “We Sold Our Soul For Rock And Roll” initially scared the crap out of him.

Clearly, he recovered from the latter — fortunate given Wylde’s lengthy tenure as guitarist for Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne prior to his time at at the helm of Black Label Society. (No word on whether Wylde noticed any lasting damage from his exposure to Sonny and Cher.)

Elton John's Greatest Hits Vol. 2Elton John
“Greatest Hits Vol. 2

This was my first introduction to music and how powerful it is. I saw Elton on “The Sonny & Cher Show” back around 1976, or something like that, and he played “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” I was just completely floored, and I got chills. I remember being a kid and me just falling in love with Elton John and how bad-ass he was.

Your first introduction to something when you are a kid is powerful. I remember telling someone, “I really love that one song by Elton John, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’.” My buddy, who had all older brothers who turned us on to the kick-ass music back then, was like, “A**hole, it’s a f**king Beatles song, you f**king idiot.” Hell, I didn’t know. My first experience with James Bond was Roger Moore in “Moonraker,” which I just saw on TV the other day. Once again, I said that was my favorite Bond movie, and my friend’s brother goes, “You f**king suck. Sean Connery is f**king Bond.”

Black Sabbath We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' RollBlack Sabbath
“We Sold Our Soul For Rock And Roll

I remember seeing a skull — which was basically like Skully, but it had a lightning bolt going through it — and it said “Black Sabbath 666.” We were at the mall and my mother said I could get one record, so I ended up getting “We Sold our Soul for Rock and Roll” just to be a complete a**hole because it was a double album. It scared the sh*t out of me, because I had never heard of them. I had just heard of the name.

Ozzy Osbourne Blizzard of OzzOzzy Osbourne
“Blizzard of Ozz

Sabbath broke up, but back then I didn’t know what was going on. I just saw that Ozzy had a new band and was like, “OK, cool.” You’d just read about stuff in magazines. I heard Randy [Rhoads] for the first time … when you hear that stuff now, it brings you back to when you first heard it. When I hear this album, it is like a time warp.

Ozzy Osbourne Diary of a MadmanOzzy Osbourne
“Diary of A Madman

“Over the Mountain,” with the guitar solo, was amazing. I heard that, and I was like, “Oh, my God.” I still listen to music like this, as this music was larger than life.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse Live RustNeil Young & Crazy Horse
“Live Rust

We used to listen to that at parties all the time when we were kids.I still love this album.

Led Zeppelin Physical GraffitiLed Zeppelin
“Physical Graffiti

All of the Zeppelin albums should be on this list, but if I had to pick just one I would pick this one, as it has got two albums.


Robin Trower Bridge of SighsRobin Trower
“Bridge of Sighs

Robin is a killer player on all his albums, but especially on this one.

Frank Marino Mahogany Rush LiveFrank Marino & Mahogany Rush

Frank once said that his management company, which managed Aerosmith at the time, wanted him to be more like them, but he didn’t want to play the game. Frank wanted to go out there and be himself. You can go out there and do what others want you to do, and you end up making an a**hole out of yourself; you know what I mean.

The Eagles Hotel CaliforniaThe Eagles
“Hotel California”

This album has to be on the list, as it is one of the greatest albums of all time.

Various artists
The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company all have to be on this list, too. GM

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