Grammy-Winning Ozzy Osbourne Song ‘I Don’t Want to Change the World’ Started ‘As a Joke,’ Says Zakk Wylde
Accidents and jokes have led to some surprising achievements in and out of music and, according to Zakk Wylde, Ozzy Osbourne's Grammy win for the No More Tears hit "I Don't Want to Change the World" is one of those.
The song, which appears after opener "Mr. Tinkertrain" on the multi-platinum 1991 album, is the byproduct of some fooling around during the writing sessions while Ozzy was out of the room, which Wylde recollected in a recent interview for the latest issue of Guitar World.
"We were at Joe's Garage, Frank Zappa's old place, and we were jamming," the guitarist began. "I remember I was playing the main riff, and then I'd get through it and just stop. And then we'd say something into the mic, like, 'How not to ever get a date,' or 'I have no job and I live with my parents.' And then we'd go back into the riff."
"It was just us on the floor, crying-laughing and coming up with all this stuff that we kept saying in between that riff," Wylde continued before he explained how the riff took a turn and became the crux of a new song. "Then Ozzy comes walking into the room and he goes, 'What is that?' I'm like, 'What are you talkin' about?' And he says, 'That thing you're playing. That riff.' I go, 'Oh, it's just a joke...' And he goes, 'We're going to use that.'"
Wylde then exclaimed, "Next thing you know, it won a Grammy!”
The situation loosely echoes the circumstances that yielded Guns N' Roses' hit song "Sweet Child O' Mine," in which Slash was playing what he dubbed a circus-like riff that was more of a warmup exercise than something he felt could be used for the band.
The 1993 win at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards was the first of what later amounted to three overall victories in Ozzy's career as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award which was given to Black Sabbath in 2019. See all of those directly below.
Ozzy Osbourne Career Grammy Award Wins
1993 — Best Metal Performance With Vocal: Ozzy Osbourne, "I Don't Want to Change the World"
1999 — Best Metal Performance: Black Sabbath, "Iron Man" (live)
2013 — Best Metal Performance: Black Sabbath, "God Is Dead?"
2019 — Lifetime Achievement Award: Black Sabbath