The 50 Worst Songs of the ’00s, F2K No. 27: Kelly Osbourne and Ozzy Osbourne, “Changes”


Someone figured out a way to make Ozzy even more incoherent!

In retrospect, it’s hard not to see The Osbournes as the first sign that the modern world was entering its Post-Dignity Era: The sight of the Prince Of Darkness doddering around his house, his brain turned to mush by the colony of ants that took up residence in his head after that unfortunate incident with the straw. The Osbournes laid out the template that so many K-listers would follow all over the basic-cable spectrum: 1. Act like an idiot even though there are cameras around; 2. Get the chattering classes to remember that you exist; 3. Profit (or at least prep some remainder-bin-ready books and CDs). Ozzy and Sharon’s daughter Kelly’s contribution to the cause was her solo album Shut Up, which dropped a mere eight months after the show’s MTV debut. To add to its hilarity factor, it included a cover of Madonna’s teen-pregnancy anthem “Papa Don’t Preach,” which was apparently chosen solely for its father-rebuking title, and not because of any surprising “Kelly is knocked up” plot twists planned for future Osbournes seasons.

Shut Up flopped — what did you expect from a record with one of the most asking-for-it titles since Shark Sandwich — but the Osbournes barreled on anyway, reissuing the thing on a new label (Sanctuary) with a couple of additions. There were a few live tracks, and a new title tune: A cover of the mournful Black Sabbath ballad “Changes,” which became the recast record’s new title track. Well, the version isn’t so much a cover as it is a reimagining of the song, with the song transformed into a father-daughter sobfest about the trials of… breaking up the family? Ozzy being banished to VH1 Classic because of MTV honchos’ thoughts on his advanced age? Kelly going to college? Ozzy getting lost on the way to the loo and never being heard from again? You tell me!

In the original, the lyrics to the second verse go like such:

We shared the eves
We shared each day
In love together
We found a way

But soon the world
Had its evil way
My heart was blinded
Love went astray

The Kelly/Ozzy duet turns that affair confessional into this…

We’ve shared the years
We’ve shared each day
I love you daddy
But I found my way

You know the world
Is an evil place
My baby is grown now
She’s found her way

What? The next verse gets into rambling about Ozzy paying Kelly his “last goodbyes,” which doesn’t really help clear up the confusion over whether or not the Ozzy Osbourne who’s been padding around our televisions these past few years is actually some sort of zombie impostor. And let’s not even get into the whole Electra-complex undertones implied by this song’s Sharon-engineered subject shift.

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