Ozzy Osbourne fired a surprising name for making a big mistake when recording Blizzard of Ozz. Max Norman told The Metal Voice about Ozzy firing producer Chris Tsangarides. Ozzy Osbourne Asked A Big Name To Replace Randy Rhoads.
“I like Chris [Tsangarides], a very nice guy. But one of the mistakes that Chris made was – underneath the control room, and this is an old 16th-century barn, it wasn’t very high, and underneath the control room was a stone room – or a concrete room.
“It was only seven feet high [around 2.1m], and Chris made the mistake of putting the drums in there. And I tried to explain to him that this room is too small, and everything’s just gonna go splash. And that’s exactly what happened.
“I tried to explain to Chris but he wanted to do his own thing, so I left it alone. But I felt that it sounded quite bad, and so I would say to Chris, ‘Yeah, dude, you should go down on the studio floor and talk to the guys, man-to-man.’
“So he goes, ‘Yeah, good idea.’ So he went down there, and I closed the door, and then I’d turn off all the headphones, and I’d rebalance it, and try and make it sound as good as possible. And then the band would come up to the control room and listen.
“So we did this for about four or five days, then I was just like, ‘He’s not getting it.’ Because normally, I would set up a balance and I wouldn’t move stuff around that much, I would try to improve on the balance and tweak it.
“But Chris was from a different school, he would pull down all the faders, zero everything, and then just build it from scratch real quick. And to me that’s like, ‘You learn what to do, you just threw all that away, and now you’re trying to recreate it again.’ That’s not the way I would work.
“People can do that and it’s just a different way of working, but after about five days, I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to do this anymore because he’s not getting it, he’s not seeing the way forward with it.’
“So eventually I stopped rebalancing it, and the band would come in, and they all kind of looked at each other, and there was like some raised eyebrows. So eventually they said, ‘Look, Chris, this isn’t working out,’ blah-blah-blah…
“And then Ozzy called me, he was sitting up at Tony Andrews’, the Frank Andrews’ brother, had a house just a bit north of the studio right up there, we could walk to it. So Ozzy called me on the intercom and he said, ‘Come up here, I want to talk to you.’
“So I went up there and he goes, ‘Dude! Dude, what the fuck?! Dude, that guy’s fucking gone! Can you do it?’ ‘Yeah, sure.’ ‘Alright, you’re doing it!’ And that was it.”
The interviewer said, “And Chris has created masterpieces as well, we’re not knocking Chris here, no [Chris worked with Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen, and many more].”
Norman responded, “Oh, absolutely.”
I’m a huge fan of Chris. But it’s an honor to be fired by Ozzy because everybody gets fired by Ozzy.
“Well, I did get fired. And sued a few times too. It’s a bit of a shame, but these things happen. You move on. Everybody gets fired at some point, everybody moves on, and you get used to it.
“You do the best you can, and if people aren’t seeing eye to eye, then it gets moved on. I felt kind of bad at the time but it wasn’t clicking with Chris.
“Sometimes it doesn’t click, and then if it doesn’t click, you’re better off, everybody’s better off to just part company. That’s basically what happened there.” Ultimate-Guitar transcribed his comments.