Independent of the song’s rather remarkable subject matter, it’s often overlooked that ”Mr. Crowley” is among heavy metal’s most melodic offerings, and a primary example of Ozzy Osbourne’s first-rate musical sensibilities. Gradually building in force and intensity, Osbourne’s vocals and their instrumental backing form a plaintive crescendo that draws the listener into the primary motif. The lyrics are often incorrectly assumed to be a glorification of notorious dark-side occultist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). Instead, with lines like “Your life style to me seemed so tragic” there is more implied disapproval, at least with Crowley’s results if not also with his methodology. The viewpoint ultimately seems to be one of fascination that has turned into disappointment. Initially released in 1980 on Osbourne’s first solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, ”Mr. Crowley”’s subject matter kept it from the air-play necessary for a song in that era to become a hit single. Nonetheless, ”Mr. Crowley” has proved enduringly popular, and has managed to become one of the few heavy-metal songs that is well-known outside of its genre.