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Changes (Black Sabbath song)

Song by Black Sabbath
from the album Vol. 4
Released25 September 1972[1]
GenreSoft rock
LabelWarner Bros.

"Changes" is a song by Black Sabbath. It first appeared on Vol. 4 which was released in 1972. Pitchfork author Stephen Deusner labeled it as one of Black Sabbath's best songs.


The song's piano melody was composed by guitarist Tony Iommi, who was experimenting with the instrument in the studio.[2] The lyrics were by bassist Geezer Butler,[2] and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne has referred to the song as "heartbreaking". Quite different from Sabbath's previous work, the song was described as a "forlornly pretty" ballad by critic Barney Hoskyns.[3] It was inspired mainly by Bill Ward's breakup with his first wife.[2]

"We're certainly not going to get any less heavy," Ozzy promised in 1972. "We will probably do 'Changes' on stage with a Mellotron but we'll never take strings on stage with us or anything like that."[4]

The song was performed live in 1973[5] but very seldom in years following.

The song was covered by soul artist Charles Bradley on his 2016 album called Changes. Bradley’s version has since been featured as the theme song of the Netflix animated series Big Mouth. That version also appeared in the first season of the HBO series "Big Little Lies", and is included on that soundtrack as well.

"Changes" was ranked the 12th best Black Sabbath song by Rock - Das Gesamtwerk der größten Rock-Acts im Check.[6]

Personnel (original version)

Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne version

Single by Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne
from the album Shut Up
Released30 September 2003
FormatCD single
Producer(s)Mark Hudson
Ozzy Osbourne singles chronology
"In My Life"
Kelly Osbourne singles chronology
"Shut Up"
"One Word"

Three decades later, Ozzy recorded another version of the song, this time with his daughter, Kelly Osbourne as a duet. The revised lyrics for this version, released in 2003, reflect the moments of their life together. The single reached number one on the UK Singles Chart and reached the top 20 in Germany, Ireland and Norway.

According to the Ozzy Osbourne official website, the single sold over one million copies.[7]

This version of the song was number 27 on the "50 Worst Songs of the '00s" list in a 2009 Village Voice article.[8]

Track listing

  • UK CD Single Pt. 1
  1. "Changes"
  2. "Changes" (Felix Da Housecat Remix)
  3. "Come Dig Me Out" (live)
  • UK CD Single Pt. 2
  1. "Changes"
  2. "Changes" (Who's The Daddy Dub Mix)
  3. "Changes" (enhanced video)


Weekly charts

Chart (2003–2004) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 31
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[10] 4
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 15
Ireland (IRMA)[12] 7
Norway (VG-lista)[13] 15
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[14] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[15] 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 1
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[17] 1
UK Rock and Metal (Official Charts Company)[18] 2
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[19]
Felix Da Housecat Remix

Year-end charts

Chart (2003) Position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 7
Chart (2004) Position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 35


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Gold 400,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Charles Bradley version

Charles Bradley recorded a cover of the song in a soul music style. It was first released as a Record Store Day Black Friday single in 2013,[23] and would later be released as the title track of Bradley's 2016 album Changes.

The following year, Bradley's cover received increased exposure when it was used as the theme song to the Netflix-produced adult animated sitcom Big Mouth.[24] The series' cast members Maya Rudolph and Jordan Peele also performed a version of the song for the series' soundtrack.

Eminem Sample

"Going Through Changes", which samples Black Sabbath's "Changes", depicts Eminem's sorrow and shows himself trapped within fame in his 2010 album "Recovery".[25]


  1. ^ []
  2. ^ a b c Osbourne, Ozzy (2011). I Am Ozzy. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0446569903.
  3. ^ Hoskyns, Barney (2009). Into The Void: Ozzy Osbourne And Black Sabbath. Omnibus Press. p. 104. ISBN 9780857121066.
  4. ^ "Sabbath – Clocking on in the States". Sounds. 30 September 1972.
  5. ^ "Devil worship and four-letter words: Black Sabbath in Sydney, 1973". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  6. ^ Rehe, Christoph (2013). Rock - Das Gesamtwerk der größten Rock-Acts im Check: alle Alben, alle Songs. Ein eclipsed-Buch (in German). Sysyphus Sysyphus Verlags GmbH. ISBN 3868526463.
  7. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne Official Website - Biography". Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  8. ^ Johnston, Maura (3 December 2009). "The 50 Worst Songs of the '00s, F2K No. 27: Kelly Osbourne and Ozzy Osbourne, "Changes" | Village Voice". Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  9. ^ " – Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne – Changes" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Hits of the World – Eurocharts" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 115 no. 52. 27 December 2003. p. 147. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  11. ^ " – Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne – Changes". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Changes". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  13. ^ " – Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne – Changes". VG-lista. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  15. ^ " – Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne – Changes". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  20. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2003" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  21. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2004" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  22. ^ "British single certifications – Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne – Changes". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  23. ^ Blistein, Jon (8 December 2015). "Charles Bradley Preps 'Changes' LP With Powerful Black Sabbath Cover". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  24. ^ []
  25. ^ Smile, Chelsea. "12 Rappers Who Are Inspired By Rock Music". Loudwire. Retrieved 18 June 2020.

External links