The infamous British occultist Aleister Crowley is the subject of this song by heavy metal band Ozzy Osbourne. Released in 1980, the song explores Crowley’s enigmatic lifestyle and his association with dark forces.
The lyrics describe him as a tragic figure who “fooled people with magic” and talked to the dead. He led an alarming lifestyle, sexually promiscuous with both genders, and openly defied Victorian and post-Victorian prudishness toward sexual topics. He was also an adept occultist, and his ideas and secrets would become legendary in history.
As the song progresses, the protagonist questions what Crowley meant by his polarizing statements and actions. He asks, “Was it polemically sent?”
This question is echoed in the chorus, which calls upon Mr. Crowley to ride his white horse, a symbol of purity and nobility that contrasts with the dark reputation associated with the character. The singer’s desire to understand Crowley’s message reflects the underlying yearning that society feels for understanding its most polarizing cultural figures.
The lyrical and musical themes of the song are captivating, with powerful guitar riffs and haunting melodies adding to the intensity. A dark rock sound, reminiscent of bands like Black Sabbath, accentuates the song’s dramatic and mysterious nature. The track also features one of Osbourne’s most famous guitar solos, by Randy Rhoads. This guitar riff is recognized as one of the most iconic in heavy metal music. The song was penned by Osbourne along with his regular collaborators Bob Daisley and Randy Rhoads.