Ozzy Osbourne has a checkered history with animals. There was the infamous time he bit off the head of a bat, a similar incident involving two white doves, and a less bloody but still quite gross experience when he accidentally made a pack of pigs defecate.
The latter incident took place in England while Osbourne was shooting a music video for “Miracle Man,” which was poised to be the lead single from Osbourne’s 1988 album No Rest for the Wicked.
The song’s lyrics ridiculed Jimmy Swaggart, the televangelist who had spent years criticizing rock and heavy metal, with much of his ire directed at the former Black Sabbath singer. Swaggart claimed Osbourne was a Satanist and described his music (and other rock like it) as “pornography and degenerative filth which denigrates all the values we hold sacred.” So, when Swaggart got caught up in a sex scandal with a prostitute in February 1988, Osbourne saw his chance to take some shots of his own.
The lyrics to “Miracle Man” pulled no punches, saying in part: “Miracle man got busted, miracle man got busted / Today I saw a miracle man, on TV cryin’ / Such a hypocritical man, born again, dying / He don’t know where he’s goin’ but we know where he’s been / It was out little Jimmy sinner / Our eyes are on the screen.”
Watch Ozzy Osbourne’s Video for ‘Miracle Man’
If the lyrics weren’t enough, Osbourne determined he’d drive home his point via the song’s music video. Here’s where the pigs come in.
The shoot was taking place at a scenic old church in England, with Osbourne donning a Swaggart mask. The singer had the chapel filled with pigs, a fairly obvious metaphor for swine hiding within the church. Unfortunately, Osbourne didn’t take into account how heavily amplified music might affect the animals.
“When the music went on, the pigs all took a massive shit at the same time – because it was so fucking loud in there,” Osbourne later told Guitar World. “My wife went, ‘Oh, fuck!’ The playback started and they all went pfffffftttt! Sixty pigs shitting! I had a pair of brand-new suede boots on, and I never wore them again. I couldn’t get the fucking smell of pig shit out of them.”
Fans’ response to “Miracle Man” was only slightly more enthusiastic than the pigs. The single stalled at No. 87 in the U.K. and failed to chart in any other country. Still, No Rest for the Wicked, which arrived on Sept. 28, 1988, was a commercial success. The album sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S.
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