Wolfgang Amadeus's Lonely Hearts Club Band got me into rock, says Ozzy

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The Independent Culture

Ozzy Osbourne might be the bat-munching prince of darkness but, deep down, the heavy metal icon likes nothing more than listening to the Beatles and thinks that Lennon and McCartney were "the Mozarts of our time".

Ozzy Osbourne might be the bat-munching prince of darkness but, deep down, the heavy metal icon likes nothing more than listening to the Beatles and thinks that Lennon and McCartney were "the Mozarts of our time".

The one-time Black Sabbath frontman, who has been turned into a reality television star is one of 20 leading musicians who have been invited to nominate their heroes for the compilation of a songwriters' Hall of Fame. Lennon and McCartney, said Osbourne, were the "f***ing catalyst for me to get into music". He added: "To me, they're the Mozarts of our time. The Beatles were the only band in rock 'n' roll history to go from a f***ing boy band to a psychedelic rock band."

The hall of fame, compiled by the music magazine Q, is dominated by songwriters from the Sixties, including Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson and Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Among the absentees are Michael Jackson and The Kinks' Ray Davies. Not a single woman is nominated.

Pulp frontman, Jarvis Cocker, chose Burt Bacharach and Hal David. He said: "When I was in Sheffield and not living in very pleasant circumstances, I would put one of their songs on, close my eyes and imagine I was living somewhere clean."

Mike Skinner of The Streets, who is named by Q as the songwriter of 2004 for his second album, A Grand Don't Come For Free, chose a contemporary hero, America rapper Eminem. He said: "I still get called the British Eminem in the States, so it would be perverse not to think he's great."But the selections of some of the other artists are more surprising. Tim Wheeler, of indie band Ash, opted for Abba's creative core, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.

Norman Cook, also known as Fatboy Slim, may have made his fortune from sample-led dance music but his song-writing idols are visionary punks Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of The Clash. He said: "They hung around with the right people and assimilated the coolest things about hip hop and reggae."

MY FAVOURITE SONGWRITER

MOBY ON DAVID BOWIE

My friends at school said David Bowie was gay and I wasn't allowed to like him, but I bucked conventional wisdom. He sang from the perspective of an older man even when he was young. He's a wistful observer and his best songs are laden with pathos and a little despair.

BADLY DRAWN BOY ON BOB DYLAN

Much as I love Springsteen, Dylan can't be touched; no one is going to catch up with him. He's done pop, melodic, challenging stuff. The way he mucked with structure is inspiring. He has the guts to continue a line of thought in his songs; it's not lyrics, it's a narrative."

MS DYNAMITE ON STEVIE WONDER

Stevie is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats. Besides his beautiful and touching love songs, he tackled the issues people faced within society during the 1960s and 1970s, such as racism and injustice."

HEROES AND ADMIRERS

Ozzy Osbourne - Lennon & McCartney

Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane) - U2

Badly Drawn Boy - Bob Dylan

John Frusciante - Page & Plant

Moby - David Bowie

Pete Waterman - Holland-Dozier-Holland

Jarvis Cocker - Bacharach & David

Conor Deasy (The Thrills) - Brian Wilson

Johnny Borrell (Razorlight) - REM

Chris Cester (Jet) - Jagger & Richards

Daniel Bedingfield - Prince

Ryan Adams - Morrissey & Marr

Fatboy Slim - Strummer & Jones

Wyclef Jean - Bob Marley

Mike Skinner - Eminem

Ms Dynamite - Stevie Wonder

Linda Perry - Kurt Cobain

Tim Wheeler (Ash) - Ulvaeus & Andersson

Pelle Almqvist (The Hives) - Lieber & Stoller

Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand) - Lou Reed

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