That Time Ozzy Osbourne Rocked a Very ’90s Star-Studded Recycling PSA
You rarely will find Ozzy Osbourne in the same sentence as Charlie Daniels, B.B. King, Queen Latifah and MC Skat Kat but the early '90s were a weird time and in this instance you could find them all in the same video - a recycling PSA.
Osbourne joined a group of stars in musical reinterpretation of the classic song "Yakety-Yak" reimagined to tout the benefits of recycling. The clip features the musicians alongside a number of animated characters, which also targeted a younger audience as several commenters on this YouTube video recall it airing on Sesame Street.
It's a literal who's who of music (and in some cases who's that?) from 1991, with Osbourne, Lita Ford and Pat Benatar representing the rock community. '80s soundtrack king Kenny Loggins makes an appearance. So do singer-songwriter Randy Newman, blues legend B.B. King, R&B legend Barry White, country icon Charlie Daniels, Stevie Wonder, actress-singer Bette Midler, rappers Tone-Loc and Queen Latifah, pop vocalist Natalie Cole, legendary producer Quincy Jones and rising stars of R&B and country Al B. Sure and Ricky Van Shelton. And on the animated side you'll spot Bugs Bunny and the co-star of Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract" video, MC Skat Kat.
According to a Los Angeles Times article, the "Yakety Yak - Take It Back" PSA came from the Take It Back Foundation, which was founded a year prior to the video by Jolie Jones, the daughter of Quincy Jones. The clip initially premiered on MTV during National Recycling Day in April of 1991.
“The whole point of the video is not to point fingers at people, but to create an entertaining, user-friendly message that can empower people, especially young people,” said Jones. In addition to the video, a number of the musicians in the video also taped a series of service announcements airing on MTV and VH1. Among them was Jones' own father Quincy Jones who pointed out that the government was one of the biggest users of paper in the world.
It's not only a timely PSA for a timeless cause that's still essential today, but the video is also an interesting snapshot at 1991. Jones secured a great mix of iconic musicians who had already established themselves, included artists from the still somewhat new but growing in popularity rap/hip-hop world and plucked some additional rising stars that went on to varying degrees of success.
Check out this classic clip below:
Yakety Yak - Take It Back PSA