Drummer Cozy Powell, born Colin Flooks on December 29, 1947 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire was a member of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, M.S.G. and Emerson, Lake & Powell.
Cozy started playing drums in the school orchestra before joining his first band called the Corals with whom he played each week at the Youth Club in Cirencester. The nickname ‘Cozy’ derived from the jazz drummer Cozy Cole.
Next Cozy went round the circuit with the pop band, The Sorcerers. During this time, Cozy left school to work in an office in order to finance the purchase of his first set of drums. The Sorcerers performed in the German club scene of the 1960s.
By 1968 the band had returned to England, more specifically, Birmingham and this is where Cozy became friends with musicians like Robert Plant, John Bonham, Noddy Holder, Dave Pegg and Tony Iommi. The Sorcerers changed their name to Youngblood released a series of singles in late 1968-69. The group then linked up with The Move bassist/singer Ace Kefford, to form The Ace Kefford Stand. Cozy with fellow Sorcerers Dave and Dennis Ball, formed Big Bertha.
In 1970, Cozy drummed with guitar icon Jeff Beck’s group, but after the recording of two albums, ‘Rough and Ready’ (1971) and ‘Jeff Beck Group‘ (1972), the band dispersed.
In late 1972, Cozy joined up with the Ball brothers again, and with singer Frank Aiello to form Bedlam. One eponymous album was produced for Chrysalis Records and released in 1973. Beck’s studio producer had been Mickie Most and Cozy often found himself drafted in to work with artists signed to Most’s RAK label, including Julie Felix, Hot Chocolate, Donovan and Suzi Quatro.
During this time, Cozy recorded an instrumental solo single, ‘Dance With the Devil’ which reached number three in the UK singles chart during January 1974. A few months later, Cozy Powell’s Hammer was formed.
In the 70s he was a session drummer for Mickie Most’s RAK label, which released the single ‘Dance With the Devil.’
In 1976, Cozy joined Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. Cozy and Blackmore were the only constants in the band’s line-up over the next few years. Rainbow’s ‘Down to Earth‘ (1979) album proved to be the band’s most successful so far. Cozy decided to leave Rainbow after they headlined the first ever Monsters of Rock show at Castle Donington, England on August 16, 1980.
After Powell left Rainbow he worked with ex vocalist Graham Bonnet on Bonnet’s new project called Graham Bonnet & the Hooligans, their most notable single being the UK top 10 single ‘Night Games’ (1981), also on Bonnet’s solo “Line Up” album.
Cozy went on to perform with the Michael Schenker Group from 1981 to 1982, and Whitesnake from 1982 to 1984. In 1985 he started recording with Phenomena for their first album, which was released in 1986 when he joined up with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake as a member of Emerson, Lake & Powell. A stint with Gary Moore followed in 1989. Cozy’s most well-known project was Black Sabbath from 1988 to 1991, and again from 1995 – 1996.
In 1991, Cozy appeared on Comic Relief’s Number One single, ‘The Stonk’, with comedians Hale and Pace. He also made headlines when he appeared on the BBC children’s programme, Record Breakers, where he set a world record for being the world’s fastest drummer live on television.
Between late 1992 and early 1993, Powell put together an occasional touring band using the old band name ‘Cozy Powell’s Hammer’ featuring himself on drums, Neil Murray on bass, Mario Parga on guitar and Tony Martin on vocals.The band performed throughout Europe and appeared on German T.V.
Cozy and Neil Murray were members of Queen guitarist Brian May’s band, playing on the ‘Back To The Light‘ and ‘Another World‘ albums. Cozy played with Brian whilst opening for Guns N’ Roses on the second American leg of their ‘Use Your Illusion’ tour in 1993. The pair also served a spell with Peter Green during his come back in the mid nineties.
Tragically, Cozy died on April 5, 1998 in a car crash on the M4. He was 50-years-old.
In 2005, former Black Sabbath band mate Tony Martin released an album with Cozy on drums, via recordings Cozy made back in 1992.
*Rough & Ready (Jeff Beck Group, 1971)
*Clowns, Ed Welch (1971)
*Jeff Beck Group (1972)
*A Writer of Songs (Harvey Andrews, 1972)
*Clotho’s Web (Julie Felix, 1972)
*Cosmic Wheels (Donovan, 1973)
*You and Me (Chick Churchill, 1973)
*Nigel Lived (Murray Head, 1973)
*First of the Big Bands (Tony Ashton / Jon Lord, 1974)
*Peter & The Wolf (Various, 1975)
*Every Word You Say (Peter Sarstedt, 1975)
*The First Starring Role (Bob Sargeant, 1975)
*Rising (Rainbow, 1976)
*Fourteen Greatest Hits (Hot Chocolate, 1976)
*On Stage (Rainbow, 1977)
*Long Live Rock & Roll (Rainbow, 1978)
*Down To Earth (Rainbow, 1979)
*Over the Top (Cozy Powell, 1979)
*And About Time Too (Bernie Marsden, 1979)
*Monsters of Rock (Rainbow/various, 1980)
*Look At Me Now (Bernie Marsden, 1981)
*Tilt (Cozy Powell, 1981)
*M.S.G. (Michael Schenker Group, 1981)
*Line Up (Graham Bonnet, 1981)
*One Night at the Budokan (M.S.G. 1982)
*Before I Forget (Jon Lord, 1982)
*Pictures At Eleven (Robert Plant, 1982)
*Octopus (Cozy Powell, 1983)
*Slide It In (Whitesnake, 1984)
*Under a Raging Moon (Roger Daltrey, 1985)
*Finyl Vinyl (Rainbow, 1986)
*Emerson, Lake & Powell (1986)
*Who the Am Dam (Boys Don’t Cry, 1987)
*Sanne Salomonsen (1987)
*Triumph & Agony (Warlock, 1987)
*Forcefield I (1987)
*Super Drumming (Pete York/ Cozy Powell 1987)
*Long Cold Winter (Cinderella, 1988)
*Southern Region Breakdown (James Darby, 1988)
*K.2. (Don Airey, 1988)
*Forcefield II (1988)
*After the War (Gary Moore, 1989)
*Headless Cross (Black Sabbath, 1989)
*Timewatch (Minute By Minute, 1989)
*To Oz And Back (Forcefield, 1989)
*Live in Germany (Rainbow, 1990)
*Tyr (Black Sabbath, 1990)
*Let the Wild Run Free (Forcefield, 1991)
*The Connoisseur Collection Vol II (Ritchie Blackmore/ Various, 1991)
*The Drums are Back (Cozy Powell, 1992)
*Instrumentals (Forcefield, 1992)
*Back To The Light (Brian May, 1993)
*Live at Brixton Academy (Brian May, 1994)
*Forbidden (Black Sabbath, 1995)
*The Music of Jimi Hendrix (Various, 1995)
*The Sabbath (Black Sabbath, 1996)
*Baptism of Fire (Glenn Tipton, 1997)
*The Best of Cozy Powell (1997)
*Splinter Group (Peter Green, 1997)
*SAS Band (1997)
*Facing the Animal (Yngwie Malmsteen, 1997)
*Another World (Brian May, 1998)
*Twin Oaks/Especially For You (Cozy Powell, 1999)
*Scream (Tony Martin, 2005)
*Edge of the World (Glenn Tipton, 2006)