After waiting for what feels like an eternity, Ozzy Osbourne’s new record Patient Number 9 dropped in its entirety today, and – owing to the fact it features one of the most star-studded guitar casts of any album ever – it’s fair to say it’s been worth the wait.
That much was clear from the album’s first three singles – the title track, Degradation Rules and Nothing Feels Right – but the arrival of Patient Number 9 itself delivers guest appearances from the likes of Mike McCready and Eric Clapton, who are joined on the tracklist by Jeff Beck, Tony Iommi, Zakk Wylde and many more.
Clapton’s track, titled One of Those Days, is a particular highlight. With a distinct Slowhand sound permeating the six-string department, Clapton whacks on his wah pedal and reaches into his playbook of pentatonic bends for a decidedly Cream-flavored cameo.
Having spent most of the track weaving his instantly identifiable blues rock licks throughout the supporting progression, Clapton descends into a brief reprieve around the 2:40 mark via a flurry of hammer-on and pull-offs, before launching into a full-length solo.
Heavy on the bends and loaded with some impressive pentatonic sleight of hand, Slowhand’s solo rekindles Clapton’s heavier spark, with the blues guitar player letting loose for almost a full minute of soloing under heavier-than-usual circumstances.
It's likely the storming chord progressions that prop up Clapton’s cameo are dutifully supplied by Zakk Wylde, who revealed last year he would be playing rhythm guitar for all his “heroes” on the album.
Back then, Wylde said Clapton and co’s contributions were “awesome”, and now we’ve heard One of Those Days – along with the rest of Patient Number 9 – we’re inclined to agree.
Prior to Patient Number 9’s release, Osbourne spoke to The Guardian about his tentative tour plans for the album, and hinted at recording a follow-up with Tony Iommi – his former Black Sabbath bandmate who features on two of the new tracks.
“I’m saying to you I’ll give it the best shot I can for another tour,” he said. “You have not seen the end of Ozzy Osbourne, I promise you. If I have to go up there and die on the first song, I’ll still be back the next day.”
In a show of his evergreen performing abilities, Osbourne recently returned to his home city of Birmingham and reunited with Iommi to perform at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony.
Patient Number 9 is out now via Epic Records.