Ozzy Osbourne has shared his first new music in two years, the title track from his much-anticipated 13th solo album, Patient Number 9.
The track could not be any more Ozzy than if it jumped right out of the YouTube video frame and gnawed the head off a bat. For the Osbourne super-fan, this hits all the sweet spots.
Firstly, we have an all-star ensemble making it happen. While no official credits have been released, it has been widely reported that Ozzy's regular players for the forthcoming album will include Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on drums. Robert Trujillo of up-and-coming Bay Area metal hopefuls Metallica returns to his alma mater to play bass guitar, and there is another prodigal son of darkness Zakk Wylde on guitar/keys.
And the pièce de résistance here is a chef’s kiss of a six-string cameo as the inimitable Jeff Beck pops his head – and Fender Stratocaster – through the door of the studio to add typically conversational and imaginative lead guitar.
Secondly, well, it’s a most audacious work of box-office heavy metal songwriting, co-written with producer Andrew Watt. Like classic tracks such as Diary of a Madman and Revelation (Mother Earth), it broadens the canvas, seven-minutes-and-change of theatrical funhouse madness.
It opens to a melodic-stab of guitar and Ozzy’s inimitable air-horn drone, building to a chorus with a melody that’ll be mother’s milk to a stadium audience. And there’s a creepshow middle-eight, a soupçon of B-movie horror – Ozzy vs. the Quacks at some godawful Victorian mental institution – a bravura solo section supported by acoustic guitar and super-jumbo chords.
The Prince of Darkness is recuperating after surgery but he has not lost his sense of timing or occasion. This is a Friday Night track. The video will debut later today [10am EST / 3pm UK].
The album is out September 9 via Epic Records, and it is a who’s who of musical talent, with Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi, Duff McKagan, Mike McCready and more swinging by to guest on it. They reportedly tried to get Jimmy Page onboard. Maybe next time.