Ozzy Osbourne’s first album of new studio material, Black Rain, is scheduled for release on May 22. The first single will be “I Don’t Wanna Stop.” Fans can log onto ozzy.com to hear samples of the album from such songs as “I Don’t Wanna Stop,” “Not Going Away,” “Thank God for the Almighty Dollar,” “Civilize the Universe,” “Black Rain,” “Countdown’s Begun” and “Trap Door.”
Ozzy co-produced the album with Kevin Churko and recorded it with his touring band: Zakk Wylde (guitar), Mike Bordin (drums) and Blasko (bass). Osbourne says that he felt a new freedom while recording the album at his home studio in Los Angeles. The result: songs that are not only hard-hitting but adventurously arranged and sonically fresh. Explains the Ozzman, “It’s a well-put together album. I think it’s evident that it hasn’t been just slapped out and put down. I took my time on the album and Zakk plays some amazing stuff as always.”
Some of the songs on Black Rainare ominous in their emotional tone—they examine a world teeming with greed, war, deception, bad drugs (“11 Silver,” about crystal meth) and environmental havoc. Osbourne also zooms in on the overriding sense of fear and dread that define our times—perpetrated, he feels, by news programs that make “entertainment” out of terrible news events.
“I just thought there’s so much fucking bad news, the only way I can release it is to put it in a song,” says Osbourne. On the other hand, the new track “Civilize the Universe” offers a sense of hope, as Ozzy sings: “I’m alive/Watching better turn to worse/One more time/Try to civilize the universe.”
Osbourne will support Black Rain with a world tour beginning in Moscow on May 27, which continues through July 6. Then starting July 12 in Seattle, he’ll headline the 12th annual Ozzfest tour throughout America (ozzfest.com).
Ozzy is being honored in May on VH-1’s Rock Honors telecast. He will perform three songs on the broadcast including a track from Black Rain. Premiering on Thursday, May 24 at 9:00 PM ET/PT, VH1 Rock Honors, will be taped at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 12.