It turns out Steve Vai isn’t sitting on an unreleased Ozzy Osbourne album after all: “I spoke a bit carelessly”

Steve Vai
(Image credit: Lisa Lake/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, Steve Vai seemingly revealed the existence of an album that he recorded with Ozzy Osbourne back in the 1990s – a revelation that unsurprisingly stirred up a fair amount of reaction from guitar fans.

However, the electric guitar virtuoso has now clarified his comments, posting a lengthy statement on social media that states such a record doesn’t exist, and that he “spoke a bit carelessly” while reflecting on his sessions with Osbourne.

As per Vai’s original comments to Eonmusic, he and the Black Sabbath frontman met to co-write a song for the latter’s 1995 Ozzmosis album – which turned out to be My Little Man – though got carried away and ended up recording an entire album's worth of material.

At the time, the Ibanez signature artist described the material on the album as “real heavy”, and said those pulling the studio strings nipped their activities in the bud when the two musicians began plotting to release their own album together.

Now, Vai has clarified that the material the pair wrote together was all for an Ozzmosis album that was already half-finished, and though Vai and Osbourne demoed a handful of track, only two rough cuts featured the latter’s vocals, and only one – My Little Man – made it on to the album.

The rest remained as demos, with Vai concluding that, though there is enough raw material for an album, they would require re-recording.

“In a recent interview I spoke a bit carelessly about 'Sitting on an entire Ozzy album' and then the clickbait headlines went viral,” Vai wrote. “To clarify, Ozzy and I got together back around '96 and spent some time trying to come up with some potential songs for an album that he already had half recorded. 

“That record later came out as Ozzmosis. We demoed a handful of tracks and then there was a bunch of tracks I built for him to check out. He ended up picking one song to use on his album and that’s My Little Man

“It was re-recorded with his band, and it came out great. Only one other demoed track from those sessions had an Ozzy scratch vocal on it and I handed in all the Master demo tapes to the label and kept safety tapes of the tracks I personally built. 

“All in all, there was (is) enough music for a whole record, but those songs would require re-recording. The demos are bumpy road maps but not the goal. I, like many Ozzy fans, would love if there was a secret hidden Ozzy album somewhere, only to be revealed to our surprised ears at a future time, but it wouldn’t come from those sessions. So sorry for the confusion.”

What particularly grabbed guitar fans’ attention from Vai’s original revelation was the fact he claimed to have recorded all the rhythm guitars for the now-debunked Ozzy album using an Octave Divider.

Without clarifying whether he meant the classic Mu-Tron Octave Divider or a similar effect, Vai said, “The interesting thing about that stuff we recorded from a guitar perspective is all of my rhythm guitar parts, I use an octave divider, and that record doesn't sound like anything else.

“There was some real, real heavy stuff because, as I mentioned, I used an octave divider on everything, and that was a conscious effort.”

Vai also revealed that one song the pair considered during their session back in the mid-’90s was an early cut of Dyin' Day, which was later reworked for the guitarist's 1996 solo record, Fire Garden.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.