11 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“I’m 71 and I don’t f**kin’ understand how I got there,” Ozzy Osbourne tells Apple Music. “I can remember times when I've f**kin’ woken up, puke down me. I’ve f**kin’ woken up with a bed full of blood, when I’ve fallen down and banged my head.” It’s not like Ozzy Osbourne hasn’t tackled the subject of death before. Fifty years and one week prior to the release of this album, on the very first song on Black Sabbath’s debut LP, he asked Satan: “Is it the end?” Here, though, on his 12th solo album, and first in a decade, he’s thinking about it a little more seriously. On “Holy for Tonight,” he ponders: “What will I think of when I speak my final words? … What will I think of when I take my final breath?” On the title track, a soaring ballad featuring Elton John, live strings, and a choir, he admits, “Don’t know why I’m still alive/Yes, the truth is I don’t wanna die an ordinary man.”

Let’s get one thing straight: There is zero chance of Ozzy Osbourne dying an ordinary man. Nor Elton, for that matter—or anybody else involved in making this record. At the helm is Andrew Watt, a guitarist who got to know Osbourne while working on Post Malone’s track “Take What You Want” (which you’ll also find at the end of this record). Watt enlisted some famous friends to help, and the first call was to Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. “I was like, ‘Ozzy wants us to make an album,’ and he was like, ‘When? When are we doing it? Let's do it. Let's do it. Let's do it,’” Watt says. “I was like, ‘Wow, okay. He really wants to do it, and we need a bass player.’ So I called Duff [McKagan] up, from Guns N' Roses…and Duff was like, ‘When? When? When? When?’ Same thing, same enthusiasm.” The result is an epic release that stares time and mortality squarely in the face, but still has time for toilet humor, aliens, cannibals, and that time in 1972 when Osbourne did so much cocaine he accidentally called the police on himself. (“I thought it was an air conditioning button,” said Osbourne of the story behind the punky “It’s a Raid.” “It was a f**king Bel Air patrol.”)

Considering Osbourne has publicly battled health issues for decades, and in 2019 was diagnosed with a form of Parkinson’s disease, the mere existence of Ordinary Man is quite extraordinary. Watt, Smith, and McKagan have nailed the balance of heavy-as-hell riffs (notably opener “Straight to Hell”) and heartstring-tugging rock ballads (“Under the Graveyard” and the title track in particular), while “Today Is the End” hits like a snarling Metallica/Alice in Chains hybrid—both bands he inspired. Meanwhile, the massive drums and pitch-shifted voice intro on “Goodbye” are a clear nod to “Iron Man.” After singing, “Sitting here in purgatory, not afraid to burn in hell/All my friends are waiting for me, I can hear them crying out for help,” the Prince of Darkness ends the song with a crucial question: “Do they sell tea in heaven?”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“I’m 71 and I don’t f**kin’ understand how I got there,” Ozzy Osbourne tells Apple Music. “I can remember times when I've f**kin’ woken up, puke down me. I’ve f**kin’ woken up with a bed full of blood, when I’ve fallen down and banged my head.” It’s not like Ozzy Osbourne hasn’t tackled the subject of death before. Fifty years and one week prior to the release of this album, on the very first song on Black Sabbath’s debut LP, he asked Satan: “Is it the end?” Here, though, on his 12th solo album, and first in a decade, he’s thinking about it a little more seriously. On “Holy for Tonight,” he ponders: “What will I think of when I speak my final words? … What will I think of when I take my final breath?” On the title track, a soaring ballad featuring Elton John, live strings, and a choir, he admits, “Don’t know why I’m still alive/Yes, the truth is I don’t wanna die an ordinary man.”

Let’s get one thing straight: There is zero chance of Ozzy Osbourne dying an ordinary man. Nor Elton, for that matter—or anybody else involved in making this record. At the helm is Andrew Watt, a guitarist who got to know Osbourne while working on Post Malone’s track “Take What You Want” (which you’ll also find at the end of this record). Watt enlisted some famous friends to help, and the first call was to Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. “I was like, ‘Ozzy wants us to make an album,’ and he was like, ‘When? When are we doing it? Let's do it. Let's do it. Let's do it,’” Watt says. “I was like, ‘Wow, okay. He really wants to do it, and we need a bass player.’ So I called Duff [McKagan] up, from Guns N' Roses…and Duff was like, ‘When? When? When? When?’ Same thing, same enthusiasm.” The result is an epic release that stares time and mortality squarely in the face, but still has time for toilet humor, aliens, cannibals, and that time in 1972 when Osbourne did so much cocaine he accidentally called the police on himself. (“I thought it was an air conditioning button,” said Osbourne of the story behind the punky “It’s a Raid.” “It was a f**king Bel Air patrol.”)

Considering Osbourne has publicly battled health issues for decades, and in 2019 was diagnosed with a form of Parkinson’s disease, the mere existence of Ordinary Man is quite extraordinary. Watt, Smith, and McKagan have nailed the balance of heavy-as-hell riffs (notably opener “Straight to Hell”) and heartstring-tugging rock ballads (“Under the Graveyard” and the title track in particular), while “Today Is the End” hits like a snarling Metallica/Alice in Chains hybrid—both bands he inspired. Meanwhile, the massive drums and pitch-shifted voice intro on “Goodbye” are a clear nod to “Iron Man.” After singing, “Sitting here in purgatory, not afraid to burn in hell/All my friends are waiting for me, I can hear them crying out for help,” the Prince of Darkness ends the song with a crucial question: “Do they sell tea in heaven?”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.0 out of 5
387 Ratings

387 Ratings

Kat1754 ,

Like Fine Wine

Ozzy gets better and better with age! If the 3 tracks are anything like the rest of the album, we, the fans are in for an amazing ride! Been a fan since the beginning of BS and 65 years young. I can definitely say there is, nor will there ever be another Ozzy Osbourne, The Prince of Darkness, who is absolutely “Not An Ordinary Man” 🖤

Definitelyarocker ,

Die hard fan here

I own every studio album he has ever released as a solo artist, everything he has done with Sabbath. I have been a gigantic fan since I was 12. I am so happy this album exists after all this time, 10 years is a long time to wait for a new solo album, and yet I thought it would be better then it is. Many of Ozzy's albums are good from top to bottom, but this album is strictly just a good album, not a great one. Its a Raid his most recent single is probably the biggest stinker of the batch. Its like a punk track that will undoubtedly stick out like a sour thumb in Ozzy's song history. Why that was picked as a single I have no idea, its worse than Straight to Hell which in itself is still not a strong song. Still the majority of the album is good, and if you are an Ozzy fan you should buy it. Take What You Want with Post Malone is a great bridge song between genres. All My Life, Goodbye, Ordinary Man, Under the Graveyard, Today is the the End, Scary Little Green Men, and Holy for Tonight are all pretty good Ozzy tracks, and make sense for where Ozzy musically is right now. Guys its not 1980, this isnt going to sound like Blizzard of Ozz, Ozzy didnt just leave/get fired from Sabbath. Its not 1991, its not going to sound like No More Tears, Ozzy isnt trying to get sober, he is sober. Its not going to sound like some of his classic albums, because that is just not Ozzy now, this is Ozzy now and nobody forces you to like it. But if you are a real fan, give it a shot, and be thankful Ozzy is even still able to release new music. After all the guy has like almost died like 50 million bajillion times, but hopefully this isnt the last Ozzy release. But if it is, I am thankful it exists. Even if it could be a little better.

Tony "The Man" ,

Ozzy at his finest!

First three tracks are classic Ozzy. Love it.

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