Earlier this summer, something remarkable happened. In the middle of Post Malone’s blockbuster genre-blurred album Hollywood’s Bleeding, Ozzy Osbourne, iconic metal wailer and doddering TV dad, showed up on what was basically an old-school lighters-up power ballad. And he sounded incredible. This guy was out here looking like shambling death on American television 17 years ago, and he’s notoriously needed teleprompters to get through his live shows forever, but that voice still just came ripping out of him. (If studio trickery was involved, then it was some beautifully executed studio trickery.) With that appearance on “Take What You Want,” Osbourne reduced Travis Scott, also on the song, to atoms, and he scored his first top-10 hit in 30 years. So naturally, he’s got a new album coming out.
Osbourne has been talking about a new LP since “Take What You Want” landed, and he’s been enthusing about how much he loves that song. So it’s not particularly surprising to learn that Osbourne made the album with producer and Posty collaborator Andrew Watt on the new album Ordinary Man, which is set to come out early next year. Watt played guitar on the album, and he’s got some ringers with him. The LP also features Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan on bass and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith on drums. Longtime Osbourne sideman Zakk Wylde does not appear.
Ordinary Man will be Osbourne’s first studio album in a decade — his big return after 2010’s Scream. Osbourne also sang on the surprisingly robust Black Sabbath reunion album 13 in 2013, but that’s still a long time! Ozzy Osbourne is 70, and he has survived the kind of debauchery that would’ve killed most of us 15 times over. For him to be making music at all is pretty amazing. For him to be sounding good is even crazier.
And “Under The Graveyard,” Osbourne’s new single, is pretty good! It’s some real studio-rock, with echo effects all over Osbourne’s voice and ultra-processed guitar crunch. But if you grew up with this guy, it’s still satisfying to hear him yowling about “we all die alone” over delicate filigrees that turn into big riffage. Osbourne co-wrote the song with Andrew Watt, Chad Smith, and — huh — BTS collaborator Ali Tamposi. Below, listen to the song and read Osbourne’s delightful press-release quote about the new album.
It all started when [my daughter] Kelly comes in and says, “Do you want to work on a Post Malone song?” My first thing was “Who the fuck is Post Malone?!” I went to Andrew [Watt]’s house and he said, “We will work really quick.” After we finished that song, he said, “Would you be interested in starting an album?” I said, “That would be fucking great,” but now I am thinking I don’t want to be working in a basement studio for six months! And in just a short time, we had the album done.
Duff [McKagan] and Chad [Smith] came in, and we would go in and jam during the day, and I would go work out the songs in the evenings. I previously had said to Sharon I should be doing an album, but in the back of my mind I was going, “I haven’t got the fucking strength…” But Andrew pulled it out of me. I really hope people listen to it and enjoy it because I put my heart and soul into this album.”
“Under The Graveyard” is out now on the streaming services. Ordinary Man doesn’t have a release date yet, but it’s coming early next year. Also next year, Osbourne will play a character in the animated movie Trolls World Tour, which, whoof.