By Douglas White Fifty-seven years ago this year, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, and the man that would come to be known by many as the Face of Metal, Ozzy Osbourne, broke into the scene.
Black Sabbath formed in Birmingham (that’s England for you scholars). In 1979 Osbourne was booted out of Sabbath for, believe it or not, substance abuse “”ISSUES.”” In the ensuing forty years, he has released, (according to Wikipedia), twelve studio LP's (counting Common Man), five live albums, seven compilation albums, five EP’s, sixty-three singles, nine video albums, and thirty-nine music videos (the things MTV use to play). From the Blizzard of Oz forty years ago to the just-released Ordinary Man, he’s been making solid rock. This new record FOR THE MOST PART has not deviated from the successful formula OZZY has had. And as I said, for the most part.
The record features performances by a couple of “uncommon collaborators,” they being Slash, Post Malone and Sir Elton John. The LP was released on the EPIC label and produced by Andrew Watt (also playing guitar) and Louis Bell, featuring Duff McKagen of GnR on bass, and Chad Smith of the Chili Peppers on drums. There were also appearances by Post Malone (The man who must succeed in music because he’ll never get a job anywhere else) and Tom Morello.
Overall it’s an enjoyable album, but a couple of the songs, track ten “It’s a Raid” and track eleven “Take what you want” in particular, starts decently and has decent bits but then slides into a bubblegum factory. Using voice modulations that reminded me more of a song by Cher.
Track one “Straight to Hell” is an excellent classic Ozzy tune. His voice is strong, and the instrumentals kick ass. Track two “All my life,” is a little slow, but it’s trademark Ozzy power ballad. The beginning and overall tone of track three “Goodbye,” and track eight S.L.G.M sound similar. Track four “Ordinary Man” featuring Elton John is an Elton / Ozzy Beatles like power ballad. Track five “Under the Graveyard.” Track six “Eat Me,” gets a thumbs up. Track seven “Today is the End.” Track eight “Scary Little Green Men” is another ballad-like track that morphs into a rousingly fun song. The only issue is the scary green man’s voice sounds more Japanese than E.T. Track nine “Holy for tonight” all are typical Ozzy tunes. Track three and nine sound as if they feature Slash. Track Ten “It’s a Raid” featuring Post Malone takes off from the first note then nose dives into a 60s Herman’s Hermits like track. Track eleven “Take what you want” is also a Post Malone track.
A couple of the tracks remind me of his collaboration with Rock Goddess Lita Ford. Osbourne needs not come up with anything new. At age seventy-one and recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Ozzy can rest on his laurels, he’s done anything but. After a recent stem cell treatment in Panama, daughter Kelly commented that he was much better than he had been. Parkinson’s is a debilitating age related disease that causes tremors, slow movement, rigid muscles, loss of balance and in about 50% of those afflicted, hallucinations (and not the good kind). Thankfully he’s doing better. Lets hope that LP thirteen shows up sooner than a decade. About Douglas White I'm the Grumpy Old Bastard, EMSU Media photographer and reviewer. I'm not an audiophile (go look it up for fuck's sake), or a musician. I will give you honest concert and music reviews, some that will come with my excellent photography. (vain much? not!). You'll get an honest opinion of the music being beholden to no one. I listen to rock, period! I don't like rap or any of that pop shit. Also, what I affectionately call "growlers." You know the ones. They front for bands that are usually solid musicians. They get up on stage and start "grrr grrrrrgrr grrrr." Just pisses me off. Douglas White Cerberus Photography www.cerberusphotos.com www.whitesconcertpix.com