Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee and Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Ozzy Osbourne has set Friday, February 21 as the release date for his new "Ordinary Man" album. Marking his first new solo music in almost 10 years, the album has been preceded by the release of two singles, the No. 1 rock track "Under The Graveyard", which was followed by "Straight To Hell" featuring GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash. The album's title track will be available instantly with any pre-order of the album.
"Ordinary Man" will be available as a standard CD, deluxe CD, black vinyl, deluxe gatefold swirl color vinyl, picture disc and digital album. In addition, all physical copies of the album will include a unique code that will allow the purchaser to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win one of over 300 Ozzy prizes (including an official Ozzy laminate to get into any show on the 2020 "No More Tours 2", meet-and-greets with Ozzy, a gift certificate to the Ozzy global store and much more).
"It was a lot of fun to do though it's a lot different from my other albums," Ozzy says of the album. "We recorded it quickly, which I haven't done since the first BLACK SABBATH album. This made it a different process, which I actually enjoyed."
Recorded in Los Angeles, the album features producer Andrew Watt on guitars, Duff McKagan (GUNS N' ROSES) on bass and Chad Smith (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) on drums. Beyond the core band, "Ordinary Man" features a who's-who of Ozzy friends and collaborators including Elton John, Post Malone and Tom Morello.
"It all just came together," Ozzy explains of the guest stars. "Slash is a dear friend of mine, as is Elton. When I was writing 'Ordinary Man', it reminded me of an old Elton song and I said to Sharon, 'I wonder if he would sing on it?' We asked, and lo and behold, he agreed and sings and play piano on the song."
The "Ordinary Man" title track can be streamed below.
Three days after the news of the surprise collaboration with Elton was broken by Ozzy's wife and manager Sharon on her daytime TV talk show "The Talk", Smith spoke about the project during an appearance on "Volume West", which airs daily on SiriusXM Volume channel 106.
Asked by host Lyndsey Parker how Slash came to be involved with the album, Chad said: "Having Ozzy do new music, anyone that we mentioned to, 'We're making music for Ozzy,' everyone wants in. Anyone we spoke to. So we wanted it to be the right people. We didn't wanna just throw in names for names. [We wanted] people that love Ozzy, which is pretty much everybody anyway, but that made sense. The single that's out now called 'Straight To Hell', he soloed at the end of that — classic Slash wah-wah, bluesy; great. But, really, we wanted him to play on this song that is the title song, which is called 'Ordinary Man' — this more midtempoey, kind of BEATLES… Ozzy loves THE BEATLES — it's his favorite band. He's going on about THE BEATLES — THE BEATLES, BEATLES, BEATLES. And you would think, the Prince Of Darkness — THE BEATLES, really? So he's, like, 'We need something midtempo, not so heavy.' So Andrew [Watt, 'Ordinary Man' producer] had this little piano idea thing, and we made it into this song, and it's epic. And Slash plays the solo. It's so epic, there's two Slash solos. [Laughs] It's a really good song. And he plays beautifully on it, and we're so happy to have him on it.'
According to Chad, Elton ended up playing on the record as an afterthought. "We decided, 'Well, [the song] has a piano. Who is a really good piano player? I don't know…. Let's get the Rocket Man,'" Smith recalled. "And so Andrew and I went down to Atlanta, where Elton John lives when he's on the East Coast. I think he kind of lives all over the place. And we recorded him. And he played the piano on the song, and he plays it beautifully, of course. And then we're, like, 'Why don't we have him sing a verse?'"
Chad went on to say that Elton and Ozzy both sound "fucking awesome" on the song. "These two iconic legendary English fucking rockers that have been through it all are singing about the end of their lives. 'I don't wanna die an ordinary man.' And it's fucking great," he said. "Me and Andrew are pinching ourselves. And Elton was so great, so gracious. 'I'll do anything for Ozzy. I love Ozzy.'
"And so on this 'Ordinary Man' song, you've got Duff McKagan, Slash, Andrew Watt, wonderboy producer, writer, hot-shit guy of the moment, great musician," he continued. "You've got the Prince Of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. You've got Sir Elton John, and a drummer from some other band. You've got the fucking Avengers of rock and roll. It's so fucking good. And at the end of this song, every time I hear it, there's this string thing at the end. We went to Abbey Road [studios], and it's strings and a choir. It's fucking epic, and every time I hear it, I'm, like, 'And the Grammy goes to…'"