Is Ozzy Plotting a Fall Solo Tour and New Album?
“The End” just meant Black Sabbath, not Ozzy.
That’s what Ozzy is now saying publicly, as Black Sabbath’s lengthy “The End” farewell tour is finally approaching its finale; while the North American leg ends August 17th, the group will close out their career with an 8-show set in the UK early in 2017.
Not that we should’ve expected otherwise — he’s always gone off and done his own thing whenever Sabbath was dormant (or with another singer). Shit, that’s how his solo career got started in the first place.
Said the Ozzman in a recent interview with Billboard:
It’s not me that wants to retire; it’s Black Sabbath. I’ll be continuing my own musical thing. My wife is good at telling me partial information, y’know, but I know I’m not hanging ’em up for awhile. Being Ozzy Osbourne solo again is not a job. It’s a passion. It’s a love. It’s the biggest, greatest love affair of my life.
While I’ve always preferred Ozzy’s solo work over Sabbath <ducking from Internet commenters lofting rotten tomatoes my way> — No More Tears is one of my favorite records of all time, by anyone — I’m not so sure I’d be interested in paying big money to see Ozzy’s solo band for the same reason I wasn’t into doing so for Sabbath: Ozzy is really old, man! He doesn’t get around that well, and his stage presence these days amounts to feebly jumping up and down with his patented frog-stomp and spraying the audience with water through a hose. Watching him perform just isn’t that much fun anymore.
That said… hearing songs from No More Tears and Blizzard of Ozz and Ozzmosis would be fucking sweet, man. It’s been a while. That might be cool. And I’m sure he’d bring some bombastic production to keep us occupied, too.
Epic Records president Sylvia Rhone also recently told Billboard that Ozzy’s got a new album in the works, a follow-up to 2010’s lackluster Scream. Says Rhone, “It’s going to be a really special album. It’s going to be amazing, it’s something Ozzy has never done before that he’s always wanted to do.” Interesting. An “Ozzy & Friends” production featuring high-profile special guests, perhaps? That seems less interesting to me than Ozzy live, but whatevs.
Ozzy’s most recent live solo band included guitarist Gus G., longtime bassist Rob “Blasko” Nicholson and drummer Tommy Clufetos, who also currently handles the skins for Black Sabbath in Bill Ward’s place. No word on whether that incarnation will remain intact, but I’d place good money on yes.
More as we learn it!