Mott the Dog: Ozzy Osbourne – Patient Number Nine

Ozzy Osbourne, The Prince of Darkness. Don’t looking into his gaze, protect your very soul from Rock’n’Roll. Too late for most of us.

Ozzy Osbourne. The Godfather of Metal, The Big Double O, The Prince of Darkness. What is there to say about him? Well actually heaps. The man is a true living legend. The genuine article.

Ozzy was with his three mates, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward when they changed the name of the band to Black Sabbath in 1969.

Success with the public was almost immediate, the band hit the scene with perfect timing, the youth of the day were all a bit sick’n’tired of all this Hippie Peace and Love Stuff of the Sixties, they wanted action. Black Sabbath gave it to them.

Tony Iommi’s heavy riffs, Geezer Butler’s weird lyrics, Bill Ward’s thunderous drums with some crazed madman at the front beseeching everybody to “Go Crazy”. Which they all did.

For ten glorious years Black Sabbath ruled the heavy metal scene, (Of course they still do. Editor’s note.) keeping the manufacturing companies of Coca- Cola in business.
Tensions in the band were always on edge, but reached a crescendo in April 1979, Tony Iommi knocked Ozzy out and evicted him from the band!

The whole world (Including Ozzy) thought that was it for Ozzy. End of the road. Ozzy was given less than 100,000 pounds as severance from Black Sabbath and hid himself away in a hotel room with booze and substances, in his thinking it was the last party before heading home to Birmingham, England, and the Dole.

The Motor Bike Rocker.

All except one man. One of the hardest men ever to become a Rock Band manager Don Arden signed Ozzy up, sending his rather mousy daughter Sharon round to look after him, making sure he had everything he wanted. Ozzy was a wreck, but salvageable. Sharon got him a band, and what a band. Two seasoned pros in Bob Dailey on Bass, also adding his invaluable songwriting skills. Lee Kerslake who is still recognized as one of the great Rock Drummers, who until recently had been in Uriah Heep. Plus, on Lead Guitar the wonder kid Randy Rhoads. Often not mentioned was the silent member of the band Don Airey, The Keyboard Wizard who was very involved in the first two albums and the road band.

Magic occurred.

Not for the last time Ozzy rose from the Ashes.

A succession of albums followed with Ozzy soon overtaking his old band mates in album sales, concert attendances, most importantly popularity.

It certainly was not all smooth sailing! The tragic death in a private plane accident of Randy Rhoads was devastating. Arrests, Punch Ups, Court Cases, periods in Rehab. So many tales.

With Sharon by his side Ozzy could still bite the head off the odd bat, but Sharon who had now transformed into a hard edged business woman, would always be there to sort it out.

When things went a bit quiet on the Rock scene in the 90’s and Ozzy was considered not cool enough for Leopallooza Festival, Sharon organized the Ozzfest for Ozzy to headline, soon outselling Leopallooza itself. The money was rolling in.


Ozzy The Wildman of the Eighties.

Although all Ozzy’s solo albums and tours went well, Sharon was always on the lookout for something new, usually groundbreaking. Ozzy started getting parts in movies, usually as himself but with great effect, then of course in 2002 came the Osbournes. A reality show about life in the Osbourne household, another smash hit that ran for four seasons.

He reunited with Black Sabbath for one more album and tour, which resulted in a Number One album 13 and a sellout World Tour entitled The End.

He went on several Retirement, Farewell tours, just always returning.

The life of the world’s biggest Rock’n’Roll warriors does not come without its price. Ozzy’s health is not what we would all like, but you cannot keep the Ozzman down because he cometh.

Anyone who saw his appearance on the closing ceremony to the Commonwealth Games will know that Ozzy is still game, huge great shiteating grin on his face as he belted out the lyrics to both Iron Man and Paranoid.

Now we have a new album. Patient Number Nine. “Doctor this patient needs his freedom.”

Released on Friday 9th September, this is certainly not a run through for the pipes and slippers brigade. This is a fully fledged Heavy Metal Rock Record, with Andrew Watt in the Producers chair.

There is over an hour of music here, no filler, all killer.

Ozzy leading the masses from the front. “Let’s All Go Crazy.”

Ozzy wrote all the songs with a couple of assists. Ozzy is Ozzy, and sounds in great throat, amused at times, the Prince of Darkness at others. It’s the same Ozzy we know and love. Nothing has changed there at all. Josh Homme is the guitarist!! Well, sorta!! Rallying to The Osbourne standard are an incredible list of A Level exponents of the Rock Guitar. To name them, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Mike McCready, and then two of Ozzy’s best former partners in crime Tony Iommi and Zakk Wylde. If that is not enough, sharing bass duties are Robert Trujillo, Duff McKagen, Chris Chaney, talk about bottom end. Then the drums are smitten by not only Chad Smith but also Taylor Hawkins (RIP). Gives the Rock World pause for celebration.

The guest appearances here are not just a sales pitch, these are some of Ozzy’s mates come to do battle. They work in Ozzy’s style (Hard ‘n’Heavy) whilst keeping their own identity.

A fine example of this is the opening title track, after some demented pleas from the patients to be let out, the band rip in with Ozzy in fine voice, but when Jeff Beck takes the guitar solo, heads roll.

Jeff Beck also features on A Thousand Shades, which leaves you begging the question, how can this be recreated on the live stage, without the pair joining forces on the boards?

The artwork for the cover of Patient Number Nine, I assure you the calm before the storm.

One Of These Days features Eric Clapton, Slowhand unleashes his fingers and gets the job done with raging bluesy riffs and a solo, the song itself has gentle verses, but a strident chorus, suiting the pairing well, while the band bustle along making sure there is no let up.

Mike McCready lends loads of riffs, with a blistering solo to Immortal (which by this time is how we feel about Ozzy.) this song would be the absolute pinnacle on many collections, but on this remarkable collection it fits perfectly.

There are four songs where Zakk Wylde steps up, it is so good to hear these two wild men of rock combining again. Mr. Darkness is probably my pick of the four, purely for its brutality, the hooks are like razors everything we have come to expect from this pair. All of these songs would’ve sounded at home at the top of their heyday together. Although they keep you on the edge of your ears wondering which way they are going to charge off at any given moment.

The most anticipated guitarist joining the fray has to be that of Tony Iommi the man who has had over a fifty year association with Ozzy. Appearing for the first time on an Ozzy solo album. It does not disappoint. No Escape from Now reeks of the Black Sabbath days (Well what else? When you put these two up there.) Ozzy gives us the Planet Caravan vocals effect in its Doom Metal setting within a warren of musical musing.

Zakk Wylde, Fellow Wild Man of Rock makes a massive contribution to this collection.

Degradation Rules is even better, Tony Iommi puts the hammer down as he plunders the riffs, whilst Ozzy pleads with you to listen, also bringing back memories with some wailing harmonica. Degradation indeed. This track could have easily been on any of Sabbath’s first five albums and would have been a highlight from the Sabbath reunion album 13 from 2013.

Pure joy for us old Headbangers to revel in. Let’s all hope there will be more creativity between these two.

The album is seen out by two fine slices of Ozzy before ending with fittingly the short Darkside Blues. (Perhaps an ode to Pattaya’s Dark Side!)

Ozzy Osbourne is 73 years old and undoubtedly at the very top of his game. Long may this present hot streak continue.

When Ozzy sings “Don’t Forget Me, Even When I Do….” You don’t know whether to laugh or cry, of course we won’t forget you, you silly sod, how could we?

Written by Mott the Dog.

Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi happy to be back together again.

Personnel on Patient Number Nine.
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals and Harmonica.
Jeff Beck – Guitar.
Tony Iommi- Guitar.
Zakk Wylde- Guitar.
Eric Clapton – Guitar.
Mike McCready -Guitar.
Josh Homme- Guitar.
Robert Trujillo – Bass.
Duff McKagen – Bass.
Chris Chaney -Bass.
Chris Smith – Drums.
Taylor Hawkins – Drums.

Jeff Beck shows his wild side on Patient Number Nine really letting rip, putting the pedal to the metal.

Patient Number Nine. (Featuring Jeff Beck.)
Immortal. (Featuring Mike McCready.)
Parasite. (Featuring Zakk Wylde.)
No Escape from Now. (Featuring Tony Iommi.)
One Of These Days. (Featuring Eric Clapton.)
A Thousand Shades. (Featuring Jeff Beck.)
Mr. Darkness. (Featuring Zakk Wylde.)
Nothing Feels Right. (Zakk Wylde.)
Evil Shuffle. (Featuring Zakk Wylde.)
Degradation Rules. (Featuring Tony Iommi.)
Dead and gone.
God Only Knows.
Darkside Blues.

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