Spin #88 : Ordinary Man : Ozzy Osbourne
SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #88
Welcome to our 88th Sunday drop from the R'nR with Rylo collection! If this is your first time clicking on our weekly blog, please let me explain. We have a modest, but growing collection of records and our little family enjoys spinning some on a weekly basis. I had an idea to start a blog with my wife as we document moments shared as a growing family. Our 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter are such characters and we didn't want to forget any of these moments. Plus I wanted to talk about some albums that have changed my life or added value to who I have become. If you read our blog each week (firstly, Thank You) and you know what you're in for.
Occasionally, we get some extra time and think about other ways to talk music or bring in viewers, but mostly because it's cathartic for myself (Rylo) and who doesn't enjoy spinning records! One day I will look back on these spins and laugh, cry and appreciate the time that we had together as a family. We are now selecting our 88th choice from the collection and it is the 2020 album, 'Ordinary Man' from the legendary Prince of Darkness - Ozzy Osbourne. I've had the pleasure of seeing him perform with Black Sabbath for their 'The End' world tour with my sister and we sadly missed out seeing him headline 'Download' festival, due to his accident in 2019. It would have been the time just before this album was released that Ozzy had the fall and everyone was just hoping that he would be ok. He had a lot of other things happen and the metal community really pulled together for him to show their support. Never good to hear of someone doing it tough and I'm glad that he has since been able to have surgeries and get his quality of life back on track. From what I hear on the podcast, he is very grateful and humble. He loves his grandchildren and always has time for his family. Plus he is one hell of a funny guy. If you haven't had a chance to check out their podcast yet then make sure you either stream the video of it on youtube (searching the Osbournes Podcast) or on Spotify.
I wanted to spin this one in the loungin (our children's word for lounge room) but they were watching Paw Patrol at the time. If you know children under 5 years of age then you also know not to turn off Paw Patrol after a big day. I decided to start spinning 'Ordinary Man' on our front room turntable and enjoy the nice breeze and sunshine. It isn't Summer yet so it's very pleasant and relaxing. It's really the mantra we have here at Rylo - Rest and Relaxation as we Review Records (R'nR).
Image: John 'Ozzy' Osbourne
It's time to #dropthestylus on this '20s metal album! Looking at the artwork on the front cover after putting the LP on the turntable. Ozzy has that grin on his face, or he might be yelling for eternity - not sure. We have an Audio-Technica turntable connected to the Marshall Woburn II speaker. Our son has decided that he has had enough of Paw Patrol and he wants to hear Ozzy. Good man. I love the fact that no matter how little they are, that they love good music when their little ears hear it. I remember our son only being able to sleep to Motley Crue when he was a little baby and I think that is pretty cool. The opening track on this album is called, 'STRAIGHT TO HELL'. I didn't realise until looking in to this album a bit more but the supporting artists on this song are - Slash and Duff McKagan from Guns N' Roses and Chad Smith on drums from Red Hot Chili Peppers. I like that Ozzy doesn't take himself too seriously and often makes me laugh with his comments. I'm thinking of an Osbournes show where Jack shows his mum and dad clips to convince them that spooky things exist. If you haven't had "Ball Lightning" stuck in your head at some point, then you need to watch an episode. I think it's called , The Osbournes want to believe or something.
The following song on Side A is called, 'ALL MY LIFE' and is a song about reflection. Something that I feel Ozzy does really well lyrically across his discography. It could possibly be because he has experienced a lot of good and bad and lived to tell the tale. I hope that he is well enough to keep releasing albums because you can hear him having fun as he sings. Everyone thought with the follow up, 'Patient No. 9' that it would be his last because that brings the tally of solo albums to 13. If you haven't had a chance to listen to that album then do yourself a favour and play that one after this one.
I always enjoy the little throwbacks to his early days and 'GOODBYE' has that sound of sludgy stoner metal elements all over it. Smith on the drums is hitting holes with such power and I really respected his drumming ability after hearing him on this album. I have to say too that the guitar work of Andrew Watt on this album is excellent. Watt and Ozzy just had a moment where they clicked and the next moment they were making an album together. I like Zakk Wylde a lot but hats off to Watt also. I know that Wylde is very close to Ozzy and he returned for the follow up album, 'Patient No. 9'. The start really gives me that 'Iron Man' vibe and then it becomes it's own monster with slick riffs and bass work of McKagan. "Is it tea time yet? Do they serve tea in heaven?".
'ORDINARY MAN' is the album title and probably the one that would make you pull out your lighters at a live show or your torches on your phones. I've actually seen a guy at a concert hold up their phone that had an app of a lighter being lit and waving it around. I like the lyrics of, "The truth is I don't want to die an Ordinary Man". That shows that Ozzy still has that ambition in his 70's to be amazing and show the world that he still has it. I always thought from seeing the album title that Ozzy was telling us all that he was just an ordinary man after all these years. Instead, he is saying that he doesn't want to die that way and thrives on being that extraordinary talent. It's quite beautiful (yes, metal albums and ballads can be described that way). He can rock when he needs too. He can tell you all to get F#$@d if need be, and he can tell you that he loves you and make you tear up. Ozzy is that good. Also, Elton John plays and sings on this song. Yes, the Sir Elton John. The piano playing has a lot of emotion behind it and it works incredibly well with the back and forth of these musical icons. Did you know that Ozzy is a big admirer of 'The Beatles' too and there is a lot of similarities on this song to pay homage to them. Slash does a wonderful job on guitar for the solo and once the song ends you feel that you want to have it play again. It actually made me think about the last Beatles song, 'Now and Then' again. Yep, I've listened to it quite a few times and love different parts of it with each listen. I like the fact that the vinyl pressing also has their first song on the B-side to close the circle of now and then.
When Ozzy says that this is his most important album for a while and that it's deeply personal, it makes songs like this stand out as a listener. 'UNDER THE GRAVEYARD' is another song that hits home and I know that our daughter enjoyed listening to this one and hearing her daddy singing along. I also really like singing along to the lyrics on this song, "Under the graveyard, we're all rotting bones. Oh, oh. Everything you are, can't take it when you go. Oh, oh. I ain't living this lie no more, Ain't living this lie no more. Oh, oh. It's cold in the graveyard, we all die alone". The musicianship by all the band members absolutely slaps towards the end and is close to being my favourite track on the album. I really can't pick it easily as there is a lot to enjoy on Side A so far. I'll never get over the look on our children's faces when their little faces light up for whatever reason. Whether its a moment at school or excited to see a family member arrive at our house - it's lovely to see. When our son listened to this song, his face lit up and was nice to see Ozzy still getting new fans, even if they are only 4 years old. We took him to his primary school final orientation day during the week and he returned home with a library bag with his name on it and some other nick-nacks. His eyes lit up when he showed us that he cut around a shark, coloured it in and wrote his name on the back of it. Proud parent moment right there and worthy of writing down for the blog.
Time to lift the stylus and flip the LP over to Side B. I'll grab myself a cuppa and use the toilet. While you wait, try and list as many Ozzy solo albums as you can without looking them up. See if you can name all 13.
Ok, so how did you go? Let me know on our socials if you actually got all 13 and I'll be very impressed. Side B kicks off with some Ozzy harmonica, just like he has done as various moments of his career. 'EAT ME' has one of the best and in my opinion, sexiest riffs and bass lines in the metal world. When I was working at a factory as a 17 year old, I made a lot of friends who were of varying ages and they loved music. They particularly loved metal music and I remember Theo getting me into an album called, 'The Ultimate Sin'. I honestly remember putting on the CD and being blown away as I heard the awesomeness coming through the speakers. I went down the slope of Ozzy, Sabbath and everything that I could sink my teeth into. Word has it that he is gearing up to release an album in 2024 and depending on his health, tour again.
"The road to hell isn't paved, Not every soul can be saved (You reap what you sow). They kill and we give them fame, So tell me who is to blame (you animal)". These are the lyrics that lead off 'TODAY IS THE END', and I really like this song lyrically. The heaviness coming through our Marshall Woburn II speaker is so warm that it makes the bass guitar feel that this song needed to be played at a higher volume. We had some weird drivers on the roads this weekend and lucky to still be above ground with the shenanigans that they pull. All for a sale item during Black Friday sales and willing to risk life and limb to get 30% off their new items. Ozzy says it best during this song and it truly is a sad reflection of some of our society today. Some people need to take a long hard look at themselves and revaluate what is important in their lives. I know that they won't and they'll keep being selfish and looking out for themselves.
Have any of you seen something that you can't explain? Well there are so many cases of people seeing or coming into contact 'SCARY LITTLE GREEN MEN'. The next song is about aliens and there is a really cool teaser of actor Jason Mamoa dressed up like Ozzy and parading around to this song. I'm loving the keyboards by Perez and Watt, as well as the guitar work of Tom Morello - of Rage Against The Machine fame. Great song that has some of the best drum work on the album that brings the song to life like Sabbth did on 'Paranoid'. I love the break down that comes with the lyrics of, "They want us, they need us, they might just try to eat us. They'll greet us, deceive us. Say, Take us to your leader".
'HOLY FOR TONIGHT' is such a bluesy number that incorporates some really nice harmonies and is quite sad lyrically. I know that a lot of people felt at the time that Ozzy was pessimistic about not making any more records and this was his final goodbye album. I guess when you have a lot of shit going on with your health, that you take each moment or album as potentially your last. I think that Ozzy shows his enjoyment even more because of that mindset. He actually clarified that the song is about the persona being on death row preparing for his final night before execution. There is a lot to like on this track with the Orchestra and the arrangements involved, that give it such a grandiose feeling. Plus I am really loving songs that incorporate the use of a double bass (big Jazz lover).
The album ends with one of the strangest collaborations, on the surface on the song, 'IT'S A RAID (FEAT. POST MALONE)'. Possibly the idea that started it all was when Ozzy guest appeared on Post Malone's album and returned serve for this album. It inspired this collaboration and eventual album where Ozzy originally thought it was only going to be some demo tracks being laid down. The song is frantic and has high energy that works well to blend the genres of metal and RnB/Hip-Hop. I think overall if 'Ordinary Man' had of been the last album from Ozzy Osbourne that it would have been fitting with a great mix of heaviness and heart wrenching lyrics.
Just like that we hear the stylus hit the dead wax on Side B and return back to the cradle to signify that 'Ordinary Man' has been played. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this Ozzy album and what your favourite song was that made you raise your devil horns. I enjoyed the whole album on first listen and knew that it was one that had to be added to the R'nR collection. He has recently released a repress of 'Bark at the Moon' and 'Black Rain' which are worth picking up if you can afford it. I'm waiting for a pressing of 'Scream' to be announced because I really connected with that one. Also, on streaming services there was another song with Ozzy and Post Malone called 'Take What You Want'. It's quite good and sad that it couldn't fit on the vinyl pressing of the album. Well now that the spin has finished, I think that we will put on one of Jack Osbourne's ghost hunting shows to celebrate this week's spin. If you enjoyed this one, look out for next week's clues on our social pages and get involved in our Mid-Week Sneak Peek (MWSP). It's free fun and a way that we can all talk music. Make sure that you appreciate the time you have with your loved ones and add some Ozzy records to your collection ASAP!
"I got rabies shots for biting the head off a bat, but that's ok. The bat had to get Ozzy shots" - Ozzy Osbourne
Until our next Spin, be Kind to people during Black Friday sales and be Kind to your Wax!
SPEED PLAYED AT
33 1/3 RPM
PATIENT NO. 9 (2022)
BLACK RAIN (2007)
UNDER THE GRAVEYARD
RATING OUT OF 5
WHAT'S INSIDE THE RECORD SLEEVE
1 X BLACK LP, LYRICS PRINTED ON SLIP CASE AND A NICE PICTURE OF OZZY URINATING IN PUBLIC ON THE BACK FOR GOOD MEASURE
"All my life, I've been living in yesterday. All my life, a dollar short and a day too late. All my life" ~ All My Life- Side A
LP / SIDE
STRAIGHT TO HELL
ALL MY LIFE
ORDINARY MAN (FEAT. ELTON JOHN)
UNDER THE GRAVEYARD
TODAY IS THE END
SCARY LITTLE GREEN MEN
HOLY FOR TONIGHT
IT'S A RAID (FEAT. POST MALONE)
2019 was a difficult year for Ozzy Osbourne but this album is incredible and so glad that he perservered