Ozzy Osbourne said he never liked albums that feature a list of guest artists, like his new release Patient Number 9.
It’s given him the highest chart placement of his career – including No. 3 in the U.S., No. 1 in Canada and No. 3 in the U.K. – with big-name contributors including Tony Iommi, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and others. But in a new interview with Stereogum, Osbourne noted that he was “honored” when most of the musicians approached by producer Andrew Watt agreed to take part.
“Andrew suggested them, and I said, ‘I don’t think they’d want to fucking play on an Ozzy Osbourne record!’” he recalled. “I was very surprised. Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck are two amazing guitar players … and what they did was fantastic. And Tony Iommi, this was the first time he played on an Ozzy record. Since I’ve been laid up with this spinal problem, he’s been very supportive, and it’s been kind of nice.”
Addressing his original doubts, Osbourne said, “To be perfectly honest with you, I wasn’t a big fan of all-star records, because they get to be fucking too much, you know? But Andrew pulled it off well. In previous recordings of people having all these celebrities on their record, musically, it lacks a spirit, with all this overplaying that people do. The reason why I used Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton was the fact that they know how to play just enough.”
Asked about his history of recruiting stand-out talents as his lead guitarists, Osbourne noted that “when you’ve got a crap one, the band is crap! But when you’ve got someone who shines … . Jake E. Lee was a fucking great guitar player, and the way it went was, Randy Castillo, my old drummer, had started to turn me against him. It was very sad because I had no qualms with the guy. He was a great guitar player.”
He added that Zakk Wylde was “always there for me” and “a member of my family,” and also discussed Randy Rhoads. “The one thing … I’m forever grateful for is he spent time with me,” he explained. “He didn’t sit in the recording booth and give me some melody to do over what he played, regardless of whether I could do it onstage or not. Then you’d get this stuff that you couldn’t do onstage. But he would say, ‘It would be better if you could sing it in this key,’ you know. He was very patient.”