Ozzy: Apparently Still Not Dead

From Billboard:

Ozzy Osbourne’s first new studio album since 2001, “Black Rain,” will arrive May 22 via Epic. The set was tracked Osbourne’s home studio in Los Angeles with his touring band of guitarist Zakk Wylde, bassist Blasko and drummer Mike Bordin. Fans can sample some of the new tunes on Osbourne’s Web site.

The new record is milestone for Osbourne since it’s the first in his entire career he recorded sober. “I thought I’d never write again without any stimulation,” he admits to Billboard. “But you know what? Instead of picking of the bottle I just got honest and said, “I don’t want life to go [to pieces].”

Beyond first single “I Don’t Wanna Stop,” “Black Rain” also includes the songs “Not Going Away,” “Civilize the Universe,” “Trap Door” and “Thank God for the Almighty Dollar,” a number of which were co-written with Wylde.

Osbourne says, “People say, ‘Why do you keep goin’ to Zakk?’ ‘Cause you know what? There ain’t no one else like ’em. He comes up with the stuff, plus the fact he’s a family member. If he said to me, ‘Ozzy, I need you to do this, will you do [it]?’ I wouldn’t think twice.”

Before his headlining his stint on this year’s free Ozzfest, Osbourne will play international dates beginning May 27 in Moscow. He is also one of the subjects of VH1’s “Rock Honors,” to be taped May 12 in Las Vegas for a May 24 premiere on the network.

Before your life goes to pieces, Ozzy? Come on. We all saw your sorry ass drag itself haplessly around the house on national TV. It was written off as too much medication, but supposedly that matter has since been rectified, and STILL you sound like the walking dead with a mouth full of gin-soaked Quaaludes. You have become a startling example of what very real damage can be done to a body by years of abuse; you’re touted as the inadvertent poster child for D.A.R.E.- not that many could come close to the amount of narcotics you’ve ingested in your life even if they tried. And you’re saying that your life has not yet gone to pieces? Well, I suppose your optimism must be recognized. It could always be worse.

That’s not to say that drug use is a terrible thing, mind you- everything in moderation, and all that; let’s get that quite clear. All I’m saying is that it’s fairly evident that Ozzy’s quality of life went downhill long ago, and while it’s commendable that he’s given up the bottle entirely, it’ll be a surprise indeed if he manages to put out a wholly admirable album at this point. Supposedly this is the “true” followup to 1991’s No More Tears- basically then, we’re being asked to disregard everything that’s been released in the last 16 years as worthless. Mere filler albums that grasped at greatness and fell short. Well, that much was patently obvious- “Perry Mason” wasn’t exactly a classic tune. But can this new effort actually deliver? With lyrics like “I’m alive/Watching better turn to worse/One more time/Try to civilize the universe,” things aren’t looking too promising.

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