This album review was due to be posted on Friday 9th September, its release day, but I held back from putting anything up for obvious reasons. I have copied the post from Ozzy in which he commented on the Queen’s passing here:

I mourn with my country the passing of our greatest Queen. With a heavy heart, I say it’s devastating, the thought of England without Queen Elizabeth II  (Ozzy Osbourne).

It is strange, when reviewing this album, that it often lyrically ponders death and the passing of time. I don’t usually do the reviews for the magazine, but this one I grabbed as Ozzy has been a part of my life since school days (I’m in my 50s), and like the Queen, has been a constant presence somewhere in the background. I was so pleased to see him with Tony Iommi to close the recent Commonwealth Games. It was a great moment, and I applauded from afar. Furthermore, I’ve been worried about Ozzy recently, as (like my late father), he has Parkinson’s, and that is not a condition I would wish on anyone. And, lastly, Ozzy has been there musically in my dark times too—the madness that surrounds us when evil people decide to spread lies and enjoy it. The song “Diary of a Madman” (and that album) mean a lot to me in consequence, and I reflected on it for this magazine a few months ago.

 So, with all this reminiscence out of the way, this is an album to celebrate, and Ozzy himself notes how music has helped him focus on the future. It brings out a strong supporting cast of music icons, Jeff Beck, Tony Iommi, Eric Clapton, Zakk Wylde and Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) are among them. The single, “Patient Number 9,” kicks the album off to a solid start, but it comes alive on the second track, “Immortal.”

“I come alive at the second of midnight.

So I can fly when the world is asleep (from “Immortal”).”

The commercial aspect of the album shows off the melodic rock that few do as well as Ozzy, with his distinctive vocals instantly identifying him. Listening to “Parasite”, you get the venom,

“Why are you haunting me every night?

Like a parasite…(from “Parasite)”

Great guitar licks, light and shade, movement between light and shade, it’s all here.

If Ozzy was reading this, I would want to tell him he connects to the legacy of The Beatles with their “Revolver” album (especially the song “Nothing Feels Right,” I listened to that and could have had “Revolver” on the deck). Like The Beatles, he understands instinctively the importance of melody and lyrics that tell a story. Although known for his heavy rock tracks, Ozzy has always delivered poignant ballads, “One of Those Days” is an example of this, but “A Thousand Shades” is my favourite, maybe my personal choice on this album. It’s beautifully written, reflective,  

Sitting in yesterday, watching it slip away today.


Fading like photographs, reminding us nothing ever lasts.


I look up to the sky but the sun never shines

I’m waiting… (From “One of Those Days”)

There are different shades of Ozzy, always have been. His version of “In My Life” was so well done, and this album brings out that side of Ozzy, and in the following track “Mr. Darkness,” he presents thoughts of where he is at, at a time when the nation as a whole seems to ponder mortality.

The album stands at around an hour, I listened on vinyl and heard it through as it was set out. It should be remembered that the roots of Ozzy and Sabbath were always in a roughed up version of British R & B, and there is a heavy contemporary blues sound that underpins this album, perhaps more than on his last couple of outings; “Darkside Blues” is as solid a piece of British blues as you will find… As an album, it doesn’t miss a step, it retains interest as each track has its own life, I may be a little sure of the lyrics for “Degradation Rules” ( a tongue-in-cheek warning against masterbation), but the instrumentalization is great even here.

The album closes with three reflective pieces, Ozzy on home territory for “Dead and Gone” and the ruminative “God Only Knows.” It is strange putting this review up, I had it ready to go and then events took the turn they did.

God only knows what’s going on

My life has become the saddest song…

This is both a very sad album and also one where Ozzy shows his sense of humour more than in his earlier work. It’s our album of the month and I’m putting it on the front page as I’m co-editor here and can do so.

In these troubled times, I hope we find calm in the storm and I hope Ozzy will continue to enjoy success.

We hope that you enjoyed the review. If you did, then do look at the other pieces we do here. All content is free, although we do appreciate it very much if you buy us a coffee on the “Support Us” button below. Thanks.

By Mark Craster-Chambers

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