Ozzy Osbourne Reveals Which Part of New Song He Improvised in the Studio
There are pros at work on Ozzy Osbourne's Patient Number 9 album, with some of the biggest names in rock history collaborating with the Prince of Darkness on his latest effort. During a recent appearance on SiriusXM's Ozzy's Boneyard to promote the new record, producer Andrew Watt revealed exactly how both Ozzy and guest guitarist Jeff Beck were able to elevate the album's title track based out of their own improvisation and dedication to their craft.
For those who've heard the "Patient Number 9" title single, there's a lot going on in the intro with what sounds like multiple voices and conversations layered over the opening moments before Ozzy sings, but it was all in fact Ozzy providing the various spoken parts over the course of three improvised takes.
"We had this long intro and Ozzy wrote this incredible song over it, but it was a long intro with no Ozzy so it's a long time to not hear our guy," says Watt. "So he wrote the song about a mental hospital and I just said, 'Can you do some talking over the track,' and he said, 'Ok.' One take, all that crazy shit. And then he was like, 'I think I can do one more, it might be cool with two [voices],' so second take. Exactly how you hear it. And then he was like, 'I just want to fill in some gaps and third track, that's the intro. Three in a row, no thinking, that's the intro."
Fellow album guest guitarist Zakk Wylde then cracked, "Actually that's what I hear from Ozzy's dressing room every time we're on tour. To me that just sounds normal."
But that inspired thinking on the track didn't just stop with Ozzy. Watt also shared his excitement over working with Jeff Beck on the song, pointing out how the guitar great's own dedication continued to elevate what fans are now listening to on the track.
"I talked to Jeff and he was just so open, and that's a quite complex song. The idea started with Robert Trujillo started and that intro is 12-string bass," recalls Watt. "So we created these two kind of solo sections, one which is the really heavy part, the first one, and then the one that's over the acoustic guitar at the end. So he was just like, 'What should I do?' And I was like, 'Rip on the first one, melodic on the second.' That was all I really said."
"The guy redid his solos four or five times," added Watt. "He kept doing it, sending it back to me and would be like, 'No, I can make this part better,' and he kept pushing himself. I didn't have to say anything to him. It was all from him saying, 'I'm gonna do another one, I'm gonna do another one, I'm gonna do another one.' He just kept elevating himself. He's a true master and just listen to what he did."
Ozzy was quick to credit Watt for his dedication in pulling the album together as well, joking about his ability to pull in the big names. "He calls them, and I bet they're like, 'Who the fuck is this?,'" cracked Ozzy, who later explained his shock when Watt was able to pull in Eric Clapton for a guest turn. "We got Jeff Beck and the Andrew said, 'What about Eric Clapton?,' and I was like, 'No, I don't want to get pushy.' So he called Eric Clapton and he said, 'Yeah,' and I was like, 'Fuck me, man!'"
Ozzy Osbourne's new album, Patient Number 9, is due this Friday (Sept. 9) and is currently available to pre-order here. You can watch the video for the title track below as well as catch a portion of the Ozzy's Boneyard album preview special on SiriusXM in the clip below. To hear the full Patient Number 9 Album Special, tune in to SiriusXM's Ozzy's Boneyard channel starting at midnight ET tonight (Sept. 8).