Ozzy Osbourne has released Nothing Feels Right, the latest track to be taken from his forthcoming 13th solo studio album, Patient Number 9, and a song that welcomes long-time guitarist Zakk Wylde back to the fold.
Featuring guest spots from Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and fellow Black Sabbath alum Tony Iommi, Patient Number 9 promises to be one of the box office electric guitar releases of the year – but it is also notable that it’ll be the first Ozzy album since 2007’s Black Rain to feature Wylde.
Wylde was 19 when he joined Ozzy’s band, and made his Ozzy debut with 1988’s No Rest For The Wicked, following that with 1991 smash-hit album No More Tears, establishing himself as Ozzy's chosen six-string lieutenant, heir to the Randy Rhoads throne.
Speaking to MusicRadar last year, Wylde said it was “an honour” to be playing on an album that features an all-star cast of his guitar heroes.
“The new Ozzy stuff is sounding great,” he said. “And for sure, it’s an honour to play on a record with all my heroes. It’s pretty cool… I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. I’ve always loved Blow By Blow and Wired, but honestly every record Jeff Beck has put out is amazing.
“It definitely sounds slamming. The same goes for all the guys – what Tony Iommi played, and then Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, it’s all killer for sure. On those tracks I’m playing rhythm guitar for my heroes… it’s crazy! It sounds awesome and I’m beyond honoured to be doing it.”
Wylde also explained how is approach to guitar solos changed after joining a band whose six-string lineage came from with Rhoads’ fusion of metal and classical music, and the nigh-on Aristotelian approach he took to lead guitar.
“[Miracle Man] was a very composed solo, like a lot of my Ozzy stuff,” he said. “That’s what came out of the Randy Rhoads school of soloing, where everything had a beginning, a middle and an end.
“The solos were composed to be part of the song, as opposed to just improv and shredding over the whole thing. It’s the chord progressions that accommodate the solos… and I still do that today. I’ll sit there with my practice amp listening to a homework CD or playlist of backing tracks, coming out with different ideas until I find something I’m happy with.”
Nothing Feels Right is a classic Ozzy/Wylde track, Ozzy’s voice pulling focus over a faintly psychedelic sequence of arpeggios, before a super-sized but faintly seasick chorus. And then there’s the solo at 3:26min in, at which point Wylde brings all of his Ozzy lead vocabulary to the fore.
There’s some neck pickup tones in there – what Ozzy calls “the cow tone” – and big notes, and hyper-kinetic alternate picked runs. It makes for a précis of Wylde’s style when Ozzy is helming the session. You can listen to it in full in the video at the top of the page.
Patient Number 9 was produced by Andrew Watt, who also occupied the control room for 2020’s Ordinary Man. It is released on 9 September via Sony.