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Tony Iommi reveals he wrote a song for Ozzy Osbourne’s forthcoming solo album

Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi
(Image credit: John Atashian/Getty Images)

Ozzy Osbourne’s upcoming solo album promises to be a veritable feast of electric guitar, with longtime collaborator Zakk Wylde joined by Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Tony Iommi.

And Iommi has revealed that his contribution extends beyond a guest solo, with the godfather of heavy metal telling Rolling Stone that he has written a whole song for his former Black Sabbath bandmate. 

“As you’ve probably read, I worked with Ozzy for his album,” said Iommi. ”I wrote the whole track and played on it and played the solo on it.”

As to how it sounds, well, Iommi was typically self-depreciating. “It’s horrible, really. … No. I’m joking,” he said. “No, it’s good. It’s really good. And I like what Ozzy sang on it. I think he did a really good job.”

Iommi says that his work on the track is done and it is now in the hands of producer Andrew Watt, with 15 tracks now recorded for the Prince of Darkness’ follow-up to 2020’s Ordinary Man.

Iommi says his track will feature the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith on drums, who played on Ordinary Man alongside the likes of Duff McKagan on bass, and guest guitar from Slash and Tom Morello.

There are no titles or further details revealed about the new Ozzy album, but speaking to MusicRadar to mark 30 years of No More Tears, Zakk Wylde offered his perspective. Wylde might not be anyone’s first idea of a rhythm guitarist, when Beck, Clapton and Iommi are on the track, that’s an honour in itself.

“The new Ozzy stuff is sounding great,” Wylde 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.”

While we might know what to expect from Iommi and Slowhand, a curveball is sure to come with Beck’s contribution.

“It definitely sounds slamming,” said Wylde. “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.”

It has been a busy week for Iommi. He has released his first song since Black Sabbath retired and launched a perfume line, both titled Scent Of Dark. We shouldn’t have been surprised; it is only right that the man who invented heavy metal should be agreeably scented.

Iommi talks in-depth about his interest in cologne with Rolling Stone, and says he is still in regular contact with Ozzy, though they have stopped speaking on the phone – if only so he could get a good night’s sleep.

“We’re in touch quite a lot,” said Iommi. “We don’t really speak because we are useless on the phone, the pair of us. I think we stopped that when he used to phone me at 2 o’clock in the morning and I’d go, ‘Oz, it’s 2 o’clock in the morning.’ ‘Oh, oh, sorry. Alright. Bye.’ 

“He forgets about what time it is in England, and of course when the phone goes at that time of the morning you think, ‘Oh, Christ. What’s that? Somebody’s died or something has happened.’ And of course it’s him going, ‘Oh, oh, oh, oh, sorry. I didn’t know it was that time.’ So we tend to sort of just text now.”

You can read the full interview at Rolling Stone. And check out MusicRadar’s epic No More Tears interview with Zakk Wylde, in which the firebrand guitarist unpacks the story behind one of Ozzy’s most successful solo albums, and another reason why 1991 was such a banner year for rock and heavy metal.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.