With Ozzfest fast approaching, Ozzy Osbourne is back this week with “Black Rain” (Epic), his first album of new material since “Down to Earth” in 2001. Osbourne has enticed fans this year to come to his festival by offering free tickets online. “Black Rain” has an Ozzfest tie-in: A limited number of copies contain a code that buyers can enter on the Web site to increase their chances of securing access.
The album features Osbourne’s longtime partner in crime, Zakk Wylde, who does double-duty with his own band Black Label Society and as Osbourne’s guitarist. Their efforts in the studio have already paid off, as the lead single from “Black Rain,” “I Don’t Wanna Stop,” is No. 1 for a fourth week on R&R’s Rock chart this week.
The project is a milestone for Osbourne since it is the first in his career he recorded sober. “I thought I’d never write again without any stimulation,” he says. “But you know what? Instead of picking up the bottle I just got honest and said, ‘I don’t want life to go [to pieces].'”
He continues, “I’ve always said to myself, ‘If the audience dwindles, I will not start doing this f*cking club thing’ … I understand why people do, because it’s work. What I see myself eventually doing is working more in my studio.”