Patient Number 9: Paging Ozzy Osbourne

The return of guitar greatness, and the respect of the man, the myth, the legend, Ozzy Osbourne.

Black Sabbath, the band that invented metal, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. They also won two Grammy Awards for ‘Best Metal Performance.’ Ozzy Osbourne, the main singer of Black Sabbath, was notoriously known for being able to perfectly become one with the guitar’s riffs. He was praised for making political music while still keeping the traditional rock and roll feel. Now, Osbourne is back after two years with many features with the artists that he has worked with in the past, including Tony Iommi and Zakk Wylde. Today, avid rock listeners, Osbourne fans and rock newbies all review Osbourne’s new album, “Patient Number 9.”

Osbourne was largely unimportant until 1968, when he teamed up with guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward to form the band Earth, which later changed its name to Black Sabbath. After ten years of inventing heavy metal, partying in the most insane ways England had to offer, and meeting every rockstar of the 70s, Osbourne was kicked out of Black Sabbath. After this, Osbourne started his own solo career with the debut album “Blizzard of Ozz,” which notably featured the legendary Randy Rhoads playing guitar. The album was very successful, and from about 1980-1991, Osbourne played solo and had bands such as Motley Crue and Metallica opening for him. He retired for seven years after 1991, before he was invited to play with Black Sabbath again. He toured four times with them before playing his final show with them in his hometown of Birmingham in 2017. He began working on his new album after that, and after two years, he released “Patient Number 9.”

I (Laith) listen to rock a lot, and I genuinely think these three songs were good. “Degradation Rules” had a collaboration with Tony Iommi, one of my favorite guitarists of all time. In addition to that awesome guitar riff. Osbourne pulled out his harmonica for the song, which I thought was pretty cool. “Patient Number 9” honestly sounds like a pop song to me. The autotune in his voice sounds pretty bad, and the instrumentals are uninspired. Mr. Darkness reminds me of an Ozzy Osbourne song called “No More Tears,” due to how romantic it is. Sadly, the bass line isn’t nearly as iconic. I really like the sadness it portrays.

The top three songs on the album have definitely earned their spots. The 3rd best song on the album is “Mr Darkness.” It  has a very romantic start to the song, but does not stay that way for long. Throughout the rest of the song, it is sad and mellow. Osbourne is expressing feelings of burnout throughout the song with the lyrics, “today is the end.” The runner-up for best song on the album is “Patient Number 9.” The best song on the album is “Degradation Rules.”  This song has a great build-up, easy to bop your head to and has funny lyrics that you should listen to yourself.

Roger Negrao, an avid rock listener since the 1970s, had this to say about Ozzy Osbourne’s new album: “The last time he made a serious album was in the 90s with no more tears. He’s just having fun now, and I’m here for it.” 

Negrao’s favorite song on the album was “Degradation Rules”  because  he “really liked the harmonica, guitar riff and Tony Iommi still has it. [Iommi] has guitar riffs coming out like it’s nothing, and it’s always been like that.” 

Negrao’s overall opinion on the album was that he  “liked Zakk Wylde’s parts. [Wylde]’s more of a modern metal musician and all of his new tricks on this album were great. He’s not Tony Iommi but he does really well playing with Ozzy’s vocals in front of him. Zakk Wylde’s features really make this album a solid Ozzy album.” 

To include a student opinion, sophomore Elliot James Macon shared his opinion. Macon is a huge Osbourne fan saying, “I listen to him 24/7, 25/8 basically.” 

When asked how Macon overall feels about the album, “Patient Number 9”, he said “infinite out of ten.” 

A notable and uncommon aspect on the album is the number of features. When looking at the track list ten out of thirteen songs include other artists. However, some people don’t seem to mind. Macon believes that “the more features you can include, singles all that is better for the album.”

“Patient Number 9” is loved not only by long-time fans but also by new listeners. Releasing his first album in two years, Osbourne received overall positive reviews of “Patient Number 9,” with reviewers ranging from no history of listening to rock music to growing up with it. Osbourne’s new album shows something that many fans have known since his turning point of approaching music in 1991: Osbourne makes music for himself, and this new album was a fun project for an old man.