Elton John Plays Piano, Sings on Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Ordinary Man’
Earlier this week, Sharon Osbourne said that Ozzy and John were working together, but she didn't provide any details. The Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, who plays on the record, has now revealed some inside information about the session.
Speaking to Lyndsey Parker on their SiriusXM's Volume West show, Smith said "Ordinary Man" was "more mid-tempo-y, kind of Beatles" than what's normally expected from Osbourne. Producer Andrew Watt, he noted, "had this little piano-idea thing, and we made it into this song, and it's epic. It's so epic there's two Slash solos!"
You can watch the interview below.
When they started to look for someone who could play piano, Smith recalled the conversation: "'Let's get the Rocket Man. Do you know Elton?' 'Yeah, we know Elton.' They know everybody, all the English rock royalty. Andrew and I went down to Atlanta, where Elton John lives when he's on the East Coast -- I think he's kinda all over the place -- and we recorded him, and he plays piano on the song, and he [does it] beautifully, of course. And then we're like, 'Why don't we have him, like, sing a verse?''
Smith said the result is "fucking awesome." "They're singing -- these two iconic, legendary English fucking rockers that have been through it all -- about the end of their lives: 'I don't want to die an ordinary man,'" he said.
The drummer then showed how he and Watt could barely contain their excitement in the control room. Smith referred to John as "so great, so gracious," and recalled the music legend saying, "I'll do anything for Ozzy. I love Ozzy."
Smith said they eventually went to Abbey Road Studios to overdub a string section and a choir to complete the track.