Listen to Ozzy Osbourne’s Elton John Collaboration ‘Ordinary Man’
"Ordinary Man" is something of a departure for the former Black Sabbath frontman, as he wears his Beatles influences on his sleeve. It appears to be a biographical story, opening with the lines, “I was unprepared for fame / Then everybody knew my name.” He later sings, “Yes I’ve been a bad guy / Been higher than the blue sky / And the truth is I don’t wanna die an ordinary man.” John takes over to sing, “Many times I lost control / They tried to kill my rock ’n’ roll / Just remember I’m still here for you.”
You can listen to “Ordinary Man” below.
The album was recorded after Osbourne struggled with depression brought on by inactivity. He’d been forced to take most of 2019 off as a result of medical issues. Encouraged back to work, he went into the studio with producer Andrew Watt, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Red Hot Chill Peppers drummer Chad Smith.
“Ozzy loves the Beatles — it's his favorite band,” Smith said in a recent interview. “So he's, like, 'We need something mid-tempo, not so heavy.' So Andrew had this little piano-idea thing, and we made it into this song, and it's epic. And Slash plays the solo. It's so epic, there's two Slash solos. ... We decided, 'Well, it has a piano. Who is a really good piano player? … Let's get the Rocket Man. … And he played the piano on the song, and he plays it beautifully, of course. And then we're like, 'Why don't we have him sing a verse?’”
Calling the results “fucking awesome,” Smith added that "there's this string thing at the end … strings and a choir. It's fucking epic, and every time I hear it, I'm like, 'And the Grammy goes to … '"
Ordinary Man will be released on Feb. 21.