Ozzy Osbourne Wrote an Entire Unreleased Album With Steve Vai
02/23 UPDATE: In a social media post, Vai has explained that he "spoke a bit carelessly about 'Sitting on an entire Ozzy album,'" and explained that while the duo wrote enough songs for an album, only "bumpy" demos were recorded.
He continues: "To clarify, Ozzy and I got together back around 96 and spent some time trying to come up with some potential songs for an album that he already had half recorded. That record later came out as “Ozzmosis”. We demoed a handful of tracks and then there was a bunch of tracks I built for him to check out. He ended up picking one song to use on his album and that’s “My Little Man”. It was re-recorded with his band, and it came out great. Only one other demoed track from those sessions had an Ozzy scratch vocal on it and I handed in all the Master demo tapes to the label and kept safety tapes of the tracks I personally built. All in all, there was (is) enough music for a whole record, but those songs would require re-recording. The demos are bumpy road maps but not the goal. I, like many Ozzy fans, would love if there was a secret hidden Ozzy album somewhere, only to be revealed to our surprised ears at a future time, but it wouldn’t come from those sessions. So sorry for the confusion."
The original article appears below.
"I'm sitting on a whole Ozzy record," Vai tells EonMusic. "It's a project that I recorded that's sitting on the shelf. I don't have any control over it or the rights to it, obviously, but we did record some pretty good stuff."
Osbourne was recording Ozzmosis when his label and manager decided it would be good for him to write songs with different people. "Ozzy and I got carried away because we were having a lot of fun," Vai explains, "and we ended up recording a lot of stuff. And then we started scheming: 'Hey, let's make a new record!'"
Listen to Ozzy Osbourne Perform 'My Little Man'
Vai said they continued forward the project, "until the hammer came down, and [management] basically said 'What are you doing? No, you've just got to take a song from Vai and finish your record.'"
Only one track from the duo's time together, "My Little Man," made it onto Ozzmosis, but two other tracks have turned up on Vai records. "Danger Zone" appears on his recently unearthed 1991 collaborative album Vai / Gash with singer Johnny "Gash" Sombretto, while "Dyin' Day" found a home on 1996's Fire Garden.
Listen to Vai / Gash Perform 'Danger Zone'
"There was some real, real heavy stuff because I used an octave divider on everything," Vai says of the unreleased Osbourne recordings. "I thought, 'Okay you're going to work with Ozzy, and all these incredible guitar players have played with Ozzy. What are you going to do?' I was not going to be conventional. ... That's not me, as you know, but I had to be accessible."
Listen to Steve Vai Perform 'Dyin' Day'
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