2023 has been another rough year for Ozzy Osbourne. The Black Sabbath singer was forced to cancel his long-delayed No More Tours 2 run in February, announcing his retirement from touring entirely. In the recently rebooted The Osbournes podcast, Ozzy recounted the spinal injury that has caused him so much strife in recent years, admitting he thought he’d “broken my fucking neck”.
But in a new interview with Metal Hammer, the heavy metal legend offered a positive health update after undertaking his “final surgery” in September. “I’ve had all the surgery now, thank god,” he says. “I’m feeling okay – it was just dragging on. I thought I’d be back on my feet months ago, I just couldn’t get used to this mode of living, constantly having something wrong. I can’t walk properly yet, but I’m not in any pain any more and the surgery on my spine went great.”
What’s more, Ozzy also offered an optimistic forecast for 2024 – including plans to record a new album. “I’m getting myself fit,” he says defiantly. “I’ve done two albums fairly recently [2020’s Ordinary Man and 2022’s Patient Number 9, both produced by Andrew Watt], but I want to do one more album and then go back on the road.”
Pressed for details, he admits that he’s a studio fitted at his home in the UK and is hoping to reunite with Andrew Watt. “I’m just starting to work on it now, and we’ll be recording in the early part of next year,” he says. “I want to take my time with this one!”
While Ozzy admits he’s feeling much better than in recent years, he admits it’s still too early for him to make concrete plans just yet, including having to miss this week’s premiere of the Black Sabbath ballet in his hometown of Birmingham, which was attended by his former Black Sabbath bandmates Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, as well as his wife Sharon. “I’d have given my eyeteeth to go and watch it with her in Birmingham,” he says. “It’s just too early though, so I can’t travel.”
Similarly, while he was forced to pull out of his headline spot at next week’s Power Trip festival, he admits he’s very happy that fellow Birmingham metal legends Judas Priest were able to step in as a replacement. “It’s brilliant; Rob [Halford]’s a great singer and they’re a very good band,” he says. “He’s been a very dear friend of mine and he’s one of the greatest rock singers of all-time.”
But while he’s feeling better, he also says fans shouldn’t get their hopes up of a guest appearance. “If I can’t do the gig, I don’t really want to be there,” he admits. “Plus I know they’ll just be like ‘go on, get Ozzy up’!”