Degradation Rules – Ozzy Osbourne

I rushed into the office…

“There’s gonna be a new Ozzy Osbourne song on the radio in a minute!”

‘Which station?’

“This one. It’s going to have Tony Iommi on Guitar!”

‘That’s half a Black Sabbath song!’

“It’s a Blk Sbth Song!”

‘Blk Sbth!’

“Blk Sbth!”


“Alright now!”

Degradation Rules was the second track to reach us from the comeback album nobody was expecting. I thought Double O had written his own obituary with Ordinary Man. He was NOT done. The last song on his last Solo Album would no longer feature Post Malone.

The Goth Kids in the office (they’re mostly in their early 30’s now) had already delighted over Patient Number 9 and it’s Todd McFarlane video (I’d recently dug up an old McFarlane Ozzy Action Figure from the last century while looking for a missing socket set, and he now lived on the photocopier). That new opener had Mr Tinkertrain style play acting during the intro. Kinda Alice Cooper in a way but mostly throwing back to his early 90’s No More Tears high-water mark. The guitar and the abundance of Zakk Wylde on the record hark back to the era of Mama I’m Coming Home. But it’s not just the Zakk and Ozzy show this time. Patient Number 9 has Jeff Beck flying a metallic solo in from a different tune like Eddie Munson on the roof a mobile home in The Upside-Down (so very 2022). Degradation Rules has Tony Iommi (so does the universally symptomatic No Escape From Now also on the record… But I’m getting ahead of myself) and elsewhere on the album Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready fulfils his high school fantasy of playing at being Randy Rhoads.

To the song though. It’s a classic latter-day (as in; post the first six trustworthy platters) Iommi grinder. Ozzy plays some really lively harp at one point and the lyrics are all about knocking one out to a jazz mag… So it’s a bit of a wank? Well. It’s a good time. Look we’ve all been there. I’m not going to drag us all down with this grotty metaphor when what we actually have here is a perfectly serviceable dirty rock and roll song. The likes of which men in their 80’s should not be making, but I’m pleased they did.

A week later the two old leather trench coats were live on the telly playing Paranoid at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Brum. They looked and sounded good. In the passing years since The End, Ozzy has had some serious set backs. To see Sabbath half revived was delightful (and half revived seemed apt somehow). Then came some tasty looking limited vinyl of the album in September, comic book cover variants, cool animated videos for other tracks, the announcement that The Osbournes would return to TV and to the UK. And the dates for No More Tours 2 moved ever closer… At the time of writing I still have that seat booked at the O2. Have had since 2018*

Patient Number 9 is a good album, better than it needs to be at this stage in his oeuvre (I’d say it’s a tie with Ordinary Man for better than anything he’s done since No More Tears). Alongside stand out tracks Immortal (with PJ’s Mike), One Of Those Days (Lyrically it crapped on Clapton with a spot of mild blasphemy and a could be anyone guitar contribution) and God Only Knows (misheard lyric, “Burn in Hell” sounding like ‘Birmingham’) it might be late in the game but Ozzy is adding some proper top shelf material to the Inevitable Ultimate Ozzy Posthumous Compilation Album. Before that fateful day comes it’d be cool if The Prince Of Darkness could see his way to clear to making this late purple patch into at least a comeback trilogy.

We love you Ozzy!

*2022’s first mention of the infamous SFTD Spacetime Tupperware…


11 thoughts on “Degradation Rules – Ozzy Osbourne

  1. The selections you include sound good. What’s the Eric Clapton slam in the lyrics? I wish they wouldn’t have smoothed out O2’s complexion. Leaving the wrinkles in as a demon is ok. Those first two video are filled with fabulous phantasmagorical fractals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you’re just going to finish on “fabulous phantasmagorical fractals” like it ain’t no thing are ya?
      Thanks for reading.

      It was the mild blasphemy that got Clapton all bent out shape. Lyrically it made him uncomfortable (unlike all his right wing nut job nonsense he spills out every time he talks the press)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy to read you again. You’ve been missed. The way you’re describing Clapton sounds a lot like when Herschel Walker talks into the microphone. He’s a republican in a run-off for governor of Georgia, against an incumbent minister. Check out Colbert show segment from last night:

        Liked by 1 person

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