Lately, things in the Black Sabbath camp have been as incomprehensible as Ozzy Osbourne’s speech pattern. First, they were going to play Ozzfest Japan, then earlier this month, they announced that they’d be dropping off. Then it was announced that while the Ozzfest tour was supposed to be their farewell, they were in discussion about doing a farewell tour. Then the last few weeks were filled with bickering between original drummer Bill Ward and Ozzy Osbourne about his status in the band. Over the weekend at a press conference in San Paulo Brazil, Ozzy spoke about the future of Sabbath, however. Here’s the money quote:
The plan is that next year [we’ll do] the final Black Sabbath tour and album.”
Of course this is to be taken with a grain of salt. Ozzy’s just saying it’s “the plan,” and things haven’t gone according to plan for the last few months. For example, the Ozzfiesta was supposed to happen. And Ozzy was supposed to be concentrating on his solo career following the final Black Sabbath shows last year. Now according to the press release, that’ll happen afterwards:
Ozzy also said that he will keep recording and touring as a solo artist once Sabbath has packed it in. “I’m still gonna continue my solo career,” he said. “I’m doing these few [solo] gigs down here [in South America] now. Then at the beginning of next year, I’m going out with Sabbath. The Sabbath thing is folding up after the next tour, but I’m gonna continue my solo career.”
So that means a new Ozzy solo album in 2017? How believable will an Ozzy album sound coming from a 69 year-old frontman? And how much touring does Ozzy have in him between Sabbath and his solo career? If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s to not count Ozzy out, though. 13 was a much better album than it had any right to be, so we’re excited to hear what Iommi crafts. Ozzy can’t resist getting a crack in at Bill Ward, either, according to Billboard:
“We all live in different countries now,” Osbourne explained. “Some want to work, some don’t. We are going to do another tour together… The plan is that next year [we’ll do] the final Black Sabbath tour and album.”
Maybe that means that Ward might be in the conversation still? We wouldn’t count on it.