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Ozzy Osbourne says he would jump at the chance to perform with BLACK SABBATH featuring Bill Ward on drums again

Ozzy Osbourne, the Prince of Darkness himself, and Billy Morrison, guitarist extraordinaire (Billy Idol, THE CULT), dished on the making of BLACK SABBATH‘s momentous final album, “13,” on their new web series, “The Madhouse Chronicles.”

Released in 2013, “13” marked a historic reunion for BLACK SABBATH‘s core lineup of Ozzy, guitarist Tony Iommi, and bassist Geezer Butler – their first studio album together in a staggering 35 years! However, original drummer Bill Ward was not a part of it’s creation, leaving many fans feeling somewhat unfulfilled.

Ozzy said of the album’s creative sessions (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “[Producer] Rick Rubin, I had met him a long time ago, before he did the album. And he would say, ‘Listen, if you ever get back together again, you’ve gotta let me produce the album.’ … And when we reformed to do that [1997] tour, we recorded the live album, [1998’s] ‘Reunion’. He actually walks into the studio and he goes — we’d had two [studio] bonus tracks [that were included on the album] — he says, ‘I like that track, but I don’t like that track,’ and fucking walked out . And then, as time went on, [Ozzy‘s wife and manager] Sharon goes to me, ‘Rick Rubin wants you to do an album with him.'”

Discussing how “13” came out, Ozzy said: “The only criticism I have about the album — not criticism; the thing we all found hard to do, none of us had that much input. So it was kind of like going straight back to the beginning when we had [early SABBATH producer] Rodger Bain and we didn’t know about double tracking and all that. If you have a producer, you don’t produce it yourself. Because Tony would basically produce all the albums after a certain time. He must have had to swallow his pride and all that.”

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He continued: “One of the tracks was a fucking jam. [They would] just say, ‘Just fucking play and get warmed up before.’ And it was recorded. And it ended up on the fucking album.”

Also discussed was the absence of original drummer Bill Ward, who, due to contractual disagreements, didn’t return to the fold. The hunt for a replacement took some interesting turns, with producer Rick Rubin suggesting CREAM‘s Ginger Baker (rejected by Iommi as “bloody hell?”) and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE‘s Brad Wilk eventually taking the throne, and doing his best to recreate Ward‘s signature groove.

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Addressing Ward‘s absence from “13”Ozzy said: “I can’t remember why Bill didn’t do it. I’ve gotta be truthful. It wasn’t really BLACK SABBATH because Bill wasn’t there. I mean, if you had Ginger Baker playing with THE BEATLES, it wouldn’t be THE BEATLES.”

Ozzy also discussed BLACK SABBATH‘s final show of “The End” tour, which took place in February 2017 in the band’s original hometown of Birmingham, England. When asked if he was glad it was done at that moment, Osbourne said: “Yeah, but I was sad that Bill wasn’t there. I mean, I mean, Tommy [Clufetos], my drummer [for my solo band], did a great job [stepping in for Bill], but he ain’t Bill Ward.”

Pressed about whether he is happy with the arc of the legend of BLACK SABBATHOzzy said: “No. Because it wasn’t BLACK SABBATH that finished it. It’s unfinished. If they wanted to do one more gig with Bill, I would jump at the chance. Do you know what would be cool? If we went to a club or something unannounced and we just got up and did it. We started up in a club.”

Whispers had at one time circulated about a BLACK SABBATH tour featuring two-drummers, a rumor Tony Iommi himself confirmed back in 2017.

Intrigued to hear more about this legendary reunion and the road to “13“? Dive into “The Madhouse Chronicles” to get the full Ozzy scoop below.