News Segment


October 15, 2004

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Ozzy Osbourne has returned to his satanic roots by recording a version of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” for an upcoming covers CD.

The disc, one of four to be featured in a boxed set due next February, also includes fresh takes on the Beatles’ “In My Life,” King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” and Arthur Brown’s “Fire,” Osbourne told Reuters in an interview at his Beverly Hills home on Thursday.

Mott the Hoople singer Ian Hunter shares vocals with Osbourne on the glam band’s signature song “All the Young Dudes.” Leslie West reprises his guitar work on power trio Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen,” and he “still absolutely kicks ass,” Osbourne said.

The three other discs will include demos, rarities and outtakes from Osbourne’s solo career, which began after he was kicked out of the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath in 1978.

“I’ve done a lot of choruses and verses on other people’s stuff, and I’ve actually sung with other people,” Osbourne recalled. “I goofed around with Dweezil Zappa one time” on a version of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” which has been dusted off for the boxed set.

“For die-hard fans it’s a real good overview of Ozzy’s career,” his wife and manager Sharon said during the interview.

The Stones cover is appropriate fare for a man somewhat reluctantly linked with devil imagery in the decades since he co-founded Black Sabbath in 1968. Their 1970 song “N.I.B.,” featuring the line “My name is Lucifer, please take my hand,” echoes the sentiment of 1968’s “Sympathy for the Devil” with its chorus “Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name.”

But Osbourne’s first musical love is the Beatles. Books on the Fab Four vie for shelf space with weighty tomes on World War II at the house.

His version of “In My Life” will be released as a single in Europe in November. Sharon Osbourne said she did not know if the track would be sent to U.S. radio outlets for airplay consideration.

Fans who still have money left over also can buy the DVD of “We Sold Our Souls for Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the documentary shot by Penelope Spheeris during the 1999 edition of the Osbournes’ annual Ozzfest road show. It will also come out in February.

Originally intended for theatrical release, but never bought by a distributor, the film has rarely been seen in public. It features interviews and performances by such acts as Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie and Slipknot, scenes of religious protesters and topless female fans, and a touching backstage portrait of Osbourne and Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi warming up with an acoustic run-through of “Paranoid.”

Dean Goodman courtesy of Reuters