Ozzy Osbourne's guitar players have gotten a whole lot of shine over the years — and for good reason — but when it comes to mixing one of his records, it's not the guitar that he's turning up.
Ozzy has certainly been blessed by having all-stars backing him up in all of his bands, whether you go back to Black Sabbath or the various lineups of his solo bands.
While making his latest album, Patient Number 9, Ozzy quizzed producer Andrew Watt on what in a mix makes a song "heavy."
"He said to me, 'When you listen to Sabbath or Zeppelin, what's the loudest thing in the mix?'" Watt recalls the Prince of Darkness asking him.
When Watt answered that it was the drums, Ozzy informed him that he was incorrect. He recounted the exchange to Rolling Stone.
"Bass is the loudest thing," Ozzy said. "That's what makes it so heavy. And if you listen to 'Whole Lotta Love,' 'Heartbreaker,' 'Dazed and Confused,' the bass is allowed to sing, and that's what makes it so heavy."
That certainly explains why Geezer Butler is featured so prominently in Black Sabbath and why Ozzy continued working with Butler in his solo career, in addition to other bass greats like Bob Daisley, Rudy Sarzo, Phil Soussan, Mike Inez and others.
Robert Trujillo, who can be heard loud and clear on Patient Number 9, was in Ozzy's live band in the late-'90s/early-2000s before joining Metallica. He told Rolling Stone that the Ozzy job is a dream gig for a bassman.
"Ozzy loves bass," Trujillo said. "He used to tell me, 'Rob, I'm your best friend!'"
Ozzy is one of the biggest Beatles fans in the world; he reportedly listens to the Fab Four every day. He tried to get McCartney on his song "Dreamer" in 2001, but McCartney declined on the grounds that Trujillo's performance was too good to replace.