Zakk Wylde has never let on that he had hard feelings about being excluded from Ozzy Osbourne's 2020 Ordinary Man album. If Wylde felt jilted, however, Ozzy more than made up for it with his new album.
Ozzy's forthcoming 13th studio album is due in September. The LP features guitar work by Wylde again, plus a cavalcade of guest soloists, including many of Wylde's greatest guitar heroes: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and even Black Sabbath co-founder Tony Iommi among a few others.
Beyond working as Ozzy's lead guitarist and bandleader on-and-off since 1988, Wylde fronts a Black Sabbath tribute band called Zakk Sabbath (when he's not working with Black Label Society). You could say he's a big fan.
"Just to be playing on a record with Jeff Beck, Lord Iommi and Eric Clapton — if you told me when I was 15 I'd be playing on a record with three of my heroes I would have said forget about it!" the New Jersey native said. "Oz is singing great too, so hopefully, once he's had this last surgery we can glue him back together and get him out on the road doing what he loves. That's the game plan right now."
Ozzy confirmed last fall that Wylde plays on the "entire new record." It marks the first time since 2007 in which Wylde has appeared on one of Ozzy's studio albums (Zakk left Ozzy's employ in 2009 but returned in 2017).
While Zakk hoped to get back on tour with Ozzy this past winter, more medical issues have forced Ozzy to delay his return to the stage yet again. Ozzy revealed last month that he scheduled to have yet another operation on his neck, which he injured in a 2019 trip-and-fall.
"I'm just waiting on some more surgery on my neck," Ozzy told Classic Rock magazine. "I can't walk properly these days. I have physical therapy every morning. I am somewhat better, but nowhere near as much as I want to be to go back on the road."