Down To Earth

Ozzy OsbourneOctober 16, 2001
Classic Metal℗ 2001 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
210
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Down to Earth is the eighth studio album by British heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. Released on 16 October 2001, it reached number 19 on the UK Albums Chart and number four on the US Billboard 200. "The Ozzfest was doing well", Osbourne explained. "I just wanted to be like the Grateful Dead and keep it going by touring, but the record company said they'd like a new Ozzy album."
Down to Earth spawned just two singles, although both reached the top ten of the US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and reached number 18 on the UK Singles Chart. The album was certified Platinum and has sold over 1.6 million copies worldwide.
Excluding his contributions to re-recordings of Ozzy's earlier material, Down to Earth is the only Osbourne studio album to feature bassist Robert Trujillo, who left to join Metallica in 2003. It was the first Osbourne album to feature drummer Mike Bordin, previously of Faith No More, though he had played live with Osbourne since 1996. Though he plays on the album, guitarist Zakk Wylde did not contribute as a songwriter for the first time since joining Osbourne's band in 1988, because many of the songs were written before Wylde rejoined the band.

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Songs
Popularity
1
Gets Me Through5:04
2
Facing Hell4:26
3
Dreamer4:44
4
No Easy Way Out5:05
5
That I Never Had4:24
6
You Know...(Pt. 1)1:06
7
Junkie4:28
8
Running out of Time5:05
9
Black Illusion4:21
10
Alive4:54
11
Can You Hear Them?4:59
4.7
210 total
5
4
3
2
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Additional Information

Total length
51:58
Tracks
11
Released
January 1, 2001
Label
℗ 2001 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
File type
MP3
Access type
Streaming and by permanent download to your computer and/or device
Internet connection
Required for streaming and downloading
Playback information
Via Google Play Music app on Android v4+, iOS v7+, or by exporting MP3 files to your computer and playing on any MP3 compatible music player
To a certain extent, Ozzy Osbourne doesn't need to make new music -- and to a certain extent he hasn't, choosing to not record an album of original material in the years immediately after the reality TV show The Osbournes once again turned him into a household name. At the peak of Ozzy's fame in the early '80s, he was a boogeyman, embodying all the dangers of rock & roll, but the TV show made him "safe", even cuddly -- a punch line at the White House Foreign Correspondent's Dinner -- which just helped him rake in the money, particularly since in addition to riding the wave of The Osbournes, his annual OzzFest tour turned into an institution of sorts, helping launch new bands while tending to his metal credibility. Now, "that" is a rock & roll machine, one driven entirely by personality, not new musical product, and one that was nearly in perpetual motion, never needing new grist for the mill to turn a profit. Yet there's always a risk that an enterprise like that could grow a bit stale, even with the occasional box sets, live albums, and cover records to keep things humming. And so, Ozzy finally got around to a new album original material, releasing Black Rain in the summer of 2007, a full six years after Down to Earth, his last album of originals, and well past the sell-by date of his TV show -- proof that this record isn't about cashing-in, it's about keeping the Osbourne machine rolling.

Black Rain was released just a year and half before Ozzy's 60th birthday, and he does sound like a veteran -- he can't wail like he used to, opting for a lower-register growl, but perhaps the biggest indication that he's getting on in years is that he doesn't rock as hard as he once did. Sure, longtime axeman Zakk Wylde is here playing some mean guitar, but this isn't as heavy as he was even a decade ago, lacking both the gut-level punch and monster riffs of even his post-Randy Rhoads work. Certainly, this level of heaviosity is missed, but it's also true that if Ozzy really strived for a brutal attack he might wind up sounding older than he already does here, so hearing him ease into a hazily dark, vaguely psychedelic heavy rock as reminiscent of Lennon as it is of Sabbath is oddly appropriate. Nothing on Black Rain could really qualify as an Osbourne classic, but there's something curiously comforting about Ozzy relaxing a little bit and singing songs that are strangely age-appropriate -- something that's not respectable, necessarily, something that is still metal, but something that isn't quite as heavy as before, yet retaining that swirling, circular melodies and murky grind that has been his stock and trade for nearly 40 years. If the music feels a bit older, so do Ozzy's lyrics. He spends a startling amount of time addressing the ills of the world, ranging from terrorism to consumerism, and for once his fondness for gloomy doomsday imagery jibes with the conventional-held opinion of the state of the world (although he never gets as apocalyptic as Cormac McCarthy's The Road, or the Left Behind series, for that matter, which frankly is a relief). This unintentional zeitgeist piggybacking helps Black Rain feel timely and appropriate, which is a mildly shocking turn of events, and helps the album feel something closer to a work of art than a piece of product for the Ozz machine. It's hardly a perfect record -- producer Kevin Churko, who engineered Osbourne's Under Cover and also produced Cheap Trick's 2006 Rockford, has a long history of pop editing and engineering, including credits on Britney's Oops!...I Did It Again, Shania Twain's Up!, and Celine Dion's New Day Has Come, and all that history is evident in the album's slightly too punchy and precise sound. But even if Black Rain is a bit clean, a bit soft in the center, it's far from an embarrassment, and it's surprisingly likeable -- kind of like Ozzy himself in the new millennium, really, so it's nice that he finally has an album that lives up to his well-scrubbed, reputable persona. [A special tour edition of the album was offered in 2007.]
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