Ozzy Osbourne tucked away an intriguing collaboration with half of Damn Yankees onto the B-side of the lead single from 1995’s Ozzmosis. Cowritten with Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw, “Whole World’s Fallin’ Down” was later added to the album’s bonus material.
It wasn’t just a dream assignment for Blades, he tells UCR. This entire scenario actually came to the Night Ranger cofounder in a dream.
“Tommy was at the house at the studio at our ranch,” Blades says. “I said to Tommy, ‘I had a crazy dream last night. I’m not sure if it was a nightmare or a dream. I dreamed that I was in the studio with Ozzy Osbourne, and I was an engineer on the board. And Ozzy was screaming and yelling at me in the headphones, and I didn’t know what the fuck to do!’ We both burst out laughing, because that’s exactly what fuckin’ happened!”
In the end, Blades said they brought in a different engineer to get the session back on track.
“We’re writing songs and we’re trying to do this, and Ozzy’s like, ‘I fucking can’t fucking hear, you fucking cunts!’ He’s going on and on and on,” Blades says. “We were freaking out. We were going crazy. We’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh. What do we do?’ I had this idea, I know an English engineer. We can’t do this. We can’t be the engineers anymore. So let’s get this English engineer to come up tomorrow.”
Listen to Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Whole World’s Fallin’ Down’
Unfortunately, the newly installed Brit didn’t have better luck – at least not at first. “The next day, we go in the studio, and it’s the same thing. Ozzy’s like, ‘Fuck, I can’t fucking hear. I can’t fucking do this stuff!'” Blades says. They sent Osbourne away and more knob turning ensued until the levels were finally right. Just like that, the storm passed.
Their engineer found Osbourne “on an exercise bike or something,” Blades remembers. “He goes, ‘Ozzy, get on the headphones, and let’s see if they’re okay now.’ He walks over and puts on the headphones and starts singing, and then he stops and he says, ‘Ozzy, does it sound okay?’ Ozzy’s like, ‘Yeah, man. It’s cool. Everything’s good!'”
Laughing, Blades adds: “From that point on, it was smooth sailing. Tommy and I are like, ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord.'”
During this period, Osbourne was coming out of a hiatus while Damn Yankees had just begun one. Bandmate Ted Nugent returned to his solo career after two albums with the band, and Shaw and Blades were at work on a duo recording that became 1995’s Hallucination. Drummer Michael Cartellone rounded out the Damn Yankees lineup.
Blades and Night Ranger released their latest album, ATPBPO, last month.
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