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Ex-Yes Keyboardist Rick Wakeman Recalls Sabbath Bloody Sabbath & Ozzy 'Ozzmosis' Recording Sessions


For Canada's The Metal Voice Kenny Kessel reporting at a V.I.P. Q & A of former Yes Keyboardist Rick Wakeman on April 5 2023 at the Paramount in New York.

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Wakeman spoke about his contributions and recordings on Black Sabbath's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (5th studio album) and Ozzy Osbourne's 'Ozzmosis' album (17th studio album).

Rick Wakeman recalled the time when he played keyboards on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath he said, "We were great friends, I mean Ozzy and Tony (Iommi) and I've been mates since the late 1960s. There was one stage where Black Sabbath and Yes were the same management office and we supported Sabbath towards 1972. They're great friends and we were recording in one studio (Yes) in 1973 and they (Black Sabbath) were recording over the road in another studio. And this studio had a bar that was over 24 hours a day. So it's quite busy and Ozzy said to me I've got a couple of things that really need to be done on a keyboard on the album. Which was very unusual for a metal album (at the time). It's as common as mud now. But he (Ozzy) said would you come do it for us? I said yeah I will do it for you no problem at all. So we planned to do it just after midnight after the Yes sessions had finished. I'd go over the road and go in and there'd been (large) amounts of alcohol. I went into the studio and they were all unconscious in a pile. I wasn't far off it. The only person who was less sober was the tape operator, a young lad who was terrified. He said I've set it up where they want you to play it and Ozzy said you'd know what to play. I said I haven't a clue? So they put it on. I listened to it a couple of times, worked out things to do, then did that. Well hopefully that will work and if it doesn't I'm sure they'll let me know and I'll come and do it again. And at that moment Ozzy opened his eyes and came forward a bit and I'll change the adjective he just went BLOOMING BRILLIANT and then went unconscious again. Going forward many years later in fact about 20, 21, 22 years ago and my son Adam, my second oldest son, called me up and said uh I've just joined Ozzy, the band I went to, okay. He said and Ozzy wanted to do a couple of tracks from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath that you played on. Can you tell me what you played? I said everybody was comatosed, yeah that's what Ozzy said. I said work it out and when you do, let me know (laughs).


Rick Wakeman then went on and talked about his work on Ozzy's Ozzmosis album," I did his Ozzmosis album which I think that's one of the best albums ever, it's like a prog metal album, it's brilliant. And that was a totally different Ozzy I mean he produced that and was so on the case. I mean Ozzy is really clever, he is a very bright guy, he's very clever musically and we're still great friends. "


Rick Wakeman is an English keyboardist and composer best known as a former member of the progressive rock band Yes across five tenures between 1971 and 2004, and for his solo albums released in the 1970s


Rick Wakeman of the band Yes (who were recording Tales from Topographic Oceans in the next studio) was brought in as a session player, appearing on "Sabbra Cadabra" at Morgan Studios in Willesden, North London in 1973


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