Crack Cocaine / New Billy Morrison Hit With Ozzy & Stevens

Crack Cocaine is the second single to be released from the forthcoming Morrison Project album, the new solo album from Billy Morrison. The Morrison Project is Billy Morrison’s third solo album and his first since 2015.

The single was released on 21 March 2024 and is already receiving critical acclaim. This is unsurprising when considering that the song was co-written by and featured the songwriting talents of fellow long-term Billy Idol band guitarist Steve Stevens and the Metal legend Ozzy Osbourne, with Osbourne taking the vocal on this track.

With Ozzy’s distinct vocal this could in itself render this song as a prime Ozbourne solo release, but let’s not get hung up on Ozzy and delve deeper into this song.

Crack Cocaine by Billy Morrison feat. Ozzy Osbourne & Steve Stevens
Crack Cocaine by Billy Morrison feat. Ozzy Osbourne & Steve Stevens

Firstly, Billy Morrison is no mean guitarist and songwriter himself, having previously been documented with writing credits for a large part of Billy Idol’s Kings & Queens of the Underground album.

With fellow Idol guitarist Steve Stevens in tow, it is clear that what we have here is an immense piece of driving rock, sumptuously addressed with hard-driving riffs and astute guitar work throughout. Add to that the Prince of Darkness and this is a belter of a song, and certainly is a tasty indication of what is to come on the album.

Lyrically, it is intense, with the Crack Cocaine referenced in the title being an intimation of how dependency can impact throughout our lives and not just through recreational drugs, but in the circumstances here with regards to a destructive relationship.

“I guess the way that your love makes me feel,
Must mean I’m really addicted,” sings Ozzy.

“The music was a direct result of sitting in a room with Steve, both with de-tuned guitars and writing what we felt was an ultimate Ozzy riff,” Billy said. “From there, we brought Ozzy over, and 90% of the lyrics came from him. Ozzy suddenly stood up and sang ‘Like Crack Cocaine!’ We looked at each other and knew we had the title.

“The song is 100% about how certain relationships can FEEL like an addiction. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the drug! It’s a comparison – it’s exactly like a drug addiction.”

“Billy and I discussed what an Ozzy fan would really love to hear,” adds Steve Stevens. “We zeroed in on the ’90’s-era Ozzy – the truly heavy stuff. Obviously, as a guitarist, to contribute to an Ozzy song is like a kid in a candy store. He’s played with such an amazing array of guitarists that I tried my best to honour that tradition.”

Taking that background on board, what we have here is a deeply tantalising tune showing the subtleties of Billy’s songwriting yet providing the listener with a deeply satisfying slice of well-crafted, thoughtful hard rock.

“I think the fact that Billy and I have spent the better part of 16 years working together in Billy Idol,” Steve says, “means we are almost telepathic in how we arrange guitars, etc.

“Billy and Ozzy have such an amazing friendship that it was easy to feel inspired and want to help them achieve any idea I could assist with. As we worked in my home studio, I tried to make the actual recording process almost invisible.

“Forget any technical aspects and really have some fun. To Ozzy’s credit, he was totally focused—and man, the first time I heard him sing in what was essentially my living room, fucking chills ran down my spine.”

With the album due to hit the streets on 19 Apri 2024, this is a strong indicator of what is to come and certainly what could very well be a surprise release of the year if this single is anything to go by.

Sleeve Notes

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