Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ozzy Osbourne-Speak of the devil DVD


Eagle Vision

Not to be confused with the live album that had all Black Sabbath tunes, this DVD is from a show that was filmed at Irvine Meadows, California on Junee 12, 1982. The show was also shown on MTV on Halloween back in 1982. So we know the back story for this. That being that guitarist Randy Rhoads was tragically killed in a plane crash in early 1982. This also happened shortly after Ozzy had begun his tour in support of 1981's Diary of a Madman. Ozzy decided to soldier on and continue the tour. By the time this show was filmed Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) was Ozzy's guitarist. Filling out the live band were Rudy Sarzo on bass,tommy Aldridge on drums and Don Airey on keyboards. The set list relies heavily on material from Ozzy's solo debut "Blizzard of Ozz". There are also a few songs from Diary of a madman and a few Sabbath songs towards the end of the set. The video and audio quality are similar to that of a VHS tape, but I'll cut them some slack since the show was filmed 30 years ago. Let's get the negative out of the way first and then we'll get to the positive. Brad Gillis had some huge footsteps to fill following Randy Rhoads and trying to handle Tony Iommi's riffs on the few Sabbath classics that are on here. He handles the rhythms well enough, but his solos are rather average. As I said I am sure it was tough to follow Rhoads, but when I compare how Gillis plays the Rhoads/Ozzy tunes and the Sabbath tracks I fins myself thinking that he tries his best go note by note on the rhythms with no real music personality of his own. Perhaps he was told not to improvise, but either way his playing is rather average. It's not Brad Gillis' name that appears in great big letters on the front of this DVD so the madman himself is open for some criticism as well. This was during a time where Ozzy was probably living pretty wild and I am sure the death of Randy Rhoads took it's toll on him as well. He looks extremely tired here and it's funny to realize that even thirty years ago Ozzy moved like an old man as he shuffled about across a limited range on the set. I am not sure if his struggles with getting the mic in the stand was due to the equipment iteself or Ozzy not being sober, but either way he struggles and fiddles with said equipment all through the show. Now that the gripes are out of the way lets get to why this disc is worth seeing. There is a lack of spectacular solos and the keyboards being more prominent than needed on a few songs, but other that is an overall tight set with a solid song selection. Ozzy's band sticks in there and show a considerable amount of enthusiasm all the way through. Ozzy himself sounds in good form. He may look and move like he was on his last leg, but his vocals were all that I hoped for. Despite looking fatigued he sure doesn't get tired as the show goes on, in fact he gets stronger and sounded even better as he went along. The stage set is a parts of a huge castle which look great even though we know Ozzy isn't going to be doing any running around out there. Maybe this shows my age, but I really liked the simple camera work that was typical of that time. There are only a few cameras and no quick cuts. I felt like I was really to getting to see a lot this way as opposed to some videos of recents years where they switch angles every few seconds. Ozzy wasn't perfect on this set, but he was good and seeing this show I am reminded of why he once held in such high regard in the metal community once upon a time.

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Blogger non de guerre said...

You mean Ozzy ISN'T held in high regard by the "metal community" nowadays? Is this the same community that favors those cheesy concert festivals that you like to make fun of, Mark?

11:19 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Tom-That's really different audiences because Ozzy was certainly metal in his prime while those festivals are largely glam. Ozzy has not done a good album in over twenty years. However between 1970 and 1991 most of what he did was good or great. Since then he can barely talk, his wife pulls him around by his puppet strings and all his albums since the mid-90's have stunk.
The people that go to those glam festivals are not normally metal fans, but people who liked the radio hits of Poison, Warrant and the like in the late 80's-early 90's. This is not the metal community or even metal. It's just people that wish it were still 1990.
So there is a difference.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous scott whitt said...

I happy to inform you that because of your excellent review of this historic Ozzy release. Sharon has had the contract on your life rescinded.
Just be careful.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Thanks, Scott. Ozzy's work after 1991 has been a joke. However seeing this DVD reminded me of why I liked him so much once upon a time.

3:30 AM  

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