Ozzy Osbourne  Speak Of The Devil

  When guitarist Randy Rhoads was tragically killed on March 19 1982 during the tour for Ozzy Osbourne's second solo album  Diary Of A Madman, the outrageous front man dealt with the staggering grief the only way he know how to. He medicated himself with loads of booze & drugs and hit the road. 

   After a few shows with Bernie Torme filling in for Rhoads, Brad Gillis stepped in to take over guitar duties. A live album featuring this line-up Speak Of The Devil was released but strangely consisted only of Black Sabbath songs.​

   Now a long circulating professionally filmed show shot on June 12 1982 at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in California has finally officially made it to DVD also titled Speak Of The Devil  (the album was not from this show however). The set list is a mix of  tracks from the debut Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary plus three Sabbath tunes to wind things up.

​   Band members Rudy Sarzo (bass guitar), Tommy Aldridge (drums) and Don Airey (keys) rock out admirably and Gillis does a serviceable job but Rhoads' absence just casts too large a shadow over the proceedings.  

 

    The vocals aren't live either.

 

RL 2012

         various artists  Blizzards From Oz: A Tribute To Bob Daisley

  The first two Ozzy Osbourne solo albums Blizzard Of Ozz (1980) and Diary Of A Madman ('81) helped define the Eighties hard rock scene with the lethal combination of Randy Rhoads' blazing guitar work and bassist Bob Daisley's exceptional songwriting.
Unfortunately Daisley rarely gets the credit he deserves for all the songs he wrote for Osbourne (and no, Ozzy didn't do much in writing all those old Sabbath tunes either). Thanks to Ozzy's wife Sharon, he has a hard time getting paid too.


  This new CD was recorded to try and shine a little of the spotlight on Daisley's work by covering some of his best known Ozzy compositions such as "Crazy Train", "I Don't Know", "Mr Crowley", "Flying High Again" etc...
The band performing on the album consists of various sidemen who have played with Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Glenn Hughes, Tony Martin and Blue Oyster Cult among others.  The guys have recorded pretty faithful renditions of the songs and vocalist Joe Lalonde does a good job filling in for Ozzy.
A nice companion disc for those who love the early Ozzy records.

 

RL 2012

 

Ozzy Osbourne  Blizzard Of Ozz & Diary Of A Madman

   The early 80's resurgence of acrobatic guitar based hard rock was the direct result of these two pivotal albums. Expanding on Edward Van Halen's earlier revolutionary work, 23 year old Randy Rhoads blazed a trail of fiery axe work with classical embellishments. The debut  Blizzard Of Ozz  featured immediate Ozzy classics like "I Don't Know" and "Crazy Train", then the band hit the road on a hugely successful headlining tour.
  The follow-up  Diary Of A Madman used the same template, offering up newly cut slabs of hard rock perfection such as "Over The Mountain" and "Flying High Again". Clearly the musical inventiveness displayed by Rhoads mixed with bassist Bob Daisley's striking lyrics had become a winning formula. The party was cut short though when Rhoads was tragically killed during the Diary  tour in 1982.

  Not everyone has always treated these records with the respect they deserve however. In a real under-handed move, in 2002 Ozzy's manager/wife notoriously re-released the albums on CD with the bass and drum parts replaced by newer musicians (who of course had never played with Rhoads). 

  Luckily brand new reissues (the fourth CD releases of these titles, see pic) not only restore the original music but add bonus tracks to Blizzard Of Ozz and best of all Diary Of A Madman gets a second disc of a live show from the 1981 tour.

  While these are the definitive releases so far of these two important albums, they could have been done a bit better. The live show on Diary actually belongs on the debut which would free up space for the second album to get it's own bonus material, which it deserves.

  RL