Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ozzy Osbourne “Speak of the Devil - Live from Irvine Meadow ‘82”

(Eagle Vision) I can’t believe how long I had this sitting on my desk without playing it. I figured, ‘why would I want to see an Ozzy concert from just after Randy Rhoads died?’ Which completely ignores Rhoads’ legacy. While I’m sure Rhoads would have been a bit more exciting to watch shred than the totally acceptable Brad Gillis, the reason Randy was a metal miracle was his influence on the songwriting – the Rhoads-assisted Ozzy solo records made hard rock poppy and hooky without losing the manliness and metallic edge in ways that Def Leppard and Billy Squier only hinted at. The reason to watch Ozzy live post “Blizzard” and “Diary” is because thanks to Randy (and a few Sabbath cuts) this is a show that probably features the strongest material in the history of the genre. And the fact that Ozzy is playing on a stage that looks like a Satatnic temple with flying laser demons, full-on pyro, and a keyboardist in a-hooded druid robe don’t hurt either. And let’s not fail to celebrate that Ozzy, his voice a marvel of metal, is meandering around the stage looking like Benn Hill in a fright wig, wearing a spandex workout outfit that looks like he should be in a Jane Fonda exercize video…and he still comes off as the greatest frontman in hard rock history! There are a million great details…the druid pianoman screwing up his costume by wearing his wedding ring…Ozzy;s tattooist being identified in the end credits…Ozzy drinking water from a chalice…every note of “Flying High Again,” “Paranid,” “Suiciede Solution,” “Mr. Corwley,” “Over the Mountain,” and ever other song. But it’s the big picture that matters…and it’s a big picture of Ozzy maniacally smiling. Watch this and you will be too.

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