Friday, April 12, 2013

FDF Volume 3 Issue 300 - Ozzy Osbourne - Tribute

Album - Tribute
Artist – Ozzy Osbourne
Key Players – Tommy Aldridge – drums. Rudy Sarzo – bass. Ozzy Osbourne – vocals. Randy Rhoads – guitar. Bob Daisley played bass on “Goodbye to Romance” and “No Bones Movies”. Lee Kerslake played drums on “Goodbye to Romance” as well as “No Bones Movies”.

Produced By – Max Norman

Release Date – March 19, 1987

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I have been thinking about this collection as of late so I decided to check it out. I tend to NOT like to do best of's or live records because both are usually the artists more well know tunes. Never the less, decided to go with it.

Overview - The band was touring the US for the “Diary of a Madman” album when on March 19, 1982 Randy Rhodes boarded a small plane. The plane would crash killing all aboard.

The double live album was released 5 years after Randy's death.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The 13 live tracks start with the audience erupting as the band comes on the stage to Carmina Burana (theme from the Omen as its wildly know). Ozzy shouts “are you ready?” and “You are beautiful” as the climax of the opera ends and Aldrige smashes the gong and “I Don't Know” gets underway. Sarzo is right up there in the mix on the bass and Ozzy is in all his glory. Of course we need to pay attention to the fills from Rhoads...and there are a lot. He is clean and tight with this riffs and everyone is right with him. The live mix is good (the re-issue sounds particularly clean). As the band hits the bridge and Ozzy tells everyone to “stand up” they ease back some, but then it all comes back with Aldridge attacking the kit and Rhoads then launching into the guitar solo. The covers the fret board an awful lot and is very quick and clean. Sarzo is not buried in the mix which is nice and we all come back in with the gong crash. It speeds towards conclusion, a solid opener. The classic “Crazy Train” follows and they don't let up. Ozzy seems to struggle a little with the high notes, but the music is just so tight you don't care. It is easily one of the most recognizable guitar riffs ever. Sarzo gets the spotlight at the start of “Believer” before Rhoads screeches in on the guitar. Aldrige and Sarzo walk the bottom as Rhoads takes off, but not too far. The song is a bit slower than the two juggernaut opening tracks, but its still just as heavy and Rhoads is always on the attack. The sampled organ loop of “Mr.Crowley” brings a thunderous roar from the audience This is about as mellow as the band gets, but it is still pretty darn heavy. Rhoads has a perfect solo. It is perfect on every level, length, tone, speed and attack. Just top notch. Clean as hell too. Why, it is so good, he does a second one. Showing he is/was as big a name as the front man. Perhaps my favorite tune from Ozzy comes in “Flying High Again”. He is so happy to play it he tells the audience to “keep on smoking those joints!” It is a pretty straight forward rock attack, but there is something about it that is just perfect to me. “Revelation (Mother Earth)” is about as “rock ballad” as this collection allows. The bass guitars and drums don't want you to think that, but it is. “Steal Away (the Night)” comes right out of the gates. Ozzy pushes himself and Sarzo is right on task with Rhoads. This is a track for Aldridge as we get a 4+ minute drum solo segment. One of the most popular and controversial songs is next as “Suicide Solution” is performed. The band is tight and on task and it is a terrific version, but what stands out is the Rhoads solo. It is just him, nobody else besides a wild crowd. If you close your eyes you can just see a spot light on a guy, just going OFF on the guitar. It is a terrific hard rock solo that is probably one of the key reasons people site Rhoads as an influence. The band comes back in and the track heads towards a conclusion. The band heads towards the Sabbath part of the set with “Iron Man” leading the charge. It is a tight barring a few flashes from Rhoads it is just about spot on to the original. The band doesn't even slow down, other than for Ozzy to shout “This is  Children Of the Grave!” Aldridge gets on the ride cymbal and he continues to be the real back/driving force on the album. Sarzo is sort of buried in the mix, but when you are looking to showcase guitars, well you get it here and the end in particular, smokes. “Paranoid” is the last song of what is considered to be the same set. (Rumors have this as being May 11, 1981 from Cleveland Ohio). Rhoads plays the main bass riff on his guitar for this song. The band does a ferocious take on this and it rivals, dare one say, the original. Sarzo, and Aldrige go just as hard as a Bill Ward and and Geezer Butler. Rhoads is a bit more flashy that Iommi was, but its still a great version. “Goodbye to Romance” and “No Bone Movies” were recorded (again rumored to be from the first Blizzard of Ozz Tour October 2, 1980 from Southampton) with Daisley on bass and Kerslake on drums. “Goodbye” sounds as clean as a studio version. The constant scream/buzz from the audience is a little overwhelming, but you can get over it quickly enough. “No Bone..” is a bit more fun and satisfying and is a solid “final track” for the collection. Rhoads is solid as ever. “Dee” is culled from studio outtakes of Rhoads working on a classically inspired guitar piece he had written for his mother. Fans enjoy this version as it has Randy laughing and talking at times. A nice side of a loud guitar player showing his calm/quiet side.

Where are they now? - As noted, Rhoads died in 1982 after a plane crash.
After Rhodes death Sarzo was soon to follow. He'd join up with Quiet Riot who would have large success and also work with Whitesnake. More recently Sarzo has joined up with Geoff Tate, the former front man for Queensryche, and is touring as the bass player for his band as they perform an anniversary tour. Tommy Aldrige worked with Sarzo as well, first in their project M.A.R.S. He was with Sarzo in Whitesnake as well and then worked with Motorhead and Ted Nugent. The most recent update on him is that he is re-joining Whitesnake. Ozzy continues to write and perform and has re-united with Black Sabbath. The band has a new album due in June of 2013.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I've seen Ozzy on two separate OzzFest occasions. The first was July 9, 1998 and the second was July 30, 2000. Both were at the Tweeter/Comcast/Great Woods in Mansfield MA. Ozzy played fun sets and it was wild to see a guy “that old” with “that much” energy. I'd see him again.

FDF Overall Take  - It is a time captule for sure.  Its all very well known songs and new and old fans should be pleased with the selections.  The sound has been cleared up.  I always recall the cassette tape version I had of there where the audience roar was one long constant drone on the songs.  We all know, that never happens at shows.  The cleaned up version is better, but any version will do.  Grab this one.

The official Ozzy site
Curious? Check out some MUSIC!
Crazy Train  
Suicide Solution    (with solo)

Pretty easy to find still, start with

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