Welcome to another 1982 album that came to my attention while I was still serving with the marines on Okinawa. Even when I first heard then, I, like many others, speculated on why Ozzy would put out an album featuring live performances of his Black Sabbath material. Further investigation turned up that the reason was that this album was a contractual obligation album with Jet Records. That could explain many things like why Ozzy has publicly renounced the album.
Another thing it explains is the shockingly bad production of the album. Yes, this is a live album but it sounds like it was recorded live at a local pub. I can hear why many people found this album off putting. A further reason was that Ozzy’s drinking problem was getting to him big time. The vinyl version has pictures of a road crew member who suffered from dwarfism, bringing Ozzy drinks in between songs. It also explains why his voice wasn’t tip top on “Speak of the Devil.”
In spite of all my negativity here, if you really want all the Black Sabbath classics and are too cheap to go out and buy all their albums, then this is a decent substitute. Yep, all the great songs are there. “Iron Man,” “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” “Snowblind,” my all time favourite Sabbath song, “War Pigs” and as always, the live show is ended with “Paranoid.” They’re all there although some songs sound better than others and none of them come up to the standard of when they were first recorded. Personally, I think “The Wizard” sounds the best on it.
One more positive I can add is that Ozzy always gets a good crew of musicians behind him and this is the case on “Speak of the Devil.” Here, we have Brad Gillis, before he joined Night Ranger on guitar, Rudy Sarzo, who would go to Quiet Riot on bass and Tommy Aldridge on drums. When the production allows, the talents of these three men show through and make the album listenable.
- Symptom of the Universe
- Black Sabbath
- Fairies Wear Boot
- War Pigs
- The Wizard
- Sweet Leaf
- Never Say Die
- Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
- Iron Man/Children of the Grave
Ozzy Osbourne- vocals
Brad Gillis- guitar
Rudy Sarzo- bass
Tommy Aldridge- drums
“Speak of the Devil” isn’t one that is mentioned along with the other great Ozzy Osbourne albums. In fact, it has been universally agreed that a better live album would come out four years later. Don’t worry, I’ll post about that one in due time. Still, if you fancy a trip down memory lane and want to hear Ozzy sing some Black Sabbath classics, then this album is okay to do that.
Next post: Iron Maiden- Piece of Mind
To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html
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