Hot off the Press

Ozzy Osbourne | Speak of the Devil

by John Kindred
– Publisher —

Alright, there is going to be a little confusion over this DVD release by Ozzy Osbourne called Speak of the Devil. Fans will remember that the original live album released in ’82 comprised of performances strictly from Sabbath’s catalog. 1982’s version was released in direct competition with Sabbath’s own forthcoming live album titled Live Evil, which came out later that year. The original plan prior to the untimely death of Randy Rhoads was to release a live album of Osbourne’s solo material. Those plans changed after Rhoads died, as Ozzy was rumored to not want to release a live album with Rhoads with the title of Speak of the Devil; hence ‘82’s Speak of the Devil comprises Sabbath songs.

Flash forward to 2012, and this previously unreleased concert video, in its entirety, finally has an official release with the same name as the 1982s live album. The difference is that this is a live concert that was filmed after Rhoads’ death, with Brad Gillis filling in on guitar, and it features a majority of Osbourne’s solo material. The live concert that featured Rhoads was released in 1987, and we all know that album as Tribute.

The show was part of the delayed continuation of the “Diary of a Madman” tour and was filmed at Irvine Meadows, Calif., in 1982. Ozzy, alongside keyboardist Don Airey, drummer Tommy Aldridge and bassist Rudy Sarzo, were joined by Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) who stepped into fill the shoes of the late Rhoads. The track list includes 14 songs, such as “Over the Mountain,” “Crazy Train,” “Suicide Solution,” “Flyin’ High Again,” “Iron Man,” “Children of the Game” and “Paranoid.”

Honestly, this version of Speak of the Devil is the live album that fans would have wanted in 1982, especially if they couldn’t have the Rhoads live album. Channeling the energy of Rhoads, the band delivers inspiring performances behind the antics and voice of the madman himself, Ozzy. Gillis does an amazing and admirable job, as he emphasizes the use of the wammy bar more than Rhoads. But he plays a majority of the solos note for note. That’s not to say he doesn’t take liberties here and there. Ozzy stalks the stage with Zombie-esque mannerism, belting out songs that today are metal classics. At this stage of his career, his voice is strong, and he projects the lyrics to the audience with confidence.

The audio on Speak of the Devil digitally has been restored and remastered and is available in DTS and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. Although there are no special features, the DVD includes an eight-page booklet with the liner notes penned by former bassist Rudy Sarzo. The video quality probably is the weakest link on the DVD. Although the picture isn’t bad, there are moments in which the band appears a bit blurry. The opening credits are extremely blurry. Still, this is a worthwhile purchase for the fan or die-hard collector, as the sound quality is excellent. There were several cameras recording the show, so there are close-ups, shots from out in the audience, and several times, we see the band from the stage looking out into the audience.

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals
Brad Gillis – Guitar
Rudy Sarzo – Bass
Tommy Aldridge – Drums
Don Airey – Keyboards

‘Speak Of The Devil’ DVD Track Listing:
01. Over The Mountain
02. Mr Crowley
03. Crazy Train
04. Revelation (Mother Earth)
05. Steal Away (The Night)
06. Suicide Solution
07. Guitar / Drum Solo
08. Goodbye To Romance
09. I Don’t Know
10. Believer
11. Flying High Again
12. Iron Man
13. Children Of The Grave
14. Paranoid

Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Hardrock Haven rating: n/a