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Ozzy Osbourne - 'Speak Of The Devil' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c4/c1/29/2694_ozzyosbournespeakofthedevildvd_1346403298.jpg Hot

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Vintage stuff.

Ozzy Osbourne fans may remember an album of the name 'Speak Of The Devil' (or 'Talk Of The Devil' here in the UK) which featured a blazingly good band comprised of Don Airey, Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge and Night Ranger's Brad Gillis doing a superb job on guitar, attempting to fill the void left by Randy Rhodes' tragic passing. The album featured only Black Sabbath material and there was much speculation that it was simply put out to compete with the official live album by Black Sabbath, 'Live Evil', featuring Ronnie James Dio on vocals. Ozzy himself has little time for the album, claiming he was pressured into recording it, which suggests there might be some validity to that theory.

So what is this DVD called 'Speak Of The Devil'? Hardcore Ozzy fans will probably already know, as it was formerly available on VHS and Laserdisc (remember them?). It is in fact a full concert from the 'Diary Of A Madman' tour, featuring the same line up of Gillis, Sarzo, Airey and Aldridge - except this is a proper indication of what Ozzy was performing back then. Sabbath material is in very short supply, represented by just three songs in the form of 'Iron Man', 'Children Of the Grave' and 'Paranoid' to close the show. Everything else is from the 'Blizzard Of Ozz' and 'Diary Of A Madman' albums, and what a collection of music it is.

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When Randy Rhodes was tragically killed, the tour was put on hold for a while before continuing first with ex-Gillan guitarist Bernie Tormé on guitar, and later with Brad Gillis. The band tear through the superb material that Ozzy and Rhodes worked on, such as 'Over The Mountain', 'Mr Crowley', 'Crazy Train', I Don't Know', 'Flying High Again' and many more. I have been critical of Ozzy's live performances in later years, but here he is on top form, delivering everything superbly. The band is phenomenal and the show motors past almost in the blink of an eye.

Visually, despite being a little dated, the show still impresses with a large castle backdrop and lasers. It gives an interesting opportunity to see Ozzy develop his craft without Black Sabbath and realise how strong these songs sound live. There's nothing in the way of extras, but what you do get is eighty minutes of premium quality rock, played by an all star band and performed by Ozzy when he was arguably at his peak. Vintage stuff!

James Gaden

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