Jake Bark (Calm & Storm 034)
Shibuya Kokaldo, Tokyo, Japan July 7, 1984
(74:23) Carl Orff “Carmina Burana”, I Don’t Know, Mr. Crowley, Rock “N” Roll Rebel, Bark At The Moon, Revelation (Mother Earth), Steal Away (The Night), Member Introduction, Suicide Solution incl. Guitar Solo, Centre Of Eternity, Drum Solo, Flying High Again, Iron Man, Crazy Train, Paranoid
One of the newer Calm & Storm releases features a recording of Ozzy from his Japanese tour in support of the Bark At The Moon record. The source is credited to the archives of Miracle Man and like the couple others I have from his archive is an excellent if slightly distant recording with a very well balanced and enjoyable sound, Its Ozzy so you do need to have the volume up loud. The interesting thing about this show was that touring keyboard man Don Airey was not present and the band is down to the three piece of Jake E. Lee on guitar, Tommy Aldridge on drums and Bob Daisley on Bass. The lack of keyboards does not harm the band and is anything makes the guys raise their game up a notch.
The set list is standard and begins with the Carmina Burana intro and the crowd seem to be ready and clap in unison as to give Ozzy a warm welcome. The band hit the stage with a blistering I Don’t Know, the enthusiastic audience helps the Ozz man with the chorus of “I Don’t Know”, Jake plays the solo almost note for note like Randy but is a brilliant player and really works his fret board the entire song.
The between song banter is brief and Ozzy introduces the next song Mr. Crowley, with no keyboard player the duties fall upon Jake and he plays the keyboard intro on guitar and Tommy does augment the piece in a couple places, the version is a great version and the lack of keyboards only adds to its heaviness. Rock “N ” Roll Rebel is the first of three new songs from the Bark record, standard Ozzy with the lyrics addressing his onstage persona that was good media fair but it is the title track, Bark At The Moon, that really smokes. Jake wrote a killer and very fast riff, the audience again helps with the chorus making for a great version of a song that still makes the set list.
Revelation (Mother Earth) is up next, together with Mr. Crowley, is a song that Don Airey really put his stamp on by playing a very beautiful score on. For tonight’s version, sans Don, the band drop his spot where he would play his solo and go into the heavy riff part of the song, Jake throws in a killer solo and gets a cheer from the audience who by the end of the song are doing as Ozzy commands…going crazy.
The song is of course linked non stop with Steal Away (The Night) which is very atmospheric as the audience is again providing backing vocals. Ozzy introduces the guys in the band and it leads into Suicide Solution and an all too brief Jake solo spot. With a stripped down band you can really appreciate Bob Daisley’s bass playing, he provides a nice fat bottom end. Before the he lets the guys loose, Ozzy tells the audience to go crazy as it is their last night in Japan, they do as instructed, Jake gets his spot in a band jam that follows the one that Randy Rhoads used to utilize. Jake has his own style of playing and does a great solo, first a flurry of notes before heading into some Hendrix like overtures.
Tommy gets his solo spot tacked onto Journey To The Center Of Eternity, minus keyboard intro the band plow into the song full force (curiously the song was labeled as Forever on European pressing of Bark). The band is quit energized and even though Airey is not playing on this night, his is not missed as the band is just so good. As always Tommy’s solo’s are something to hear, in my opinion the best drummer to play in Ozzy’s band his spot garners many cheers from the audience.
The first Sabbath song of the night is Iron Man and is coupled not with Children Of The Grave as in years past but with Crazy Train, the crowd simply erupts when the band break into the classic riff of the song and clap through. It is great to here the crowd sing the chorus again, Ozzy has them in the palm of his hand throughout the concert. The band is brought back for an encore, there is only one song that can do it justice. Paranoid is a classic song and a great closer, I love the Jake versions and feel he adds something special to the song, there is even time for a shout along as Ozzy works the crowd one last time. A superbly played and enjoyable concert.
The packaging is full color inserts in a jewel case with live pictures plus logo graphics from the era and, as is becoming a regular bonus on their releases, a copy of the concert ticket. The Miracle Man archives seem to be deep and Calm & Storm continue to produce some very nice titles, anything from the 1980-84 era Ozzy is a must have for me and the interesting performance make this one to check out.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)