8 January 2012, Hager @ 8:02 am
Paranoid in Nagoya 1982 (Tarantura TCDOZ – 2 – 1,2)
Sunday, July 11, 1982, Nagoyashi-Kokaido, Aichi, Japan
Disc One: Announcement by CBC; Diary Of A Madman (Intro); Over The Mountain; Mr. Crowley; Crazy Train; Revelation (Mother Earth); Steal Away (The Night); Suicide Solution; Brad Gillis Guitar Solo / Jam; Tommy Aldridge Drum Solo / Jam; Don Airey Keyboard Solo; Goodbye To Romance; I Don’t Know
Disc Two: No Bone Movies; Believer; Flying High Again; Iron Man; Children Of The Grave; Paranoid (encore); SE / Announcement
Ozzy’s life and times are well chronicled, from his unceremonious dismissal in 1979 from Black Sabbath to the meteoric resurrection of his flailing career through the brilliance of Sharon Arden, who he would marry on July 4, 1982. Before they married, Ozzy released his seminal solo albums Blizzard of Oz in 1980 and Diary of a Madman in late 1981. Ozzy himself would likely admit (if he already hasn’t) that it wasn’t only his future wife that helped to save and reinvent him, but also the genius of guitarist Randy Rhoads. It was Rhoads’ riffs, hooks and remarkable originality that made Blizzard of Oz and Diary of Madman classics that have stood the test of time. As we all know, Randy was lost in a tragic plane crash on March 19, 1982.
Ozzy auditioned and selected Brad Gillis to fill Rhoads’ enormous shoes on tour dates that included the performances recorded at The Ritz in New York on September 26 and 27, 1982, and released on the wild double album, Speak of the Devil. Gillis’s amazing playing in concerts with Ozzy, and contemporaneous work with Night Ranger on their smash hit first album, Dawn Patrol, instantly catapulted his status into that of guitarist extraordinaire. Speak of the Devil consisted only of Ozzy performing classic Black Sabbath tunes with Gillis, Rudy Sarzo on bass, Tommy Aldridge on drums, and Don Airey on keyboards. Gillis was with the group for less than one year, and was replaced in 1983 by the also awesome Jake E. Lee.
Before the shows on Speak of the Devil, Ozzy’s super group performed a number of concert dates that included the one on this Tarantura release. Unlike the familiar Sabbath material on Speak of the Devil, the earlier concerts showcased songs from Ozzy’s Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman albums, requiring Gillis to also perform Rhoads’ material live. Gillis more than met the challenge, played masterfully, and thankfully Mr. Peach attended and recorded Ozzy’s July 11, 1982 concert. This show happened a mere one week after Ozzy’s marriage to Sharon, and that immeasurable upgrade to his life was on fully display in this performance.
The opening section from “Diary Of A Madman” began the show, but it was severed when Aldridge came pounding in to start “Over the Mountain.” Similar to Peach’s recording of Van Halen’s 1978 concert presented on Tarantura’s 1st Blitz Over Tokyo, there is noticeable distortion in this Ozzy recording. It comes from Aldridge’s mounted toms, as evidenced during the drum solo when only the toms were distorting. But it appears that this was a problem with the venue’s sound system, and not Peach’s equipment, because all other aspects of the performance are clearly and powerfully audible in the recording. All instruments, including Aldridge’s snare and hi-hats, are equally up front in the mix. And Ozzy’s repeated bellowing to the crowd to “come on” and go “crazy” so characteristically spiked the ambiance of this show that any sporadic tom-tom work by Aldridge is immediately lost (and actually fitting) with everything else going on.
“Mr. Crowley” followed, and without any let-up. Don Airey was heavy metal’s Keith Emerson, having gained prominence through his years with Rainbow before Ozzy, and his presence was perfect in Ozzy’s live sound. “Mr. Crowley” resembled the studio version, but deviated markedly in how it was played and sung. Gillis’s soloing was particularly excellent.
Ozzy shouted “it is good to be here in Japan finally, how you doing?” and then began with his recurring theme of urging the crowd to go “crazy” for the rest of the concert. Like “Mr. Crowley,” “Crazy Train” in concert resembled the studio version, but with exciting differences. There was more tasteful guitar soloing in the beginning, before the main part of the song kicked-in, and Aldridge was simply brutal, using his bass drums to great effect during Gillis’s solo in the middle of the song. As great as Lee Kerslake was on Blizzard of Oz, Aldridge (who was Ozzy’s best man in the wedding one week earlier) was an absolute monster, as evidenced not only in this Nagoya show, but also in the Speak of the Devil recordings.
“Revelation (Mother Earth)” was spectacular, almost symphonic, and Ozzy’s voice was in great shape. Its heavy synchopation was accented by Airey’s beautiful, gentle piano playing that was then thrashed away with Gillis’s solo that drove seamlessly into a frantic, rumbling version of “Steal Away (The Night).” A great performance of the song, which included more superb Gillis soloing while Sarzo and Aldridge went after each other.
Ozzy introduced “Suicide Solution” as a song “about drinking booze.” As discussed in his autobiography, I Am Ozzy, this song was part of Ozzy being blamed and sued for a nineteen year old boy’s tragic suicide (the book says the suit was dismissed). Ozzy’s mad behavior is perfectly exhibited on the back of Tarantura’s cover, with a deranged looking Ozzy holding a pistol to his right nostril. That insanity was also what helped to make Ozzy concerts in the early 80’s unforgettable experiences. Here, “Suicide Solution” focused on Gillis, who did a solo spot that broke into a killer jam where Gillis and Airey followed each other’s riffs. This must have been awesome to witness, with Ozzy likely off stage and the four musicians tearing it up. It must also be remembered that Aldridge’s drum riser put him about 20 feet above everyone else down on the stage. And he is what the concert focused on next, with a wonderful solo that included bare hand playing and audience interaction that was infectious. Airey’s keyboard solo followed, possibly leaving one to wonder what Ozzy may have been doing during this interlude of soloing.
“Goodbye to Romance” followed the soloing, with Ozzy’s beautiful performance likely reflecting thoughts about his new wife. “I Don’t Know” then blew apart any mushy feelings, and the concert resumed its heavy, pounding onslaught to close out disc one.
Disc two opens with “No Bone Movies” and you can just feel the good times being had by all in the venue. The echo on Ozzy’s voice was captured perfectly and the band was tight and energized. “Believer” followed and the many nuances of Airey and Gillis’s playing were caught perfectly by Mr. Peach. The song’s heaviness was amazing and is a thrill to hear all these years later. “Flying High Again” was next and (figuratively) things exploded on stage. The band jammed while Ozzy commanded the audience’s response, and then what may be considered some of this group’s greatest moments on stage took place – the “Iron Man-Children of the Grave” show stoppers.
Ozzy demanded that the audience scream “yeah” after he counted to three, and then the songs were played in devastating fashion. After about half of “Iron Man,” the song rumbled apart as Ozzy screamed “let’s go crazy” as they moved into an absolutely wild version of Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave.” Everybody, including Gillis, Aldridge and Sarzo, must have been head-banging in unison, and Mr. Peach caught the moment in stunning completeness. An amazing concert and listening experience, the show concluded with “Paranoid” as Ozzy continued to demand that the audience go crazy.
Tarantura’s release of this Ozzy concert has caused this reviewer to revisit and reinterpret the amazing body of work generated by these artists in the early 1980’s. The beautiful glossy jacket containing the two discs is dressed with pictures of Ozzy from the era, including two live shots on the inside along with superimposed images of the concert tickets and master tapes. This is another superb Tarantura release from the massive and precious archives of Mr. Peach.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)
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