Ozzy Osbourne – Detroit 1982 (Zodiac 588)

Detroit 1982 (Zodiac 588)

Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI, USA – February 8, 1982

Disc 1 (55:42) Diary Of A Madman (Introduction), Over The Mountain, Mr. Crowley, Crazy Train, Revelation (Mother Earth), Steal Away (The Night), Suicide Solution, Guitar Solo, Drum Solo, Goodbye To Romance, I Don’t Know, No Bone Movies

Disc 2 (25:30) Believer, Flying High Again, Iron Man, Children Of The Grave, Paranoid

Hang on to your seat, today we’ve got something very exciting from the Zodiac label, a recording that has never been bootlegged from Ozzy Osbourne’s tour in support of Diary Of A Madman. The show is not only new to the collectors market but is also taken from a city and venue near and dear to me, the historic Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The recording comes from a well know tracker earlier this year and is part of the GManOf Memories series, the torrent was uploaded March 19th, the day that 41 years earlier the world lost Randy Rhoads. This recording comes a day before the Kalamazoo recording which has been released as Still Believer (Shout To The Top STTP 066) and Kalamazoo 1982 (Zodiac 406).

This recording from Detroit is a very good audience recording, slightly distant but very well balanced with all instruments clear in the mix. The sound is slightly boomy and muddy and there is just a bit of tape hiss, the audience are crazed and this recording captures the atmosphere of an early 80’s Ozzy concert perfectly. I used to have a recording of this concert recorded by Dave_Jr, a Detroit area taper, I tried to locate it but could not find it, so I cannot clarify if this is his source or a different recording, nonetheless I am very glad to have a new Ozzy title in my collection.

The recording begins as the house lights go on, you can hear music being played over the P.A., not sure what band it was but the audience is going crazy. It’s a full minute and a half of cheering and chanting “Ozzy…Ozzy…” before the Diary intro tape begins then the level is raised higher culminating in the band hitting the stage and ripping into Over The Mountain. The music is blistering, Ozzy’s vocals start off a bit rough, half the way through his voice begins to improve, the Madman is back. Ozzy tells the people in Detroit to go “F**cking Crazy” which they duly respond to and the band go into Mr. Crowley, perhaps my favorite of the Randy era tunes, his solos are just perfection and he plays them with passion.

Having had the previous night off and being in Detroit is bringing the best out of Ozzy, a couple songs in and he is primed to be in Detroit, demanding the audience give even more leading into Crazy Train, they return the energy. After the high energy start Ozzy tells the Motor City faithful “Join Me…Be a part of Ozzy C’mon!…OZZY RULES!” and they settle down into a beautifully played version of Revelation (Mother Earth). This song is just an excellent show piece for both Randy and Don Airey, fantastic playing from both of them, of course it is properly followed by the rollicking Steel Away (The Night).

Ozzy needs a break and I need more Randy, next up is Suicide Solution and he’ll get his rest, not before flubbing some lyrics! He is living in the moment and is really in great form, loving being in Detroit and back in the venue he played many times with Black Sabbath. I like the band jam concept, the interplay between Randy and Don is exciting, would have loved to know Randy’s thoughts on playing with such a master musician. The jam leads into a thundering Tommy Aldridge drum solo that is very powerful sounding, the audience is going nuts and is much deserved. The Suicide jam and solos give way to a beautiful version of Goodbye To Romance, the song features Ozzy’s best vocals of the evening and Randy’s playing is so emotive, Goodbye to all the best. At the 4:35 mark the taper knows he needs to flip the tape, the 4:46 spot is a small cut, very little is lost. The ending of Romance goes right into I Don’t Know, balls out Metal at its best. Ozzy tells the audience “your the greatest people in the world, do you know that?”, certainly a heartfelt comment to the Detroit fan base.

No Bone Movies is excellent live, a good time jam and rather unappreciated in the Ozzy catalog, perhaps the subject matter of wanking is a bit much, all tongue in cheek. I love how the band really jam up the ending, fast and riffing like crazy…great stuff. “Do you believe in Rock And Roll?…this is another new number called Believer”, certainly the committed fans knew this song from the previous years tour. Nice fat bass sound from Rudy Sarzo over which fan plays the Hendrix inspired moans, the song is Metallic tinged with psychedelia, the recording picks up Don Airey’s keyboards nicely which gives it an interesting feel. Flying High Again begins with a bass and drum jam before going into the main riff, it works in a weird way but I never had an issue with the original.

Just before the Sabbath numbers Ozz gets the audience to do the “1…2…3…YEAH” cheer and the first response slightly distorts the recording! The crowd is so loud one can almost picture the band smiling, usually he has to tell them to be louder. He does ask for one more cheer before going into Iron Man, the sound is standard, the real meat of the Sabbath material is during a ripping version of Children Of The Grave, Randy seemed to have enjoyed playing this song the most as evident of all the small flourishes. The audience are eating it up, they are loud and totally into the song which brings a riotous climax to the main set. The audience want more and the encore is a furious Paranoid, the band deliver the final blow to the Motor City ending an excellent concert. 

The packaging is excellent, the cover is a homage to the Tribute record, a classic shot of Ozzy and Randy in action, musical and performance chemistry is undeniable. The interior is filled with live shots, a great one featuring the full castle is included. The rear features a ticket stub and event poster, the numbered sticker is an outtake from the Diary LP cover photo shoot, the CD’s feature a great pic of Randy playing the white Jackson. I am a huge fan of this historical documentation added to the recording, it honors the event in the proper way. If there is one drawback from this title is that it’s very short, just over 81 minutes but I am glad they did not trim it to fit on one disc, not sure what filler I would even use, that being said I love the packaging and the performance is A+ so full marks go to this title.   

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