Speak Evil Of Ozz (Shades 509)
Mid South Coliseum, Memphis, Tn. USA April 28, 1982
(78:45) Radio Announcer Introduction, Diary Of A Madman, Over The Mountain, Mr. Crowley, Crazy Train, Revelation (Mother Earth), Steal Away (The Night), Suicide Solution, Guitar Solo, Suicide Solution (Reprise), Drum Solo, Goodbye To Romance, I Don’t Know, Believer, Flying High Again, Iron Man, Children Of The Grave, Paranoid, Announcer Closing Credits
After the tragic death of Randy Rhoads on March 19, 1982 the Blizzard Of Ozz drafted guitarist Bernie Torme to fill his shoes but it was just for a short period, his heart was not into the style of music and it was a tremendous set of shoes to fill, one he was not up for. During his brief time with the band the auditioned several guitarist before settling on Californian Brad Gillis, formally of Rubicon and currently of Night Ranger.
Thankfully many of the shows with Torme were recorded, although in poor quality audience tapes that circulate among collectors and are worth seeking out. Brad Gillis made his live debut with the band on April 12, 1982 in Binghampton, NY and he passed with flying colors, his was able to play the Rhoads material with great accuracy while adding in his own distinct style to the music. A little more than two weeks later the band played a gig in Memphis that was broadcast live on the radio and ultimately become the source for this release.
I first downloaded this show in much worse quality years back on a well know torrent site, there was a regular version and a Gardner re master that was a slight improvement. Then last year I saw the show pop up on the same tracker and downloaded it not expecting much more that what I had, boy was I surprised. The quality far exceeded the previous version and sounded like it may come from a source at the radio station, it is this version that is used here.
Excellent, well balanced if anything the keyboards may be a little high in the mix superb sounding recording, it sounds a little brighter and fuller than the torrent did so obviously the did some mastering to the source and it only makes a good thing better, to my humble ears sounds as good as an official release. It should be noted that this show was released years ago on Silver Cross (Neptune 55931/2), needlessly stretched out on two cds where it can fit easily on a single and my main reason for never buying the title.
The cd start off with a couple guys who introduce the start off the concert describing Ozzy in his “Satanic type of throne” that leads into the Diary intro commonly used on the tour, during which the Ozzman appears on stage and is already demanding the crowd get their hands in the air. Thev set list is consistent for the tour, the opening of Over The Mountain followed nonstop by Mr. Crowley and it is here that Gillis shows his prowess on guitar, he rips through both solos with authority and homage to the fallen Rhoads and is nothing short of brilliant.
Ozzy’s between song banter consists of telling the crowd they are live on the radio and they proceed to go crazy, and it will get crazier and the band play a dynamic Crazy Train, this is a song where the keyboard sound a little high in the mix and we able to hear Don Aireys work in all its glory, there is a nice bottom end to the recording also and all the bands individual contributions can be nicely heard. Revelation and Steal Away are always highlights and things really heat up for Suicide Solution, the bands vehicle for solo’s and a breather for Ozzy.
It starts with Ozzy introducing the band amidst air horns giving the effect of a party atmosphere, his vocals sound a little lethargic but the band is ready and the interaction between Airey and Gillis start right away with what sounds as a futuristic battle all the while Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldrdige keep a steady beat. Gillis plays a nice solo using the familiar melodic theme Rhoads played and Aldridge pummels his kit with both sticks and bare hands to great effect.
I Don’t Know and Flying high Again are terrific but it’s the old Sabbath number Iron Man and Children Of The Grave really deliver, Gillis soars on them and delivers a great solo to end Children of The Grave and the obligatory Paranoid finishes the concert in fine fashion.
This is the third release this year from various labels documenting the legendary 1982 tour and with the infamous Speak Of The Devil MTV concert finally out on DVD Ozzy fans have much to shout about, for myself I am thrilled and would love to see more from this tour.
The packaging is nice, full color inserts of live shots from the tour, all except the inside tray insert that features what looks to be a Christ crucifixion statue picture that is totally un related to Ozzy. The back cover pic is a great one of Ronnie the midget being hung in the alcove behind the drum set. This is a must have for Ozzy / Sabbath fans and an excellent production from the fine folks at Shades, Great Job !