Let’s Go Crazy (Tarantura TCDOZ-1-1,2)
Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan Friday July 9, 1982
Disc 1 (61:12) Opening, Diary Of A Madman (intro), Over The Mountain, Mr. Crowley, Crazy Train, Revelation (Mother Earth), Steal Away (The Night), Band Introductions / Suicide Solution, Brad Gillis Guitar Solo / Jam, Tommy Aldridge Drum Solo / Jam, Don Airey Keyboard Solo, Goodbye To Romance, I Don’t Know
Disc 2 (31:03) No Bone Movies, Believer, Flying High Again, Iron Man, Children Of The Grave, Paranoid (Encore), SC / Announcements
Ozzy Osbourne’s first tour of Japan happened as a solo artist in the summer of 1982, riding a wave of triumph and tragedy. The triumph came on his incredible success as a solo artist, after getting the boot from Black Sabbath in the late 70’s he formed the Blizzard of Ozz with guitar wunderkind Randy Rhoads and produced two landmark albums but it was Rhoads death in an airplane accident that brought his greatest tragedy.
There was no stopping the machine and he drafted Brad Gillis formerly of the California band Rubicon and currently of up and coming Night Ranger to fill the guitar slot for the rest of the years touring commitments. The chemistry between the new guitar player and the other band members was instantaneous and the proceeded to burn up stages across the USA, these results can be seen on the recently release Speak Of Devil DVD (Live at Irvine Meadows 1982) and heard on the Speak Of The Devil record (made up of all Sabbath classics).
The Japanese trek was undeniably a success but until a few years ago fans had no way to hear these concerts, thankfully the past couple of years have shed some light on this tour, the first was the Paranoid In Nagoya 1982 (Tarantura TCDOZ-2-1,2) featuring a great Mr. Peach recording. While the Peach recordings are all of high quality the Ozzy recording suffered from the live sound mix being slightly off leading into the drums distorting the sound. This new release again features a Mr. Peach recording and is an improvement over the prior release, it is very good clear and sounds like it was recorded in front of Rudy Sarzo as his bass is slightly dominate but not overpowering. It is a very atmospheric recording just shy of excellent that perfectly captures the mood of the show and does sound good at loud volumes, if anything just slightly muddy.
The audience is clambering for Ozzy from the word go and the band hit the stage with Over The Mountain, a brilliant opener and excellent song. Brad guitar is low in the mix for this song but clears up on Mr. Crowley and by the time the band is tearing into Revelation (Mother Earth) the recording is just shy of perfect. The sound is very clear for the song and one can really enjoy Don Airey’s playing, Ozzy’s band was certainly much better with him in the keyboard slot as his talents are impeccable. The heavy section is fantastic and Gillis rips an excellent solo, of course it is linked non stop with Steal Away and the crowd goes nuts when the band plays it. Brad had a completely different style than Rhoads but managed to play the material like he did an added his own flare to the songs, I am a huge fan of his playing with Ozzy during this period. He solos effortlessly and cohesively, the entire band is very tight and is arguably the best band Ozzy would have.
Ozzy introduces each member of the band prior to Suicide Solution, the bands vehicle for solo improvisation.
The song has a slow interlude, Sarzo and Aldridge keep the beat while Gillis solos over but it in slow yet steady unison, Don Airey plays some space kind of thing and also something that sounds like slowed down ambulance sirens to great effect before heading back into the songs main theme. Finally the song gives way and Ozzy gives one last introduction before Brad rips into his solo, he had a finger tremolo style he does and then just rips in a furious stream of notes, his work elicited larger cheers from the crowd. This all leads into a band jam with a music theme that was consistent with what Randy did prior, it has a great riff and is very melodic sounding and they really sound as if they are having a great time.
The jam leads into the Tommy Aldridge show, incredible drummer who skills are unparallel, he pummels his kits and then goes into what John Bonham used to do, play sans sticks using just his hands and he does skip a beat, so very powerful. I often wonder what a person of his skill is doing, a highly underrated drummer in my book. A brief reprise of the jam rounds it off and the group gives way to the maestro, Don Airey. He starts his solo with a grand piano effect that sounds very proper for a rock and roll show but he was very influenced by synthesizer and space type themes and his spot quickly evolves in the futuristic trip through the cosmos before landing with the melancholy Goodbye To Romance.
The audience not only clap in unison but also quietly augments Ozzy;s vocals during the chorus making for a wonderful ambiance, in fact one can picture the crowds hands in the air swaying back and forth, what Phil from Pantera used to call “do the Ozzy Osbourne”. Brad plays the leads perfectly, the notes just flow from his fret board, a great version of the song indeed. The crowd pay for rock and roll and that’s what they want, I Don’t Know gets the blood pumping and the fists back in the air.
Ozzy shouts “Lets Go Crazy” and that is what they do, one of Rhoads most simple bet incredibly effective riffs the song plain smokes. The crowd has warmed up their lungs and help out the Ozz man with the chorus to great effect and Gillis play a nice twist on the main riff, not sure how to describe it but very cool.
Just before No Bone Movies Ozzy tells the crowd how glad they are to be playing in Japan and they give reciprocate the feeling. No Bone Movies is a feel good romp, there is no stopping the crowd and the clap and sing along to great effect. The ending is great, the band really hammer it out with Tommy just thundering on the double bass drums. Ozzy interaction with the crowd is full on, as the strains of Believer is rearing its head Ozzy tells them “I Love You” and he means it. Sarzo’s bass is nice and clear and we get a chance to enjoy his playing, the bass is like the leads instruments with the guitar weaving around to great effect and the song just sounds very heavy in this recording. Some are Blizzard people, some are Diary people, I include myself in the latter, it is the crowning achievement of Randy Rhoads all to brief career and I love the live versions of its songs.
Ozzy gets the crowd revved up to go flying but has to stop quickly as there is a problem with a drum, it is quickly remedied and the last of the new songs and last from the solo catalog is played. Flying High Again has that great almost funky stop and go riff, the bass is a little over powering during the song. It of course featured one of Randy’s best solos, Brad does his best and hits it out of the park, sticking pretty much to the original one. Ozzy gets some crowd interaction prior to playing some of his old Sabbath material, they do not need to fully understand the English language to know what to do…the master front man guides them brilliantly.
Iron Man comes from the depths and sounds as if they are in slow motion, Brad puts his own little twist on the main riff at times but it is Children Of The Grave that puts it over the edge. Again it sounds very heavy thanks to the bass but that is the way it should sound, nice and fat. During the slower heavy middle section you can almost picture the throngs of people head banging before getting leveled as the main faster riff plows over them. There is only one way to end an Ozzy show, the fans demand more and they get it with Paranoid.
The audience and bands efforts are in complete unison and the wild orgy ends all to brief, the band is gone but the crazed audience wants more, the wildly clap, shout and cheers while the announcements are played over the PA system. Ozzy shows were not simply concerts but events, this is one that like the other circulating shows from this tour is very satisfying.
The packaging is standard Tarantura, glossy gatefold sleeve with a great picture of a young looking Ozzy holding the large metal cross he would carry onstage at the concerts beginning, the rest of the sleeve is adorned with pictures from the era with a great backstage shot of the band. There is a obligatory picture of the master cassettes and ticket stub and the cd’s have pictures on them to boot. A fantastic concert in great Peach quality make this release killer and another fine addition to the Ozzy section of my collection. Tarantura finished up 2012 with a collective bang with the Judas Priest and Ozzy releases, proving once again Metal is alive and well.