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BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 12/23/17
I am the Prince of Darkness’ little helper, Bobby Oz inviting you to take a ride with me in the crazy sleigh on this Ozzy & Friends Christmas Weekend.
“Have Yourself an Ozzy Little Christmas” by Bob Rivers comes off of his 2002 White Trash Christmas album. It is a parody of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. And of course it pokes fun at Ozzy Osbourne and his antics in The Osbournes reality that used to air on MTV.
“Run Rudolph Run” recorded by the late Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top and Dave Grohl was featured on the We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year compilation album from 2008.
“Oh Come, O Come, Emanuel” comes from Halford III: Winter Songs, the third studio album by the band Halford, the solo project by Judas Priest frontman and “Metal God” Rob Halford.
“The First Noel” is the final track on The Song Remains Not the Same album by Black Label Society, released May 10, 2011. Basically it is an acoustic rendition performed solo by Zakk Wylde.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 12/16/17
Live Evil is the first official live album by Black Sabbath. The sleeve states the album was recorded in Seattle, San Antonio and Dallas on the Mob Rules tour. It was released in December of 1982.
Live Evil should have been cause for celebration but instead it split the group’s second lineup right down the middle! Tensions were already at an all-time high during the final mixing for the album even as former frontman Ozzy Osbourne was in a bad way, struggling, trying to dealing with the tragic death of guitarist and friend Randy Rhoads. Founding Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler accused singer Ronnie James Dio of sneaking into the studio after hours to raise the volume on his vocal tracks. And he, supposedly also suspected them of doing the same with their guitar and bass parts. Guilty or not, Ronnie finally had enough, so he quit the band and decided to pursue a solo career, taking along drummer Vinny Appice with him. And of course Dio — the band was born to critical acclaim with 1983’s Holy Diver.
Overall Live Evil is a pretty solid live album with spot on performances and pristine in-your-face sound, that showcases equal amounts of both Ozzy and Dio era Sabbath material. Ronnie definitely has the vocal chops and charm, to handle the Ozzy classics, but in all honestly his banter between and during songs is sometimes annoying. By far one of the highlights of the album is the extended “Heaven and Hell”/”Sign of the Southern Cross” suite that clocks in at almost 20 minutes with a great guitar solo by Iommi! And there are also solid interpretations of metal classics like “Children of the Sea,” “Black Sabbath,” “War Pigs,” and “Children of the Grave”!
Tony Iommi has said that the decision to release Live Evil was prompted by two factors. The first was the 1980 release of the unsanctioned Black Sabbath – Live at Last album, and the second was Ozzy Osbourne’s own 1982 release, Speak of the Devil, a live album that consisted entirely of Sabbath songs. In his autobiography, Tony confesses that he was “unpleasantly surprised” by this. At the time Ozzy was managed by his wife and manager Sharon who was severely at odds with her father Don Arden, who was managing Sabbath! There was no love lost between the two or between Ozzy and his former band. To say the rivalry was a bit heated would be an understatement. They all pretty much hated each other!
In the end, Live Evil was superior Sales-wise, anyway in the U.K.; while Ozzy’s Speak of the Devil dominated in the U.S.!
The album is included in the Black Sabbath box set The Rules of Hell. *NOTE: the Live Evil album cover features literal interpretations of Sabbath songs.
December 6, 2017 would have been the late great Randy Rhoads’ 61st Birthday!
Born Randall William Rhoads, who as we all know most famously played with Ozzy’s band and originally with an early version of Quiet Riot, was a devoted student of classical guitar. He combined his classical music influences with his own unique heavy metal style. He was a major influence on neoclassical metal and is cited as an influence by many hard rock and metal guitarists and is included in several lists as one of the greatest guitarists of all time! On January 18, 2017, Randy was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History for defining heavy metal lead guitar. So you could quite literally call him an actual “Guitar God”!
“You Looking At Me, Looking At You” (Non-LP B-Side, Previously Unreleased in the U.S.) is a bonus track on The 30th Anniversary Edition of Blizzard of Ozz album that was released May 31, 2011. This 30th Anniversary Edition features the original album in its entirety, restored and remastered with 3 bonus tracks. The other two bonus tracks that was wa included are the (2010 Guitar & Vocal Mix Only) of Goodbye To Romance and RR a (Previously Unreleased – Randy Rhoads guitar solo) that clocks in at about 1:13.
Every single Randy Rhoads fan will tell you that this is hands down one of their all-time favorites! On this live version of “Suicide Solution”, Randy unleashes a jaw-dropping guitar solo that lasts over two minutes. Blisteringly fast, showing off his technical skills, while shredding in fluid beauty, live and in person. Randy’s guitar work is just amazing! That’s all I can say! You really have to hear it for yourself. The track is from ‘Tribute’ released in 1987 to honor Randy Rhoads. The recordings came from the Diary of a Madman Tour, which is the tour that Randy passed away on. Any fan of Randy-era Ozzy needs this album, as well as guitar players looking for inspiration!
The live version of Suicide Solution that I played tonight is off the Legacy Edition of the Diary of a Madman album that was also released in May of 2011. And it too includes the original album in its entirety, restored and remastered with a second bonus CD entitled “Ozzy Live” which features a previously unreleased live show from the ‘Blizzard’ tour which has a much rawer sound than the ‘Tribute’ album that was released back in 1987. The guitar work and compositional skills of Randy Rhoads are even more spectacularly impressive in this setting than they are in a recording studio.
Both of these versions of Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman that I featured tonight are available individually on vinyl or CD, or together in a deluxe collector’s box. Which is for serious fans and collectors only! Beyond the music, it is highlighted by a variety of exclusives including an expansive 100-page coffee table book, a two-sided wall-size poster, a precise and detailed full-size replica of Ozzy’s iconic gold cross that he has worn for 30 years and Thirty Years After The Blizzard DVD. The DVD chronicles Ozzy’s years with Randy and features interviews with Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Lemmy (Motörhead), Steve Vai, Nikki Sixx, Rob Halford, Zakk Wylde, Bill Ward and many more. The DVD also contains over 70 minutes of additional rare live performances to include the premiere of more than 30 minutes of newly-discovered never-bootlegged footage of Ozzy and Randy from the Blizzard of Ozz tour shot from the front of the stage at New York’s fabled Palladium on May 2, 1981! There’s so much more Randy Rhoads to be had if you are a die-hard fan!
Long Live the Legacy of the Late Great Randy Rhoads!
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 12/9/17
Yesterday (December 8th) marks a very tragic and dark date in rock and roll history! It is the day that both John Lennon and Dimebag Darrell Lance Abbott were gunned down by deranged fans, 24 years apart. Tonight we pay tribute to two fallen rock heroes, taken from us, way too soon!
First up, we lost the great Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan) on Dec. 8th, 2004. Dime is definitively one of, if not the most, influential metal guitarists of the last 25 years! And another guitarist on that list, the mighty Zakk Wylde of Ozzy’s band and his own Black Label Society, was close friends with Dime and the two had collaborated together over the years. And Zakk like the rest of us was devastated by the loss of Dime. So much so that he pays tribute to him with a Black Label song called “In This River”. Zakk has also stated that every single time he plays a show, he will play it and “it will never leave the Black Label set.”
“In This River” is a song off of Black Label Society’s sixth studio album Mafia that was released in March of 2005. And again it is a common misconception that Zakk wrote the song as a tribute to his close friend “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott after he was killed, when in fact, he wrote the song many months prior to the incident, and began dedicating the song to him in all BLS live sets.
Dimebag stated in various interviews over the years that his riffs were largely influenced by Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. He also influenced his guitar tone and tunings. Pantera covered three Black Sabbath songs “Planet Caravan”, “Hole in the Sky” and “Electric Funeral” and they were on a few Ozzfest tours and even performed live with the Prince of Darkness himself and Zakk Wylde! Zakk also appeared on the one and only Damageplan album New Found Power. Dime also cited the late great Randy Rhoads as an influence and it can be heard in his playing as well. He once stated that another of his influences, Eddie Van Halen was heavy rock and roll, but Randy… was heavy metal! \,,/
The legendary John Lennon, singer, songwriter, musician, artist, activist, and of course co-founder of the Beatles, the most commercially successful and musically influential band in the history of popular music! He along with Paul McCartney are hailed as the greatest songwriting team in recorded history! Sadly Lennon was shot and killed on 8 December 1980. The Metal Godfather Ozzy Osbourne has claimed that his life was changed after hearing The Beatles song ‘She Loves You’. He says it changed his life forever, and at that point he knew what he wanted to do with his life, he wanted to be the singer in a band.” To this day he claims that he owes his career to the Fab Four and they heavily influenced his music over the years. He also admitted that the song he wished he had written the most was ‘I Am the Walrus’ by the Beatles. “John Lennon was so great with words,” he explained. “He had an amazing way of turning out ridiculous lyrics but making them sound interesting and clever. “Sometimes I like more straightforward lyrics, but at the same time, I’m a fan of lyrics that do a number on my head.”
On his 2005 Under Cover album he recorded versions of The Beatles “In My Life” along with John Lennon’s “Woman” and “Working Class Hero” and he helped mark what would have been John’s 70th birthday in 2010 by releasing a cover of his 1971 song, How?, with all the proceeds going to Amnesty International. It was available for purchase on iTunes only. And the accompanying music video, shot on the streets of New York, follows Ozzy all dressed in black and carrying a bouquet of purple flowers. He walks to the Lennon memorial in Central Park, where he lays the flowers beside the word Imagine. Ozzy has stated several times that John Lennon’s “Imagine” (from the same album as “How?”) was an inspiration for his own song “Dreamer”. Especially in the lines, “You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one, I hope some day you’ll join us, And the world will be as one.” And In the liner notes to his Prince of Darkness box set, he confirms that.
“Dreamer” is the third track from Ozzy’s 2001, Down to Earth album, released October 2001.
Watch Ozzy and Jack Osbourne Visit Cuba’s John Lennon Statue on an episode of Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour
HAPPY BIRTHDAY OZZY OSBOURNE!!! – BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 12/3/17
ON THIS DAY, A METAL LEGEND WAS BORN! Ozzy was born as John Michael Osbourne on December 3rd, 1948 in Aston, Birmingham, England. And the rest as they say… is Rock N’ Roll or Heavy Metal History! He rose to prominence in the early 70’s as the lead vocalist of Black Sabbath. He was fired from the band in 1979 and as we all know went on to have a successful solo career, releasing 11 studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the US. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of “Godfather of Heavy Metal” and his infamously crazy and sometimes controversial behavior throughout his career, like biting off the heads of both a dove and a bat or urinating on the Alamo while wearing one of Sharon’s dresses etc. all due to drug and alcohol abuse have also earned him the titles of “The Prince of Darkness” and “The Metal Madman!”
Ozzy’s total album sales from his years in Black Sabbath, combined with his solo work, is over 100 million. As a member of Sabbath, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame as a solo artist as well as a member of the band. Possessing a distinctive singing voice and as a native of Birmingham, he is known for his strong Brummie accent – he has a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars in his hometown as well as the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards, he received the Global Icon Award. In the early 2000s, he became a reality television star, appearing as himself in MTV’s The Osbournes, alongside wife and manager Sharon and two of their three children, Kelly and Jack. And now he appears with son Jack in the travelogue docuseries Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour on A&E.
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel” is off the Bark at the Moon album, originally released 15 November 1983. And it features guitarist Jake E. Lee, who of course had replaced Randy Rhoads after being killed a year earlier in that tragic plane crash.
Upon hearing their first hit single at age 14, Ozzy became a huge fan of The Beatles. He said in the 2011 documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne that “as soon as he heard ‘She Loves You’ on the radio, he knew he wanted to be a rock star for the rest of his life”. He left school at 15 and worked several odd jobs like a construction site laborer, plumber, apprentice toolmaker and even as a car factory horn-tuner. He attempted to to steal a television (which fell on him during his getaway and had to be abandoned), a handful of baby clothes (originally thought to be adult clothes as it was too dark to see when he committed the burglary, and which were stolen to sell to people at a pub), and some T-shirts. He spent six weeks in Winson Green Prison when he was unable to pay a fine after being found guilty of robbing a clothes shop; to teach his son a lesson, his father refused to pay the fine.
“Breakin’ All the Rules” is from the No Rest for the Wicked album released September 28, 1988. It was the first album to feature guitarist Zakk Wylde and the first to feature bassist Bob Daisley since Bark at the Moon. Ozzy originally retired in 1995 and then he and Sabbath called it quits last year and now he himself has said he is officially retiring, at least from touring anyway and still plans on making music and is not opposed to performing one-off gigs here and there with Sabbath and as a solo artist. (Of course that all depends on what day of the week you ask him) No matter what Ozzy does, hopefully he will continue to remain sober and stay on the path to a healthier life and in the end when his time does come, his music and legacy will live on forever! Long Live the Legend of Ozzy Osbourne!
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 12/2/17
Black Sabbath’s fifth studio album ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ was released 44 years ago yesterday! (Dec. 1, 1973)
It is considered the last great album that Black Sabbath recorded with their original powerhouse lineup consisting of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward! Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is still considered by man as an absolute classic and very influential release. A remastered version of the album was released in 2012, but it contained no additional material.
Brown Sabbath is the alter ego of Austin, Texas-based, nine-piece Latin funk band Brownout. “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” features guest lead vocals from Ghostland Observatory’s front man Aaron Behrens. Ghostland also hails from Austin, Texas. This cover is off the ‘Brownout Presents: Brown Sabbath Vol. II’ album that was released October 28, 2016. It is their 2nd all Sabbath covers album. And it just so happens that last week on an episode of Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour appropriately titled “Texas Bloody Texas”, while passing through the Lone Star State, Ozzy actually met with the Black Sabbath cover band and watched them perform a few tunes. Afterwards the Prince of Darkness commented on how great there were, especially their horn section! And even though there are a lot of Sabbath cover bands out there he said loved their unique style and interpretation on the music. He cosaid it reminde him of Black Sabbath meets Chicago and told them Congratulations on doing a fine job. (I agree with Ozzy but toss in Santana as well and that perfectly describes the band) You can catch new episodes of Ozzy and Jacks World Detour, Wednesday nights on A&E.
“Sabbra Cadabra” covered by (Hed)Pe is from the Nativity in Black II – A Tribute to Black Sabbath album that was released in June of 2000.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 11/26/17
‘The Eternal Idol’ is the thirteenth studio album by Black Sabbath, released November 23, 1987. It is the first Black Sabbath album to feature vocalist Tony Martin.
The album was originally to be recorded with bassist Dave Spitz and vocalist Ray Gillen. Spitz was replaced by bassist/lyricist Bob Daisley during the initial sessions and Ray Gillen quit shortly after. He later joined the band Blue Murder and then went on to form Badlands with Jake E. Lee and Eric Singer. Tony Martin was hired and he re-recorded the vocals shortly before production ended. Most tracks on the album were written by Tony Iommi and Bob Daisley. Even though Martin’s involvement was minimal on this album he would go on to help write and record four more albums as the vocalist for Black Sabbath.
Drummer Bev Bevan (Electric Light Orchestra) and original Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler were hired to return for the 1987 tour in support of the album, but Butler backed out, upon learning that Sabbath had dates booked in South Africa, forcing keyboardist Geoff Nicholls to step in play bass for a few shows. Bevan would end up departing as well, and was replaced by former The Clash drummer Terry Chimes, who appears in the music video for “The Shining”.
The album cover was intended to feature a picture of an Auguste Rodin sculpture from 1889 – also called “The Eternal Idol”; however, the album cover actually features two naked models covered in paint and positioned to resemble the piece of art because permission to photograph the actual sculpture could not be secured. The paint had toxic effects and the models had to go straight to hospital at the end of the photo shoot.
“I’d like to have seen some of the stuff off The Eternal Idol be a bit more credited,” Iommi reflected to Sabbath fanzine Southern Cross, “because I think there’s some good underrated tracks on that album. The album was re-released in November 2010 in Europe as a 2-disc expanded set. Bonus content includes a couple of B-sides and contains the original demo session for the album recorded with Ray Gillen on vocals.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 11/25/17
Ozzy Osbourne was in a bad way both personally and professionally by the end of 1982, but he somehow managed to pull himself together long enough to release the Speak of the Devil album on Nov. 27, that same year.
Immediately following the tragic death of dear friend and guitarist Randy Rhoads, plans for a live album of recordings from the Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman tours were quickly scrapped. Ozzy felt it was too soon to release them, they would eventually come out in 1987 as the live album Tribute, but still he was obligated to deliver a live album. So the idea to perform a set of Sabbath classics to satisfy that obligation was born. Ozzy enlisted Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis to fill the role of Tony Iommi and the rest of his band was rounded out by bassist Rudy Sarzo (who went on to successful stints in Quiet Riot and Whitesnake, Quiet Riot of course being Randy’s former band) and drummer Tommy Aldridge. The classic combo of Sarzo and Aldridge, was undoubtedly one the best rhythm sections of Ozzy’s solo career. And immediately, it becomes obvious that Brad Gillis was the right man for the gig. Playing Iommi to a tee, Gillis effortlessly leads the band through some of the best from the Sabbath catalog; and Speak of the Devil ends up a solid live album throughout. Listening to the remastered version though, there’s no doubt that the vocals feature some heavily doctored patch-ups, but regardless, Ozzy proved his point to his ex-bandmates who considered him washed up. Following the recording, due to the uncertainty surrounding the Ozzy camp, Brad Gillis would jump ship and rejoin the ranks of Night Ranger.
The album sleeve states that it was recorded at The Ritz in New York on 26 and 27 September 1982, during the Speak of the Devil Tour, however all tracks with the exception of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” were taken from the 27 September concert as verified against the soundboard recordings of both performances which exist as bootleg recordings. “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” was not played at either of the Ritz concerts. Producer Max Norman stated in 2007 that due to a limited budget, he had Ozzy perform an entire show in the afternoon (of which day he wasn’t clear) with no audience. That performance was recorded in the event that the actual live performance at night was not of suitable quality for release. According to Norman, the finished album does in feature three songs from that afternoon performance with crowd noise later added in post-production.
(There are no actual videos or audio for this album to be found on YouTube. So, instead I have loaded these bootleg/fan recordings. If you really wanna hear it… JUST GO BUY THE ALBUM!) Speak of the Devil’s gatefold includes multiple photos of a member of Ozzy’s road crew (who took part in the stage show by bringing Ozzy drinks between songs and was even hung nightly) This little stage hand suffered from dwarfism and Ozzy nicknamed him “Ronnie”, a cruel joke aimed at Ronnie James Dio, who had of course replaced Ozzy as Black Sabbath’s lead singer and stood only 5′ 4″ tall.
Speak of the Devil was released one month before Black Sabbath released their own live album entitled Live Evil, which contributed to a growing rivalry between the two! In the US, sales of Speak of the Devil were much better than those of Live Evil, while in the UK it was Live Evil that attained the higher chart-placing. In the end, Ozzy’s live set and it’s ultimate sales surpassed that of his former band.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 11/19/17
“Back on Earth” is a previously unreleased studio track from The Ozzman Cometh compilation album by Ozzy Osbourne released in November 1997. It is his third greatest hits collection. It’s initial, limited edition 2-CD pressing contained five previously unreleased songs. Versions released in 2002 and later have only one disc, and the song “Shot in the Dark” is replaced by “Miracle Man”. This was due to a legal action brought about by the song’s co-writer, Phil Soussan, for unpaid royalties. The tracks “Black Sabbath”, “War Pigs”, “Fairies Wear Boots”, and “Behind the Wall of Sleep” on this compilation were recorded by Black Sabbath, during a session for the BBC Radio 1 Sunday show “The John Peel Sessions”, conducted by British DJ John Peel in April 1970. “Fairies Wear Boots” and “War Pigs” are early versions and have different lyrics.
The interview found on the second disc is from 1988, where Ozzy speaks about his latest album at the time (No Rest for the Wicked), and about his new guitarist Zakk Wylde and his past days in Black Sabbath. The compilation won a 1997 Metal Edge Readers’ Choice Award for Best Hits or Compilation Album.
“Walk on Water” is off of the Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack that came out in November 1996. This version that was produced by the DJ Moby is not the same one that was included in the film. The original demo, which appears in the film, can be found on Ozzy’s Prince of Darkness box set. Ozzy and co-writer Jim Vallance both prefer the demo version heard in the film over the one produced by Moby. Ozzy has stated in several interviews over the years that he hates the Moby version. “Walk on Water” was released as a single and peaked at number 28 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
BLOW IT OUT YOUR OZ: 11/18/17
On Feb. 4 earlier this year, Black Sabbath played their final concert in Birmingham, England, the place where their career began back in 1968! And it’s all been chronicled in the concert film, The End, which was released yesterday in several different formats that include a live concert film and CD.
Black Sabbath performing “N.I.B.” live for the very last time. Buy the entire uninterrupted concert film, live album and the very last in-studio session from the band.
It ended as it began – only bigger. Nearly 50 years after Black Sabbath formed in Birmingham, England, they played the final show of their farewell tour there this past February. During the gig, they revisited many of their colossal classic rockers. A new concert film and live album, The End, captures every moment – along with some extra surprises. After playing the final gig, the band regrouped at the nearby Angelic Recording Studio a few days later to play five additional numbers that weren’t on the tour set list, including the first original they ever wrote (“Wicked World”), that they filmed and have dubbed “The Angelic Sessions.” The End was released on Nov. 17 through Eagle Vision and is available in a variety of bundle options and special offers in addition to the standard format selections.
The final song, from the final performance from Black Sabbath which happened on Feb 4, 2017. Available now on Blu-Ray, DVD, LP and CD!
It’s the end of an era, one that no self-respecting metal fan will ever forget. Starting in 1968, Black Sabbath provided the blueprint for metal and, as Ozzy Osbourne states in the booklet for The End concert album, “The best thing about being a member of Black Sabbath after all these years is that the music has held up.” Black Sabbath made their way around the world for “The End” tour, playing 81 dates in all, but fittingly they wrapped up their concert career at the Genting Arena in their hometown of Birmingham, England, bringing their career full circle. And it’s all been documented in The End that was released by Eagle Vision on November 17th, 2017. The hit packed set list, high production, visual effects, and pyrotechnics wowed fans, as the band delivered the most emotionally charged show in their history. The End captures a once-in-a-career performance, an essential snapshot of musical history, and a fitting farewell to true innovators and original heavy metal icons, Black Sabbath.
The limited deluxe collector’s edition contains: The End on DVD and Blu-ray; The End on double CD; The Angelic Sessions on CD (all housed in gatefold card sleeves); a 32-page perfect bound book on heavyweight stock; a metal Winged Demon pin badge; a replica The End tour laminate and 3 Plectrums (all housed in a DVD-height two piece rigid mirror board box).