When I think of Speak Of The Devil all these years later the word Polluted comes to my mind. Ozzy that is sounds polluted on this,blasted and heading off the rails of the Crazy Train! But for some reason this is one cool live album as Ozzy assembled a super duper backing band consisting of Rudy Sarzo,Tommy Aldridge and Brad Gillis who was filling the late Randy Rhoads shoes. So I guess the story goes that the record company wanted a Rhoads live album but Ozzy said forget it and gave the record company this compilation of live material from his previous band Black Sabbath. Of course nowadays people say Ozzys vocals were double tracked,triple tracked whatever for this release and that this was slapped together in the studio with the audience added to it. Doesn’t matter to me it still sounds live yes but I will agree now that when i listen to it now the vocals do sound double tracked. I got Speak Of The Devil for Xmas 1982 I was 15 and here’s Ozzy hacking out some red crap out of his trap on the cover and he has a cool bunch of rocker musicians with him….
Man, let’s hope aboard the Crazy Train…
SYMPTONS OF THE UNIVERSE- Speak Of The Devil believe it or not was the first time I had heard some of these Sabbath songs as I only got into Sabbath with Dio a year earlier with there awesome album Mob Rules. But anyways Ozzys ripping right off the hop and man he’s sounds possessed! Oh yeah I forgot he’s loaded! But man that band behind is firing on all cylinders. Shit man Brad Gillis is dive bombing off of his whammy bar extravaganza and it’s only track 1.
SNOWBLIND – another first for me and no not as a user but as a listener! Where Ace Frehley disguised his song SNOWBLIND,Ozzy just bellows out COCAINE! My 15 yr old mind is officially blown and holy crap Ozzy is rocking it man. Aldridge and Sarzo lay down some bad ass rhythm and Gillis does Gillis ie….tons of guitar heroics!
BLACK SABBATH-Ozzy introduces the song Black Sabbath and all bets are off man. Ozzy is the Prince Of Darkness and he’s spooking the bejesus out of me! No fooling around here the Ozzy man is laying waste at the temple of doom in which this case was my bedroom. My parents must have wondered at the time if a flipping Seance was going down with songs like Black Sabbath bellowing out into the halls of our house!
FAIRIES WEAR BOOTS- love the beginning of this tune some cool little jam out and than Aldridge takes over and demolishes the tune! Can’t believe that 5 yrs later(1987) Aldrigde would be drumming to Is This Love? By Whitesnake anyways back to 1982 this song just rocks.
WAR PIGS- ok raise your hands if you have never heard War Pigs! This version is crazy good Gillis once again demonstrates the use of doing crazy nibbling things on the guitar and making it cool! Why could not Ozzy keep this band together?
THE WIZARD-never talking just keeps on walking …yeah man that’s the Wizard and is that really Ozzy playing the harmonica or did he make B Gillis don a harmonica set up ala Neil Young to do double duty live! Hahaha..doubt it…this at the time of this release was another first for me! Never heard the Wizard and never heard Harp on a Ozzy record!
N.I.B-Lets Go shouts Ozzy and off we go to Ozzville with señor Gillis/Sarzo/Aldridge playing another Sabbath classic and man the music is top notch. I mean now many bands dump,out lines saying My name is Lucifer please take my hand! So many bands beat around the bush Mot Sabbath. Were gonna take you all to Hell….ummm alrighty than…Great track!
SWEET LEAF- “KEEP ON SMOKING IT!” Howls Ozzy at the faithful and man the Oz just lets it rip on this version and well let’s face it he is ripped! Gillis/Sarzo/Aldridge crank it into over drive in the solo section and slam on the brakes back into the verse! This heavy shit does not get any better than this!
NEVER SAY DIE- wow what a great song! Being 15 and hearing this at the time I could not believe Sabbath rocked out at this speed I mean I thought they were just a heavy slow paced beast but man when I heard this version it knocked my socks off!
SABBATH BLOODY SABBATH- when I think of this track I think of YOU BASTARDS! …man the riff is deadly and full props to the original Sabbath on composing this fine piece of music! Just love the mid tempo slush pace this song rolls too!
IRON MAN/CHILDERN OF THE GRAVE- cool Ozzys doing medleys of course I mean shit 32 years later my 4 yr old nephew Cambo drums with his dad ( my brother todd) Iron Man! So this song has passed thru the generations big time and of course yeah the movie as well but hey I like to think that my nephew first heard Iron Man off of the Paranoid album with my brother but ahhh I doubt it but still the kid digs it and the kid in me still digs it! And just like that were into Childern Of The Grave and Ozzys cooking a whole new batch of menacing trouble. Gillis goes whammy thank you mammy on this song as well! Guitar Heroics 101 folks!
PARANOID- and well what can be said here as well?! Ozzy punches the gas with the boys and they finish it off in grandiose style!
IN CONCLUSION-this is one live album that just out Rocks! As blasted as Ozzy was back than he had a smart marketing team back than. Give them 15 yr olds a live album! Give em a young rocking backing band . Give em Sabbath songs that some of us had never heard til Speak Of The Devil…just give em well give em Ozzy! Mission Accomplished!