Wednesday, July 14, 2010


iTunes has a new live Ozzy Osbourne EP, recorded live at the iTunes Festival in London just about two weeks ago. Judging by the ad at the right, they are booking artists from lots of different genres.

Ozzy has no shortage of live material: 1982's Speak Of The Devil saw him revisiting his Black Sabbath classics (with a band that featured future Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis and once-and-future Quiet Riot bassist Rudy Sarzo). In 1987, he released Randy Rhoads Tribute, featuring recordings with his late and legendary guitarist Randy Rhoads.  That's probably the best live Ozzy album. 1990's Just Say Ozzy featured Zakk Wylde and also Ozzy's former Sabbath mate Geezer Butler in the band. 1993's Live & Loud was supposed to be his last release, as it was recorded during this "final" tour.  This time the band featured Zakk and future Alice In Chains bassist Mike Inez. (It also features the reunited Black Sabbath doing "Black Sabbath"). Finally, 2002's Live At the Budokan featured what may have been his best solo band - Zakk, former Suicidal Tendicies/future Metallica bassist Rob Trujillo, and Faith No More's Mike Bordin on drums. Plus Black Sabbath has Past Lives recorded in the '70s, and Reunion from, well, the reunion tour.

So, why a new live EP?  Well, I downloaded it from iTunes.  I was curious how the songs would sound with Ozzy's new guitarist, Gus G.  I think Gus does a great job, he definitely reminds me of Zakk Wylde, but he has his own thing going on also. The EP includes just one new song from Ozzy's latest album Scream, "Let Me Hear You Scream." It includes Ozzy's early classics "I Don't Know," "Mr. Crowley" and "Suicide Solution" (where Gus really shines) and also "I Don't Want To Change The World," which I never really dug.  And also Sabbath's "War Pigs," which I think is really difficult to pull off without the original Sabbath. All in all, not a bad buy for $6 - I kind of wish there were more songs from the new album Scream, and the last one, Black Rain, both of which were really good and kind of underrated.

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