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Ozzy Osbourne - "Live At Budokan"
Epic / Sony 2002

The set list is fantastic. My expectations were high. For those like me, who were expecting Ozzy's sound from the eighties (incl. No More Tears album), this live recording will be quite a disappointment.

Ozzy that turned himself into pure Uncle Sam's patriot offers a thick, dirty, crunchy soundbeat. Line-up from Down To Earth record, accompanied with legendary John Sinclair (ex-Uriah Heep) on keyboards, who already worked with Ozzy in the eighties, works fine on stage. Groovy rhythm line changed older Ozzy's masterpieces like "I Don't Know", "Mr. Crowley", "Crazy Train" or "Bark At The Moon" by giving them neo-American feel. But nevertheless, it goes perfectly together in pieces from Down To Earth like "Gets Me Through" is.

Zakk Wylde is really paying his ass off. Unique pull offs, constant licking down the guitar neck and use of tremolo by this wild rebel is convincible enough to say: "This live performance and recording is worth of hearing!" Zakk constantly searches for at least one inch of space inside every song to decorate it in his unique way. He carries free, alive and untamed spirit all the time.

The weakest article here is Ozzy's performance. This time so-called "prince of darkness" didn't approach with his 100%. Especially in "Bark At The Moon", where Ozzy falls very much out of tune. In the middle sections of songs, where Zakk blazes out his solos, his work (and the rest of the band's work) on guitar is being constantly interfered by Ozzy's shouting to the audience. This is the reason why the energy that the band tries to develop on stage just can't live freely on a CD. And Ozzy's constant shouting to the audience: "Good Bless You All!" fit very much into the inner sleeves of the booklet, on which Ozzy is making company to the self-proclaimed guardians of the world (U.S. soldiers. It makes me sick just to think about it). How ridiculous. Are we really so blind? It's not important here if Ozzy is provoking masses or if he's trying to give some credit to Mr.Bushy and his U.S. Army (Ozzy why?). This is actually pure commercial stroke and here we've got the answer why this gig was recorded in Tokyo. Real bait for Japanese and U.S.A. patriots with stinking sticker "come, grab and buy" on it, has been set. Due to these facts, this release can't convince. That this product has been made with love and passion to the music is more or less an illusion.

Author:   Aleš

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