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Zakk Wylde entered the 1980's with Ozzy, in the Ozzy Osbourne band, replacing the guitarist boy wonder Jake.E.Lee. This is his career's first live album, and, if not best, a fine piece of art and showmanship what Zakk is all about. Ozzy did in the inferior era of the 1980's two glam metal albums, The Ultimate Sin and No Rest For The Wicked. This live album is a promo tour of both of those albums, and some really interesting Sabbath cuts added to the set. Zakk's playing is not excellent, he makes a lot of mistakes, but the tempo and songs are good, so this live album is one of the better ones in the history of heavy metal. No Rest For The Wicked, as an album, was a great complication of both historics and personal demons. It talks about the Vietnam war, for example, and also leaps to the depths of personal paranoia and addictions( Fire In The Sky, Demon alcohol).
The set is based on the forementioned glam metal outings, The Ultimate Sin and No Rest For The Wicked. Three cuts from the latter mentioned, consists Bloodbath In Paradise, which is a funny little number about the agony, sadness, loss and pain which war can cause, Miracle Man, in which Ozzy shakes off his nemesis's and Tattoeed Dancer, which has no other point than being catchy and fun. The other glam metal album, which has one track taken from it, is represented by Shot In The Dark, a song in which Zakk adds a fine solo to it. Its about a stalker who looms in the dark. The Black Sabbath material is solid and glamorous. My favourite tune by Black Sabbath, Sweet Leaf, is in this live album. It’s not a cheesy song, but a serious and has some real depth and emotional levels attached into it. It has this all pleasing riff that just develops and grows catchier every time. War Pigs presents another song about war. Its a long song, and some repertuous riffs and solos added, but it really heightens the listeners mood.
Other live material from this era of Ozzy when Ozzy was still a howling madman, is in the form of "Live In Philadelphia" and "At Moscow Peace Festival", it has more Ozzy tunes, but this live album is good in that regard, that it has songs that rarely ever get played, at least from The Ultimate Sin, an album which Ozzy dislikes. Its a short run, but not a tedious one.
This thing shrieks 'cash in' in a shrill tone of voice, but despite the fact that it is quite pointless it's solid live Ozzy (helluva backing band) and the majority of these come out sounding great. Zakk Wylde is nothing if not creative as far as playing older songs go and he shreds all over "War Pigs" in an electrifying manner, although it does perhaps disrupt the flow of the tune.
Geezer is Geezer, but his bass sounds a little... light in the boots. Randy Castillo performs each song perfectly with a fantastic heavy style, and Ozzy generally sounds strong. Could use some backing vocals here and there though. For example, nobody sings the damn chorus on "Miracle Man".
As far as the individual songs go, the consensus is mostly good. I'm not a huge fan of No Rest for the Wicked, but the first two songs rock damn hard, Zakk recalling Randy Rhodes favourably as far as riff playing goes, and what "Bloodbath in Paradise" loses on the ominous side it gains in headbanging. "Tatoo Dancer" is nothing to write home about in any incarnation, and you could live without hearing Ozzy saying 'Dance, bitch'.
"Sweet Leaf" is alright, but the riff seems wrong somehow, and "War Pigs" benfits from the really energetic (and wild/Wylde) performances. "A Shot in the Dark" isn't as good as the studio version.
Do you need this? No. Is it better than Budokan? Hells yeah!
Stand-Outs: "Miracle Man", "Bloodbath in Paradise", "War Pigs"