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A window into Ozzy's bronze age. - 70%

Seducerofsouls85, July 19th, 2011

I used to own this on VHS but like many things ended up on a dusty shelf, then somehow vanished altogether. However recently the entire documentary was uploaded on Youtube (Don't know if it still is!), so I watched it out of curiousity more than anything. This was a somewhat comprehensive look at Ozzy's life from Black Sabbath, up until the present point in his solo career at the time (1992). It is crammed with some funny nostalgic stuff, including interviews with a much younger looking Sharon Osbourne and Bill Ward. This documentary has done what many documentaries did before and after, showcasing Ozzy's rags to riches story, the hardships of life in Northern England which led to the inception of Black Sabbath and heavy metal, and Ozzy's own account of leaving Black Sabbath.

There is nothing really new here, even for the time, in fact most Ozzy fans need not watch this for trivial purposes at all. But there is an almost heart wrenching scene when talking about the untimely death of Randy Rhoads, and Ozzy openly admits in one of the interviews that "A piece of me died with him". And there are some nostalgic moments when looking at some of the musicians and celebrities in question. There includes scenes with his kids Jack, Kelly and Amy although not too many. There are interviews with Jon Bon Jovi, Lemmy, Lars Ulrich, and if my memory serves me well a member of Whitesnake. I'm writing this review on a whim, and I cannot remember every single scene from the documentary, and if I'm being honest I have no strong desire to watch it for two hours to type this review. There is some good footage of Ozzy smoking a bong, whilst in the works of "No more tears" and its a relief to a see a once happy-go-lucky Zakk Wylde, than the bearded axe-wileding tough guy we are used to today. The only thing that might let this documentary down, is the complete and utter ass licking all the celebrities do when in question. The only one who speaks of the great man from a more street level is Lars Ulrich, and I'm astounded to think everyone thinks this guy is a dumb ass, over the years he has made more than perfect sense to me. And as for Ozzy, when it comes to the sticky question about being fired from Black Sabbath? Well he tries to come across like he could not give a flying fuck, that his solo career has been more than kind to him, that he now has no artistic limitations etc, etc. But if you ask me at the time he was still slightly hurt by his departure from Black Sabbath, like he still had something to prove towards those guys. It would probably be many more years, before Ozzy really could put his mind to rest about his firing from that band. And one bit that kind of made me giggle, was when he said: "Black Sabbath's latest album didn't even chart!", bless him he was so used to seeing those guys sell records with or without him.

There are some cool live cuts between scenes, "Breaking all the rules" springing to mind the most. And I suppose we just have to talk about his chemical abuse huh? Well Ozzy talks about how much he used to abuse his body, and that his chemical abuse was at it's worst in the 80's including the drinking. At the time he was supposedly "clean" but we all know over the years he slipped in and out of his excessive indulgences, so who knows in those very interviews he might have been as high as a fucking kite! The best part was when he said: "I have the perfect job really, because I can drink whenever I want." Ozzy I admire such statements, who here just wishes for such liberties? There is a scene where Lemmy says: "Im an alcoholic, but I can function so it doesn't affect me. But Ozzy doesn't like the person he turns into, when he has a drink." Lemmy like Lars, speaks candidly about the man whilst telling it how it really is. There is a part where the documentary focuses on the suicide of John McCollum, and how his parents sued Ozzy as his lyrics to "Suicide solution" convinced the kid to kill himself. But Ozzy although not the most diplomatic of speakers, makes quite a good case for himself when questioned. And I hate to speak ill of the dead, but if John McCollum took the lyrics that seriously why did he not look further to what they were really about? Face it he was depressed, decided to end it all, his parents were devestated and needed someone to blame. Had it been "Yellow submarine" playing instead would his parents have sued the Beatles? Probably not because there is large degree of misunderstanding towards heavy metal, and when watching the scene with the McCollum family attorney, I just want to cringe and throw up. If that guy has educated himself about metal since then, then I am sure he will be fairly ashamed of the footage. In fact why does heavy metal get so much stick for influencing violence and death? What's a drive-by? That has nothing to do with metal. Any way...I must move on.

I think I am going to wrap this up by saying there are probably more up to date, more in depth documentaries out there much more worthy of your attention. But this is good for owning out of keep sake, as there is footage on here that I have never seen on any other documentary...ever. And it's quite interesting viewing this documentary with hindsight, considering the year it was made was the year metal as we all once knew it, was about to change forever. Grunge would kill stadium metal, and much thrash metal for that matter, leaning way for the popularity in groove, whilst a death metal underground was brewing. The metallic landscape was sliding beneath their very feet while they were filming this, and half the artists featured in this documentary changed their style completely after this, and if you think what was to be with Zakk Wylde is a turn off, just stop and think about Bon Jovi...god those guys sucked even more than they did in the 80's!