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Sweet's Six Live Picks: Part 4/6 - 96%

SweetLeaf95, April 7th, 2017

Credit needs to be given where it is due, and although Ozzy is an amazing vocalist and frontman, he is not the reason why this ranks so high on my "live list". But as you guessed, the legendary Randy Rhoads is the main attraction of this event. Since he didn't really live long enough to play anymore of Ozzy's records, we're given the bulk of what he's contributed to Ozzy in live action with this. Seeing that Blizzard Of Ozz is one of the greatest things that Ozzy has ever done, the fact that every song from that record is played gives this a huge boost.

Being realistic, the fact that only one man can pull off playing such smooth rhythm sections, yet rip out the lead guitar hooks and solos is pretty impeccable as is. With songs like "No Bone Movies" and "Steal Away", he delivers energetic hooks that are sanded down and to the point, no bullshit. Incorporated in then are solos that combine fret tapping with melodic solo composition, creating a nice aura of jammable numbers that jump all over the fretboard, but still carry a nice tune. He also can pull off the nice and easy tracks, such as a favorite of mine known as "Goodbye To Romance". Osbourne, on the other hand, is something of a maniac on stage; while I prefer Sabbath as a whole, there's such a higher force of energy with his solo band hitting the stage that drives this all home. He seems more into it himself on this release, and sounds more enthusiastic with his delivery.

That being said, he absolutely nails his Sabbath "covers" on here, and playing them with Rhoads to back him up, it's pretty tough to top. The way that Ozzy belts out the lyrics with more force and passion is damn near perfect. Not to mention, Randy playing the solo on "Paranoid" absolutely blows the Tony Iommi solo out of the water. If I'm being honest, that moment of that track is one of my favorite Randy Rhoads moments ever. Since this isn't all from one show, Bob Daisley makes a few appearances on this record, kicking out some of the bass-lines, while the rest of the record is primarily Rudy Sarzo. Either way, the bass is pretty fantastic, and basically fills in the cracks.

What would have been nice is if there were a few more from Diary Of A Madman, seeing that Blizzard dominates most of this, but what's here is great. I definitely would have chose different tracks from that one though, such as "You Can't Kill Rock 'N Roll" or "Over The Mountain". The final track is just Rhoads doing different takes of "Dee", and while I'm glad they included it so that every Blizzard track appears, I kinda wish they'd have done some variation of it live or something, seeing they could probably drag that out to a pretty gnarly solo. Other than that though, this record is the ideal Ozzy/Rhoads record, the tracks that are one here are great classics, and the performance itself is magnificent.

A pretty decent epitaph. - 90%

Warthur, November 16th, 2011

Say what you like about Ozzy's treatment of certain other bandmates from the Blizzard of Ozz/Diary of a Madman years - remember the debacle with the 2002 remasters? - but to his credit he's always been extremely respectful of the legacy of Randy Rhoads, the prodigiously talented guitarist whose shredding skills helped his solo career kick off with a bang. It's only appropriate, then, that Ozzy gives equal billing to Randy on the cover of Tribute, the definitive live document of the Blizzard and Diary tours which is assembled with a particular eye to showcasing Randy's abilities.

Those who've listened to Past Lives or Live At Last know that Ozzy was always an energetic and enthusiastic frontman, and that's true on Tribute as well, which sees him and the band investing the song selection - pretty much everything from Blizzard, plus the best tracks from Diary of a Madman and some well-chosen Sabbath classics - with an infectious vitality. The solo tracks are greatly improved in this live context, the extra energy and drive resulting in a heavier and more urgent performance than on the studio albums in question, whilst the band prove themselves more than capable of doing justice to the Sabbath tracks - in particular, Randy's riffing on Children of the Grave give Tony Iommi's performance on the original a run for its money.

It's often said that had he lived Rhodes could have been the next Malmsteen, and whilst we'll never know for sure whether or not that was the case it's certainly true that his performances elevate this album from being a decent Ozzy live set to being a top-flight live metal album. Capping off Suicide Solution with a blisteringly fast solo, Rhodes shows off his technical skills without milking the spotlight too much, delivering a solo which is long enough that you feel you got your money's worth whilst being short enough to avoid becoming redundant or tedious. Key to his talent was, of course, his parallel interest in classical guitar; the album closes with a collection of studio out-takes from the recording of Dee, the short classical guitar instrumental Rhodes provided for Blizzard of Ozz, and whilst it might make repetitive listening for those not particularly interested in behind-the-scenes outtakes and studio chatter it nonetheless provides an intriguing snapshot of the man at work.

Any solo career runs the risk of simply becoming a vehicle for the main artist's ego. Ozzy's certainly not alone in being accused of that, but Tribute is the perfect counterpoint to that - an acknowledgement that there were two key talents in making Ozzy a solo megastar, and unfortunately one of them died far, far too young. It's also a really great live album, and a strong contender for being Ozzy's best solo release; certainly, I'd recommend it over Blizzard of Ozz, since the content of that is presented here in a greatly enhanced form. The band are even able to make Goodbye to Romance sound like it isn't completely sappy and saccharine - now that's what I call talent.

Cellar of madness - 95%

Genzel, August 2nd, 2008

This has to be the best "official" live album from Ozzy Osbourne. Nice set of songs, happy mood and balanced, if somewhat upbeat performance from all the band members. Ozzy recorded enough material for a long tour, which never was completed due to the tragic, yet historical, death of Ozzy’s short time friend Randy Rhoads. This band started it all. It catapulted Ozzy to stardom, and what of an attitude to do that! Killer setlist, depth and mood clinging to the heights and the band playing like there was no tomorrow.

Ozzy’s first studio album, Blizzard Of Ozz, steals the attention here from his younger brother Diary Of A Madman and from some of the early Sabbath tunes. There are fast paced tunes, there are some personal moments and there are ballads. But the best song in the set is, from Diary Of A Madman, called Believer. It really steps up a notch from the studio version and sends messages that are so deep as is the Atlantic ocean. It's Ozzy’s the most less silly song he's ever done, with his ballsqueezing main riff, some cool drum fills and an excellent bass sound all over the song. The song orded is just brilliant. After the shockwaves from I Dont Know to Crazy Train we're getting the best songs of the set first.

And the track selection is brilliant what comes to the mixture of Believer/Mr.Crowley/Flying High Again, it just blends nicely together. Suicide Solution and Children Of The Grave are two spine chilling great hard rock tunes played with full steam. There are three ballads, however, Revelation( which comes in the middle of the set), Goodbye To Romance, which is nicely blended with Randys good restraint and the short aquistic number "Dee", which is another personal favorite.

All hammered together, it’s a good package of awesome metal, in it’s very original form, with the most original performers.

My favorite Live-album of all time! - 100%

Wacke, January 25th, 2008

First off, it was Ozzy who got me into Metal seriously with his / Lemmy's song "Hellraiser" from "No More Tears" & soon after I heard a lot of the stuff with Randy Rhoads & he would become my favorite guitar player of all time. I think this album was the 2nd or 3rd Metal album I ever bought & what a album too. My love for Randy's guitar playing has just grown more & more within the years & I've even made my friends love Ozzy's music even though they usually listen to stuff like Nu-Metal.

I didn't know what to expect from this album but after hearing the first track "I Don't Know" I was convinced that this album was a killer. The live version here beats the shit out of the original, what a energy it has. It's like making the perfect song even better. There's a lot of Ozzy-classics being played here & also a few Black Sabbath-classics which is really fun to hear Randy playing. The live version of "Paranoid" here is a great classic & every fan of Ozzy knows about it but still I think "Children Of The Grave" (which is my favorite B.S-song) is the really incredible tune here. Hearing Randy playing the famous raw riff to that song is a dream come true for me. The most important track on this album is defenitely "Suicide Solution" which also is the song where Randy's Live-special guitar solo is used. This is one of Ozzy's most famous Live recordings since Randy's guitar solo is very spectacular. A lot of great songs are being played on this album but there's 1-2 missing.

Live recordings, especially old ones sometimes have a pretty bad production but I would say that this albums production is not great, but at least very good for it's time (1981). They really used the same sound live with Randy as on Ozzy's first 2 albums & even though the energy live can never be recorded into a CD they still got much of the great Live-power they had on this / these shows.

Ozzy have had some great musicians over the years, actually very many great musicians & even though Ozzy is famous for having a great line of great guitarists behind him it's still Randy who's the "big one". The cast is on top here & each of their performance is excellent, especially Randy's.

I strongly recomend this album, it has grown to be my all time Live favorite & I don't think that any other Live-album will beat this...

R.I.P. Randy Rhoads, we miss you!

Damn! - 99%

FatalStrike, September 1st, 2002

We'll I can't say much against one of my favorite live albums of all time. This album has it all. Almost everry good song of of Ozzy's first two albums, Randy Rhoads shredding all over the place, Ozzy's vocals at their best, excellent drumming and bass, and decent quality. For some people who a) never got to see Randy play live, or b) are too young to have seen him play live, this album is a decent substituted. Highlighting the shere talent the guy had at such a young age.
The album opens with I Don't Know, a classic tune from Ozzy's first album. The album then moves on to Crazy Train, which sounds a hell of alot better live. The plodding Believer comes next, another good song, that is followed by Mr. Crowley, and Flying High Again. The album picks up again with Revelation Mother Earth, one of my favorites on the album, as Randy shreds the pick up around mid song, and a great intro as well. Steal Away follows, another good paced song, that blends with Revelation very well, a cool drum solo follows the song. Suicide Solution follows, and is the pinnacle of the album, a good song coupled with Randy's jaw opening solo afterward is classic. Next comes a little bit of Iron Man, no time change, so it's passable. Randy then shreds all over Children of the Grave, making the song sound better than ever. Then comes Paranoid, which is just one of the best renditions I've heard. Then Comes Goodbye to Romance, which isn't one of my favorites, but it is a nice addition. Then comes No Bone Movies, a boring one in my opinion. Then comes a very cool look at Randy putting together his classical song Dee from the first album. A great way to end this tribute to one of the best guitarists.
Go buy this!