Ozzy Osbourne's Live Releases: The Definitive Ranking

Now that the Prince of Darkness is embarking on his final tour, we assess his solo live output from the 'iTunes Festival' to 'Tribute'

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9. 'Speak of the Devil' (1982)

After Randy Rhoads' death in a freak airplane accident in March 1982, Ozzy's manager and future wife Sharon was determined not to let him descend into depression and complacency, so she pushed him to find another guitarist almost immediately. First, he drafted Irish musician Bernie Tormé for a handful of dates before bringing in Night Ranger's Brad Gillis for the rest of the Diary of a Madman tour. The band's June 1982 gig at Irving Meadows, California was filmed for a home-video release, dubbed Speak of the Devil, offering a rare glimpse of the over-the-top castle set featured on the tour as well as the copious amounts of guyliner Ozzy wore then.

Later in the year, the band recorded a double-live LP also titled Speak of the Devil, at the much smaller New York City venue the Ritz. The record contained only Black Sabbath songs and it served three purposes: It fulfilled Ozzy's contract with Sharon's father's label, Jet Records; it allowed him to release something that didn't exploit Rhoads' playing so soon after his death; and it would serve as competition to his ex–Black Sabbath bandmates, who were putting out their own live album, Live Evil, with his replacement, Ronnie James Dio. Sabbath's album charted slightly higher in the U.K., while Speak of the Devil gamely outpaced Live Evil in the U.S. Ozzy has dismissed the release as a contractual obligation, even though his performances on songs like "Symptom of the Universe" and "The Wizard" are strong. Still, it sounds like a bit of an uninspired slog for the rest of the guys who were basically hired guns at the time.

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