“Live & Loud” (DVD) by Ozzy Osbourne

Artist: Ozzy Osbourne
Title: “Live & Loud”
Label: Epic Music Video
Release Date: 10/1/1997
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 2.75/5

“Live And Loud” is the DVD follow up for the live Ozzy Osbourne album that bore the same name and was released in 1993. The film follows his “No More Tours” tour and these shows were ones that supported his “No More Tears” release. The clever naming of the gigs was based on this supposedly being the retirement party for the legendary singer who had finally decided that he exit stage left. The film comes a few years after the CD’s initial release and the video is delivered a little bit differently than the album with the first thing one notices is that a couple of the songs are juxtaposed from where we expected to find them. For example, the CD opens with “Paranoid” but on the DVD this is in the second section of songs in the film. The footage is solid but clearly comes from a number of different nights across the tour as Ozzy looks one way in a part of the song and then different at another portion of the same song. For instance we see him with wet hair once and then at a later verse it’s dry and tied back. Given the closeness of these verses there is no way that this was done at the same show. This type of thing happens all over the film and there are also a lot of weird camera tricks done as opposed to it being a straight filming of the full performance which is more commonplace in live video concerts nowadays. The random scattering of footage takes a little bit of the consistency of the film away. Ozzy’s band for the tour was a much younger Zakk Wylde on guitar, Mike Inez on bass and Randy Castillo on drums and each member performs incredibly.

I had to say that I really enjoyed this rock solid lineup a lot and perhaps even a little more than many of the other great Metal musicians that Ozzy has had playing with him over the years. Of course I am not speaking of the hallowed Randy Rhodes years. The song selection is quite diverse and while Ozzy’s material bordered more on a commercial Hard Rock Metal style in this stage of the game it was still rather strong in terms of the construction of the tune and musicality of the track. There are quite a few songs from “No More Tears”, but he doesn’t sacrifice the classics from “Blizzard Of Oz” or “Diary Of A Madman” by any stretch of the imagination. Zakk shows himself as a great addition to the band and you know from watching him that this guy is something special and destined for guitar god greatness while Castillo pounds the thunder out and keeps the tunes moving with his powerful style. Ozzy is his typical self and keeps his dialogue to his retiring and how he doesn’t think he will since he is crazy or Ozzy Osbourne etcetera, etcetera. The front man was always energetic but never really the most profound at crowd banter with the exception for getting them riled up with key statements. We see the band at times off stage acting pissed that this was the end and while it might have come off as serious back then, in watching today it seemed rather contrived.

With this DVD being rather old and probably among the first ones to be released of its kind it finds the concert being delivered on both sides of the disc as opposed to one straight concert from start to finish. These days we are finding hours upon hours on a single disc but back in the day there was only so much space. Viewers might find it annoying to have to get up and turn the disc over to continue enjoying the film. I did feel that some of the footage was staged for the sake of filming and one scene in particular was when the camera pans out to the crowd where there is a mosh pit brewing. In the middle of it some kid is sitting down on the floor while the masses swirl around him and blister by him. Having dealt with a number of pits over the years I had to think this was faked as most of those groups either pulls someone out of harms way or move the entire body of mosh out of the way. It’s not always as violent and dangerous as you might think, but still no place for the unpracticed fan. One of the main highlights of the gig was the official reuniting of Ozzy with the members of Black Sabbath as Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward all come out to perform “Black Sabbath” with him. The downside is that they show a set list that says “Iron Man” on it as well, but we don’t get that in the film. The film closes with the video for “Changes” and finds Ozzy singing alongside a piano and the tune is just a great one and it was cool to see the madman in this aspect for a change. Before the credits run we find Ozzy standing on the stage with a young Jack Osbourne as he muses about this gig being his final show of them all. He then tells the young boy about how he should bow to the various sections of the audience in the now empty arena and then the pair walks off the stage for the final time. Touching? Yes, but of course the viewers will not shed any tears about the singers retirement as he had instead kept on going for the fifteen years that followed this film and doesn’t seem to be out of energy yet in 2008. This is a good representation of Ozzy at a particular point in his career and while I enjoyed it I found a number of reservations based on the films exclusions and lack of features. Again, this is more due to the year of its release so one can hope that somewhere down the line that a remastered reissue will see the light of day and feature a little bit more “oomph” to it.

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. I Don’t Want To Change The World
3. Desire
4. Mr. Crowley
5. I Don’t Know
6. Road To Nowhere
7. Flying High Again
8. Paranoid
9. Suicide Solution
10. Goodbye To Romance
11. Shot In The Dark
12. No More Tears
13. Miracle Man
14. War Pigs
15. Bark At The Moon
16. Mama, I’m Coming Home
17. Crazy Train
18. Black Sabbath
19. Changes
20. Credits

Official Website: www.ozzyosbourne.com

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