Artist: Living Loud
Title: “Living Loud”
Label: EMI/Capitol Records
Release Date: 1/6/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
So it seems as though the idea for this little endeavor was based on the fact that Ozzy Osbourne had never sufficiently paid out drummer Lee Kerslake and bassist Bob Daisley for their co-writing contributions on some of his earliest blockbuster tunes when they were all working together. I won’t review all of the legal entanglements that ensued as enough about this has been debated already. From this both Daisley and Kerslake would form a project group of their own and bring in legendary guitarist Steve Morse, keyboard luminary Don Airey and Australia’s number one singer Jimmy Barnes and call the project “Living Loud”. Together the unit would not only compose music of their own but also rework in some respects several of their co-created Ozzy Osbourne contributions – something that the duo had apparently wanted to do for a long time before the troubles even began . These rearrangements would remain very close to that of the originals so listeners would not have any trouble recalling what the actual tune was. Let’s talk about these covers because for lack of a better term that is essentially what the end up as in this point of history. While Barnes might be the number one vocalist in Australia I cannot say enough at how weird it sounds hearing him do these legendary Osbourne tracks. The songs are so ingrained into the Metal fans heads that hearing them with different drumming, additional or less guitar and a different vocal phrasing just comes off as if we are watching some cover band in a bar somewhere. “Crazy Train” lacks the vocal power and loses something under Barnes bluesy rasp while Kerslake doesn’t do any of the drumming patterns he once did and instead keeps it very straightforward. They start “Flying High Again” as a quasi Blues Rock tune and there is too much in the way of added vocal parts that didn’t work for me. Yes the guitar work and overall playing from the members is tight but in the end it all seems over simplified and that was unnecessary. Steve Morse’s solos are probably the best part of the whole album when it comes down to it. My least favorite out of the covers would be “Mr. Crowley” as this rendition is just deplorable but the best would fall to “Over The Mountain” as this came off as the strongest one of the lot.
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Artist: Living Loud
Title: “Live Debut Concert”
Label: EMI Music/Capitol Records
Release Date: 1/10/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
The names of Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley will be remembered forever as being part of the phenomenal debut by Ozzy Osbourne on “The Blizzard Of Oz”. History and published credits will confirm that the pair not only recorded the album with the Ozzman but also had core writing influence on it. It was argued that the name “Blizzard Of Oz” was a band name and not an album title. After many years of nasty litigation, Osbourne actually released versions of the CD with their performances deleted and recreated by his band of the time. In any event the core creators went on to form a band with other Hard Rock legends such as Steve Morse (guitar), Don Airey (keyboards) and Australian vocal power Jimmy Barnes. The idea was tossed around by Daisley who spearheaded the project and whose desire was to re-record some of the Ozzy classics he helped to create with his friend Kerslake and other musical luminaries. Perhaps this was a good idea in theory but when executed it might not be as one would have hoped. I have to be honest that the whole thing was weird to me because watching someone other than Ozzy sing these classics makes me think “cover band”. While a vocal powerhouse, Barnes hardly has the same vocal register for these tunes and as a result there is a chance to be put off in the difference. Barnes screams a lot and a few times reminded me of Brian Johnson (ACDC), perhaps this was in the way he was delivering the songs. Barnes himself is considered one of the biggest singers to come out of his native Australia. Musically it is pretty sound, with Steve Morse and Don Airey being the real highlight performers of the concert. According to the information about this release, the pair had just finished a Deep Purple gig and then went to the club to perform with this new project after only a short rehearsal period. There are some subtle re-workings in the music but it was pretty cool to hear Morse playing the Randy Rhoads stuff; as he is no slouch in the area of axe-wielding himself. I admit also to being a little jaded to the level of play I witnessed from Tommy Aldridge who became Ozzy’s touring drummer back then. Kerslake while adept on the kit, is definitely no Aldridge and since many years have gone by I was not all that excited by his performance on the DVD. Lee only shows off a couple of times. The band looks like they are having fun, but outside of Barnes there is not a lot of liveliness going on.
Continue reading “Live Debut Concert” by Living Loud