1982 was a rough year for Ozzy Osbourne. In March, his guitarist Randy Rhoads died in a plane crash while the band was on tour for Diary of a Madman, which had been released four months earlier. Ozzy continued to tour as a way of catharsis, with Brad Gillis filling in on guitar. On September 26th and 27th, the band played New York City’s The Ritz (now Webster Hall), which was recorded for an album. Speak of the Devil came out on November 27th, 1982 – but it’s not available in the United States anymore.
The album in and of itself is a little strange. While Ozzy’s career as a solo artist was on the rise, there were no solo songs on the album – it consisted entirely of Black Sabbath songs. To confuse things a bit more, the Ronnie James Dio version of Black Sabbath released a live album, Live Evil, the following month. While a live album with Rhoads had been in the works, it was scrapped indefinitely following his death, and wouldn’t come out until five years later as Tribute. Brad Gillis would soon leave Ozzy’s band after his band, Night Ranger, was offered a record deal.
In 2002, Ozzy’s catalog was remastered and re-released, but Speak of the Devil wasn’t on the list. Presumably, it’s because Tribute is a better document of Ozzy’s early solo career. If you’re still curious, you can buy the album online as an import. And if you’re curious as to what Brad Gillis looked like with Ozzy’s band, which also included Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge, there was a DVD released earlier this year of a June 1982 performance at Irvine Meadows, CA – also titled Speak of the Devil. Wisely, the DVD is almost entirely Ozzy solo material. You can check out “Crazy Train,” Iron Man” and “War Pigs” after the jump.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G59tQho-8e8