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'Memoirs Of A Madman'
(Epic Records/Legacy Recordings)

Johnny Main

johnny main

ozzy osbourne

Recently released, this is Ozzy's sixth compilation album but unlike previous efforts the majority of tracks are taken from his post 1988 career with only a handful of tracks from classic albums like 'Diary Of A Madman' and 'Blizzard Of Ozz'.

If you're looking for a more comprehensive Ozzy compilations, you can't really do better than 2007s 'The Ozzman Cometh', but this release is certainly good enough if you're not a big Ozzy fan.

Alongside the album there is, of course, a DVD which finally gives Ozzy's promo videos a release – and for me, the DVD is a much better option that the companion CD. Opening with 'Bark At The Moon', the first disc contains each promo video right up to 'Let It Die' which is taken from Ozzy's last studio album 'Scream', released in 2010. It's taken some time for these to be released on DVD, but it's a very welcome addition to any Ozzy fan's collection.

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'So Tired' has him dressing up in various guises whilst 'Breaking All The Rules' and 'Crazy Babies' from 1988s 'No Rest For The Wicked' are given their rightful place alongside the excellent 'Miracle Man'. Likewise 'Lightning Strikes' from the 1986 album 'The Ultimate Sin' is also included here and I didn't even know there was a promo filmed for this track!

As we get to 1992s 'No More Tears' album, it's well represented here with six tracks including the epic title track. There are in fact two different versions of 'Mama, I'm Coming Home' (presumably the proper version and the MTV friendly version), the artistic 'Time After Time', along with 'Road To Nowhere' which has the ubiquitous TV showing Ozzy's career flashing up, before he shoots out the screen with a handgun.

'Dreamer' one of my favouite later Ozzy tracks is another big budget artistic video and the plodding pace of a cover of the Beatles' 'In My Life' has Ozzy sitting at a bus stop while all around him are memories from his past. A couple of short documentaries showing the making of 'Let Me Hear You Scream' and 'Life Won't Wait' which brings disc one to a close.

ozzy osbourne

If you're a big Ozzy fan, then the material on disc two that should be whetting your appetite. Copious amounts of live footage along with some short interview segments make up this second disc. Starting off with four tracks live from a TV studio in Rochester, New York in 1981, we have footage showing just how great Randy Rhoads really was.

'Crazy Train' was the basis for the official video of the song (included on disc one) but the live version of 'Mr Crowley' with its long keyboard into just looks great and sounds incredible. There's footage from of 'Fairies Wear Boots' from a year later sees a very different band. Ozzy has his hair cut short and what looks like a lyric sheet is placed on a chair at the very front of the stage whilst Brad Gillis replaced Rhoads on guitar after his untimely death earlier in the year.

Five tracks are taken for the old 1986 VHS release of 'The Ultimate Sin' which sees Ozzy in bombastic form. It's a shame that the rest of the release has still to make it onto DVD, but maybe that will be released in its entirety in the future. The tracks included here, though, give a great flavour of the live show. Assorted tracks from his 1989 tour (featuring Geezer Butler on bass guitar) along with a single clip of his 1991 show at the Marquee in London are good but you can't help wondering what else they have missed off that they could have added to the collection.

It's not just live footage included on disc two, though, as there are small interview segments from Ozzy at the time and more up-to-date ones – filmed at home in his Bunker. The interview with him only a week after Rhoads' death is a difficult watch as he's still visibly shaken by the events and it shows his vulnerability. There is also some footage shot during the making of the 'Ozzmosis' album which is interesting but not essential.

All in although, it's a great collection of promo videos on disc one, and some live rarities on disc two giving the whole set a combined running time of over two hours, so you do get a lot for your money, it's just that the contents of disc two promise so much but then deliver slightly less than anticipated. Overall, it's a good effort that could have been better.

'Memoirs Of A Madman' tracklist:
Disc One:
Bark At The Moon
So Tired
The Ultimate Sin
Lightning Strikes
Crazy Train
Miracle Man
Crazy Babies
Breaking All The Rules
No More Tears
Mama, I'm Coming Home
Mr Tinkertrain
Time After Time
Road To Nowhere
I Don't Want To Change The World (Live)
Perry Mason
I Just Want You
See You On The Other Side
Back On Earth
Gets Me Through
In My Life
I Don't Wanna Stop
Let Me Hear You Scream
Life Won't Wait
Let It Die

Bonus videos:
Mama, I'm Coming Home (Alternative Version)
The Making of "Let Me Hear You Scream"
The Making of "Life Won't Wait"

Disc Two:
I Don't Know (Rochester, 1981)
Suicide Solution (Rochester, 1981)
Mr Crowley (Rochester, 1981)
Crazy Train (Rochester, 1981)
Over the Mountain (Albuquerque, 1982)
Fairies Wear Boots (New York, 1982)
Interview on Entertainment USA 1984
Bark at the Moon (Kansas City, 1986)
Never Know Why (Kansas City, 1986)
Killer of Giants (Kansas City, 1986)
Thank God for the Bomb (Kansas City, 1986)
Secret Loser (Kansas City, 1986)
Bloodbath in Paradise (Philadelphia 1989)
Tattooed Dancer (Philadelphia 1989)
Miracle Man (Philadelphia 1989)
MTV Interview 1989
Bark At The Moon (Marquee, London 1991)
I Don't Want to Change the World (San Diego, 1992)
Road to Nowhere (San Diego, 1992)
No More Tears (Japan, 1992)
Desire (Japan, 1992)
Mama, I'm Coming Home (MTV 1992)
Ozzmosis Recording Sessions 1992
Perry Mason (Ozzfest 1996)
Gets Me Through(Tokyo, 2001)
Not Going Away (Ozzfest 2007)
I Don't Wanna Stop (Las Vegas, 2007)
Let Me Hear You Scream (London 2010)
Flying High Again (Philadelphia, 1989)
Believer (Tokyo, 2001)

Ozzy Osbourne Online:

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