Review by Daniel for Ozzy Osbourne - Just Say Ozzy (1990)
While listening to this month's The Guardians feature release "No More Tears" I was reminded that I spontaneously picked up this largely overlooked live E.P. from the local record store some time shortly after it was released. I think it might have been the first of Ozzy's solo work that I laid down my hard-earned cash for actually & it was driven by my enthusiasm for Black Label Society & Pride & Glory guitar virtuoso Zakk Wylde's work on Ozzy's previous studio album "No Rest For The Wicked" which I believe might have been my introduction to Ozzy's solo material in general. And if I was looking for a showcase for Zakk's chops then I probably couldn't have asked for more than I got with this half hour of high-quality heavy metal to tell you the truth.
The E.P. features four of Ozzy's solo tracks (three taken from "No Rest For The Wicked" & one from his previous album "The Ultimate Sin") as well as two classic Black Sabbath tunes ("Sweet Leaf" & "War Pigs") & all of them are worth hearing. Ozzy's vocals aren't at their best & he sounds a little bit like he's running on auto-pilot at times (particularly during "Bloodbath In Paradise" where he's noticeably pitchy) but his voice certainly suits the Sabbath material far better than it does his solo material which is a long-term bug-bear of mine. Wylde's guitar playing is the real drawcard here though & it doesn't disappoint for a single second of this record. In fact, I'd suggest that he's a tighter musician than Randy Rhoads was in all honesty. He just sounds like he's in complete control of his instrument at all times as he nails every single nuance of the material which makes his performance worth whatever it was that I paid for this otherwise fairly inessential release. Opener "Miracle Man" is comfortably the best of the solo work but it's unsurprisingly the Sabbath material that stands out as the best inclusions here with "War Pigs" being the clear highlight. If you can't get enough Ozzy-era Black Sabbath or 80's Dio in your life then I'd recommend that you check this E.P. out & Black Label Society fans will probably wanna get in on the action too just for the Wylde-card.