Speak of the Devil (Ozzy Osbourne album)

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Speak of the Devil
Live album by
Released27 November 1982
Recorded26–27 September 1982 by Record Plant Mobile
Venue The Ritz, New York City
Genre Heavy metal
Label Jet / Epic
Producer Max Norman
Ozzy Osbourne chronology
Diary of a Madman
Speak of the Devil
Bark at the Moon
Singles from Speak of the Devil
  1. "Paranoid" / "Never Say Die"
    Released: 1982
  2. "Symptom of the Universe" / "N.I.B."
    Released: 1983 (UK only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Martin Popoff Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]
Sounds Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [3]

Speak of the Devil is a live album by English heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, released on 27 November 1982. It is a double album consisting entirely of live renditions of songs originally recorded by Osbourne's previous band Black Sabbath. The album was entitled Talk of the Devil in the UK, that being the more commonly expressed idiom there.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne, also known as The Prince of Darkness, is an English vocalist, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but went on to have a successful solo career, releasing eleven studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the United States. Osbourne has since reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. He rejoined the band in 1997 and recorded the group’s final studio album 13 (2013) before they embarked on a farewell tour which culminated in a final performance in their home city Birmingham, England in February 2017. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".


In the UK, it was the second of four Osbourne albums to attain Silver certification (60,000 units sold) by the British Phonographic Industry, achieving this in January 1983. [4]

British Phonographic Industry organization

The BPI Limited, commonly known as the British Phonographic Industry or BPI, is the British recorded music industry's trade association.


In early February 1982, a decision was made by Osbourne’s management and record label to record a live album consisting entirely of songs he had recorded in the 1970s with Black Sabbath. Several factors led to this decision. Sabbath’s publishing deal with their previous management had recently expired; by re-recording these songs all the songwriters (including Osbourne) would benefit from the publishing royalties. Additionally, Jet Records had cut a distribution deal with CBS Records which saw the small label stand to make a sizeable profit. Business decisions aside, Black Sabbath was also readying its own live album release and Osbourne wanted his album in stores first. [5] "We were both going through our own miseries," recalled Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler. "We couldn't afford not to release Live Evil and Ozzy was forced into making Speak of the Devil." [6]

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

In the music industry, a music publisher is responsible for ensuring the songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially. Through an agreement called a publishing contract, a songwriter or composer "assigns" the copyright of their composition to a publishing company. In return, the company licenses compositions, helps monitor where compositions are used, collects royalties and distributes them to the composers. They also secure commissions for music and promote existing compositions to recording artists, film and television.

Jet Records

Jet Records was a British record label set up by Don Arden, with artists such as Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Roy Wood, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Alan Price, Adrian Gurvitz, Riot and Magnum.

The plan to record an album of Black Sabbath covers was not met with enthusiasm by Osbourne's band. Guitarist Randy Rhoads and drummer Tommy Aldridge refused to participate, feeling that they had established themselves as recording artists and such an album would be a step backwards professionally. They shared their feelings with bassist Rudy Sarzo; though Sarzo wasn't completely comfortable refusing to participate, he chose to stand with his bandmates and the trio informed manager Sharon Arden of their decision.

Randy Rhoads American guitarist

Randall William Rhoads was an American heavy metal guitarist who played with Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne. A devoted student of classical guitar, Rhoads combined his classical music influences with his own heavy metal style. He died in a plane accident while on tour with Osbourne in Florida in 1982. Despite his short career, Rhoads, who was a major influence on neoclassical metal, is cited as an influence by many guitarists. Rhoads is included in several "Greatest Guitarist" lists.

Tommy Aldridge musician

Tommy Aldridge is an American heavy metal and hard rock drummer. Aldridge is noted for his work with numerous bands and artists since the 1970s, such as Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers Band, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy, Vinnie Moore and Yngwie Malmsteen.

Rudy Sarzo American hard rock/heavy metal bassist

Rudy Sarzo is a Cuban American hard rock/heavy metal bassist. Sarzo remains best known for his work with Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, and Whitesnake, and has also played with several well known heavy metal and hard rock acts including Manic Eden, Dio, Blue Öyster Cult, Geoff Tate's Queensrÿche and Devil City Angels. He is currently the bass player for The Guess Who.

Though Sharon took the news reasonably well, Osbourne was furious. He responded by going on what Sarzo described as "the worst drinking binges I had ever witnessed" and his relationship with Rhoads never fully recovered. It was during this tumultuous period that Osbourne was infamously arrested for drunkenly urinating on the Alamo. Several hours before the Alamo incident, he drunkenly fired the entire band (including Rhoads), though he later had no memory of doing so. Osbourne frequently confronted Rhoads on the tour bus and taunted him with claims that the likes of Frank Zappa and Gary Moore were willing to replace him for the live album. Osbourne's unstable and confrontational behavior soon convinced Rhoads to leave the band. He grudgingly agreed to perform on the live album but would depart after fulfilling his contractual obligations to Jet Records, which consisted of one more studio album and subsequent tour. [5]

Frank Zappa American musician, songwriter, composer, and record and film producer

Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, composer, activist and filmmaker. His work is characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, orchestral and musique concrète works, and produced almost all of the 60-plus albums that he released with his band the Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. Zappa also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. He is considered one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse rock musicians of his era.

Gary Moore Northern Ireland guitarist, songwriter and record producer

Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish rock guitarist and singer-songwriter.


The original plan was to record the album at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens with Randy Rhoads. The show, complete with half-naked girls on the stage in what manager Sharon anticipated would be "the greatest rock spectacle ever", would also be videotaped and released for the burgeoning home video market. [5] These plans all crumbled upon Rhoads' sudden death weeks later in a plane crash.

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Maple Leaf Gardens former indoor arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, later re-built into grocery store and athletic centre

Maple Leaf Gardens is a historic building located at the northwest corner of Carlton Street and Church Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The building was initially constructed as an arena to host ice hockey games, but has since been reconstructed for other uses. Today, Maple Leaf Gardens is a multi-purpose facility, with Loblaws occupying retail space on the lower floors and an arena for Toronto's Ryerson University, known as Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens, occupying the top level.

Home video is pre-recorded video media that is either sold, rented or streamed for home entertainment. It is a type of home media. The term originates from the VHS/Betamax era, when the predominant medium was videotape, but has carried over into optical disc formats like DVD and Blu-ray and, since the 2000s, into methods of digital distribution such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video.

This is the only official Osbourne recording to feature Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis, who had temporarily stepped in for the recently deceased Rhoads following Bernie Tormé's brief stint in the band. Gillis did tour with Osbourne during this time period, and the group also played material from Osbourne's first two solo albums during this tour.

Album producer Max Norman stated in 2007 that due to a limited budget, he had Osbourne perform an entire show in the afternoon (of which day he wasn't clear) with no audience. That performance was recorded in the event that the actual live performance that night was not of suitable quality for release. "At least we've got a choice and we'll have more material to draw from", he said. According to Norman, the finished album features three songs from that performance with crowd noise later added in post-production. Though Norman did not specifically identify which tracks he was referring to, he said "If you got nothing to do for a couple of days you could just lie there and listen to them in the headphones and figure out which songs had the real audience and which ones didn't." [7] [8]

The album sleeve states that it was recorded at The Ritz in New York on 26 and 27 September 1982, however all tracks with the exception of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" were taken from 27 September concert as verified against the soundboard recordings of both performances which exist as bootleg recordings. [9] "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" was not played at either of the Ritz concerts [10] [11] and the recorded version included on Speak of the Devil is believed to have come from the audience-less afternoon show referenced by producer Norman.

A double album, Speak of the Devil represents the fulfillment of a contractual obligation, as Osbourne owed Jet Records two more records. [7] Osbourne has publicly renounced the album, stating that it was only released to satisfy his contractual obligation. [12] Another live album featuring Rhoads' work would eventually be released five years later in 1987, entitled Tribute , though this recording consisted mostly of Osbourne's solo material as opposed to Black Sabbath covers.

Though they had been full-time members of Osbourne's band for some time, this is Osbourne's first album to feature bassist Rudy Sarzo (who left to rejoin Quiet Riot less than a month later) and drummer Tommy Aldridge. The duo had been credited on the 1981 Diary of a Madman album but did not actually play on it. Guitarist Gillis would also soon depart to rejoin Night Ranger. Bob Daisley, who had performed as bassist on both of Osbourne's previous studio albums, would return in that role, while Jake E. Lee would replace Gillis on Osbourne's next studio album, 1983's Bark at the Moon .

Speak of the Devil's gatefold includes multiple photos of a member of Osbourne's road crew (who took part in the stage show by bringing the vocalist drinks between songs) who suffered from dwarfism and who the vocalist nicknamed "Ronnie", [13] [14] a joke aimed at Ronnie James Dio. Dio had replaced Osbourne as Black Sabbath's lead vocalist and stood only 5' 4" tall. [15]

Speak of the Devil was released one month before Osbourne's former band, Black Sabbath, released their own live album entitled Live Evil , a situation which contributed to a growing rivalry between the two camps. In the US, sales of Speak of the Devil were much better than those of Live Evil, while in the UK it was Live Evil which attained the higher chart-placing: figures on ultimate sales are not widely available.

The original CD release of Speak of the Devil omitted the song "Sweet Leaf", presumably due to time constraints. It was, however, reinstated for the 1995 reissue of the album.

Track listing

All songs written by Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.

Side one
No.TitleOriginal albumLength
1."Symptom of the Universe" Sabotage (1975)5:41
2."Snowblind" Vol. 4 (1972)4:56
3."Black Sabbath" Black Sabbath (1970)6:04
Side two
No.TitleOriginal AlbumLength
4."Fairies Wear Boots" Paranoid (1970)6:33
5."War Pigs"Paranoid8:35
6."The Wizard"Black Sabbath4:43
Side three
No.TitleOriginal AlbumLength
1."N.I.B."Black Sabbath5:35
2."Sweet Leaf" Master of Reality (1971)5:55
3."Never Say Die" Never Say Die! (1978)4:18
Side four
No.TitleOriginal AlbumLength
4."Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)5:34
5."Iron Man"/"Children of the Grave"Paranoid / Master of Reality9:12


A Japan-only official release video also entitled Speak of the Devil has been available since the early 1980s. This video release has no relation to the album of the same name, consisting of Osbourne's early solo material rounded out by three Black Sabbath numbers. This video release features an outdoor live performance recorded on 23 June 1982, at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre with the same backing band as the album of the same name. The recording was done by MTV and originally broadcast on the cable network on 31 October 1982, under the title "MTV Halloween Live From Irvine".

Being an outdoor show, wind resulted in insufficient haze from the fog machines to reflect the laser light show, and thus they weren't used; the lasers seen in the final edit were added later in post-production. On 16 July 1982, the band members gathered at Jet Records' offices in Los Angeles to watch the final edit. Osbourne was unhappy with the laser show and stormed out of the room. Bassist Rudy Sarzo later observed him in the parking lot, drunkenly letting the air out of the producer's tires in protest. [5]

This video was finally released in the US in DVD format on 17 July 2012 from Eagle Rock Entertainment. [16] Following its US release, this DVD has been met with positive responses. William Clark of Guitar International said, "Everything from the stage sets, to the action on stage and the powerful Ozzy persona make this live performance, in a word, fantastic". [17]


Band members




USA RIAA 1992Platinum (+ 1,000,000) [22]
Canada CRIA 1983Gold (+ 50,000) [23]
UK BPI 1983Silver (+ 60,000) [4]

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