Welcome to the third WEEK OF SINGLES! Once again, we’ll be looking at singles and EPs all week. Up first is a really odd one.
OZZY OSBOURNE – Ultimate Live Ozzy (1986 CBS picture 12″ record)
T-Rev bought this for me a year or two ago, God knows where he found it! All I know is that one day I got a text from him saying, “Mikey, Ultimate Live Ozzy picture disc, do you need it?” I obviously said yes, I didn’t care what it was exactly. I figured it was probably live cuts from The Ultimate Ozzy home video release. I know that Ozzy picture discs go for crazy amounts of money at record shows, and this one was affordably priced.
Picture discs don’t sound the best, and this one even has a label on the front warning the consumer of this fact. Unfortunately my plastic sleeve isn’t in the greatest shape, although the record is absolutely perfect. I love the way the turntable spindle sticks out of Ozzy’s tongue on one side. The other side has a picture of Ozzy and guitarist Jake E. Lee with the girl from The Ultimate Sin album cover. Jake’s taking a bite out of her bum.
Here’s the weird thing. Even though the label clearly states these are live versions from Kansas in 1986 (the Ultimate Ozzy video shoot), there are no live songs. There are three tracks per side, and both sides are identical. They contain the studio versions of “The Ultimate Sin”, “Never Know Why”, and “Thank God for the Bomb”. The studio versions — not live versions! Somebody screwed up somewhere; you have to assume one side was meant to have the live tracks, and the other the studio counterparts. Information is scarce, except that there are multiple reports of the same issue for this picture disc on the web.
Thankfully, the three missing live tracks are on the Prince of Darkness box set. It’s always nice to get some live Ozzy stuff with Jake E. Lee, since it’s so rare to find. Randy Castillo (R.I.P.) is on drums, and like him or not, he has a signature style that he utilized with Ozzy. I enjoy his drumming. The live versions are more keyboard heavy than the studio counterparts. I enjoy Jake’s echoey guitar intro to “Thank God for the Bomb” which sounds cool live.
I’d love to know if these three live tracks were actually released on vinyl at all in 1986. Prince of Darkness was released in 2005; that’s a long time to wait to finally get the tracks in an audio format! I do have the Ultimate Ozzy video on VHS, but it has never been released on an official DVD. Knowing of Ozzy’s loathing for this period, I wonder if it ever will be. I doubt it. It’s too bad, because some have a fondness for The Ultimate Sin and its songs.
If this picture disc had contained the live tracks it was supposed to, I’d give it 4/5 stars. However, for a screwup this colossal:
0/5 stars. At least it looks cool.
Final note: When originally released, this disc came with postcards and a poster. I have neither.