REVIEW: Ozzy Osbourne – Live at Budokan (2002)

OZZY OSBOURNE – Live at Budokan (2002 Sony)

Ozzy’s last paint-by-numbers live album was almost two decades ago.  In actuality, you really only need a live one with Randy Rhoads and you’re golden.  But if you’re in the mood for downtuned Ozzy songs, Live at Budokan might be the way to go.

While the new rhythm section of Mike Bordin (Faith No More) and Rob Trujillo (Metallica) do have a positive impact on the sound, Zakk Wylde is tiring.  His constant divebombing all over Randy’s composition “I Don’t Know” just rubs the wrong way.  Then it’s an unremarkable song called “That I Never Had” from Down to Earth.  The most enjoyable thing about it is actually Zakk’s backing vocal.

Ozzy spaces out old songs with new ones so sleep doesn’t take you too soon.  “Believer” is a nice inclusion, since we’ve never had a version of it with Zakk on guitar.  There’s a novelty to it for that reason, so it’s notable.  A crap new song called “Junkie” acts as filler before “Mr. Crowley”.  They used to have an acronym in Star Trek that they would paint on pipes and conduits on the Enterprise:  “GNDN”.  Goes nowhere, does nothing.  That’s “Junkie”.  And “Crowley” just drags.

The last of the new songs here is “Gets Me Through”; the single, you know the one.  The one with the hilariously unimaginative lyric “I’m not the kind of person you think I am, I’m not the Antichrist or the Iron Man”.  We sure do miss Bob Daisley’s lyrical touch.  “Gets Me Through” might be the most paint-by-numbers of any Ozzy track since Zakk joined the band.

Get ready for a whole shit-ton of No More Tears stuff, as Ozzy rolls out four of ’em.  The title track is still great and doesn’t strain Ozzy as much as the earlier songs.  “Mama I’m Coming Home”, well sure, it has its fans.  “I Don’t Want to Change the World” is still a yawn and “Road to Nowhere” fares well.  The crowd sure loves ’em, those familiar hits.  They go nuts for “Crazy Train” which just doesn’t sound right tuned down like this.  Same with “Bark at the Moon”.  Ozzy closes with the only Sabbath track on the disc, “Paranoid”.  The double tracked vocals are obvious and annoyingly artificial sounding.  It’s cool hearing the Faith No More style of drumming all over it though.  Mike Bordin is a tremendous talent but was he the right guy for Ozzy Osbourne?

As the most unessential of all Ozzy releases, Live at Budokan should really be the last one to add to your collection.  If you care, it was available with two covers:  red printing, and black printing.  For extra pain, you could also go for DVD.  Best track:  “Believer”.

1/5 stars




  1. Oh wow. I completely love this one. And Gets Me Through is one of my favourite Ozzy songs of any era.
    I guess I was about 13 when this was released and Ozzy seemed magical. And all the other music I was into at the time, like Limp Bizkit and Slipknot was probably down tuned as well.
    I always loved how this one made the old 80s tunes sound “updated.”

    I guess different stroke for different folks.
    If a band I loved in highschool release a trap album or whatever is trendy nowadays I may very well get this feeling too, but for me this was Ozzfest Ozzy sounding relevant at a time when I wouldnt touch most 80s bands with a barge poll.

    (Since chnaged my mind obviously)


    1. I think is where age difference comes into play. For me, Ozzfest Ozzy was the worst of all the Ozzys. I really hated Ozzfest and all the hype around it.

      It did make the 80s tunes a little more updated, but I think that’s mostly due to down tuning them, and Zakk Wylde.


  2. This was the point I gave up on Ozzy Osbourne. The parent album for this album was boring and tired and the live show I caught on this tour (Download UK) was, to put it bluntly, shit.

    The DVD of this release was bad too and just reminded me why I thought the Download show was so crap. The same old routine from Ozzy which, at this point, didn’t look like “Rock and Roll Rebel Madman” but “Overly-Scripted and Rehearsed Pantomime Character”…

    Oh, and don’t get me started on the fact that he’s got the Heavy Metal Karaoke screens in between his monitors. I HATE that. “I’m using the worrrd ‘HATE’ here…” Why is there this trend for bands, when they get to a certain stage in their careers, to have the words for the songs they’ve been performing (in Ozzy’s case in 2002) for nearly thirty f*cking years displayed on a TV screen for them? Even for songs that are new, don’t be so f*cking lazy and learn the words that you had a hand in writing the year before! Grinds my gears.

    So, yeah. Shit album.

    Not as bad as Under Cover though…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Bruce was not a fan of Ozzy during this period either! Harsh critic. Do you know that story? Sharon pulled the plug on Iron Maiden’s set while Zakk Wylde threw eggs?

        Fuck Zakk Wylde.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I do remember that. It was pretty childish and, even though it didn’t involve Ozzy himself, made him look stupider than he already looked. If you don’t want to be blown off stage, don’t have Maiden as your support act. Easy as that. If cancer can’t stop the
          m, eggs have no chance.


    1. Very few things are worse than Under Cover! I like everything you said here and it’s good to have some validation.

      Ozzy’s schtick has really worn out of me. Going extra, extra, extra crazy etc.

      I have to admit that if I was a singer, I would need the teleprompter. I cannot remember the words — never could! I’m like Ian Gillan, I just start putting in my own words.


      1. I just consider 1992 Ozzy the end of the interesting Ozzy and everything after as, well… not-interesting Ozzy.

        As for Under Cover, The Ryche’s Take Cover is level-pegging…


  3. After this review just had to dig this up. LIstening to Budokan at the moment. Based on the review was expecting a lot worse.


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