Speak of the Devil (Ozzy Osbourne album)

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Speak of the Devil
Live album by Ozzy Osbourne
Released 27 November 1982
Recorded 26–27 September 1982 by Record Plant Mobile
Venue The Ritz, New York City
Genre Heavy metal
Length 70:16
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
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Martin Popoff 8/10 stars[2]
Sounds 5/5 stars[3]

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

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]


The album sleeve states that it was recorded at The Ritz in New York on 26 and 27 September 1982, though this may not be entirely correct. 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."[5][6]

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

A double album, Speak of the Devil represents the fulfillment of a contractual obligation, as Osbourne owed Jet Records two more records.[5] Osbourne has publicly renounced the album, stating that it was only released to satisfy his contractual obligation.[7] At the time, a live album featuring guitarist Randy Rhoads was being prepared, but it was scrapped indefinitely upon Rhoads's sudden death in a March 1982 plane crash. Speak of the Devil was hastily recorded and released in its place. The planned live album featuring Rhoads' work would eventually be released five years later in 1987, entitled Tribute. In April 2002, Speak of the Devil was deleted from Osbourne's US/North American catalog and is no longer in print.[citation needed] However, the album is still widely available in other markets, particularly Japan.

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",[8][9] a joke aimed at Ronnie James Dio. Dio had replaced Osbourne as Black Sabbath's lead vocalist and stood only 5' 4" tall.[10]

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[edit]

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

Side one
No. Title Original Album Length
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. Title Original Album Length
4. "Fairies Wear Boots"   Paranoid (1970) 6:33
5. "War Pigs"   Paranoid 8:35
6. "The Wizard"   Black Sabbath 4:43
Side three
No. Title Original Album Length
1. "N.I.B."   Black Sabbath 5:35
2. "Sweet Leaf"   Master of Reality (1971) 5:55
3. "Never Say Die"   Never Say Die! (1978) 4:18
Side four
No. Title Original Album Length
4. "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"   Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) 5:34
5. "Iron Man"/"Children of the Grave"   Paranoid / Master of Reality 9:12
6. "Paranoid"   Paranoid 3:10


A Japan-only official release video also entitled Speak of the Devil has been available since the early 1980s. This video release contains completely different content than the album, consisting of both Black Sabbath songs and Osbourne's early solo material. This video release features a live performance recorded on 12 June 1982, at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre with the same backing band as the album. This video was finally released in the US in DVD format on 17 July 2012 from Eagle Rock Entertainment.[11] 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".[12]


Band members[edit]




Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1992 Platinum (+ 1,000,000)[17]
Canada CRIA 1983 Gold (+ 50,000)[18]
UK BPI 1983 Silver (+ 60,000)[4]


  1. ^ Franck, John. "Ozzy Osbourne - Speak of the Devil review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5. 
  3. ^ Bushell, Garry (20 November 1982). "Ozzy Osbourne: Talk Of The Devil (Jet)". Sounds. 
  4. ^ a b "Search for Artist Ozzy Osbourne". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Fischer, Michael (19 June 2007). "On Yer Bike with Studio Wizard Max Norman". KNAC.com. KNAC. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Saulnier, Jason (2013). "Max Norman Interview – Legendary Producer on Ozzy Osbourne Albums". Music Legends.ca. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  7. ^ God Bless Ozzy Osbourne documentary film, produced in 2011. Next Entertainment.
  8. ^ "Drummer Tommy Aldridge Says Ozzy Made Fun Of Ronnie James Dio". Blabbermouth.net. 22 January 2005. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  9. ^ Hotten, Jon. "Black Sabbath - The Dio Years" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  10. ^ imdb.com. "Biography for Ronnie James Dio". imdb.com. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (8 May 2012). "Ozzy Osbourne's 1982 'Speak of the Devil' concert film headed for DVD". Ultimate Classic Rock.com. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Clark, William (6 November 2012). "Review: Ozzy Osbourne - Speak of the Devil DVD". Guitar International.com. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Ozzy Osbourne Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 37, No. 24, February 12, 1983". Library and Archives Canada. 12 February 1983. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Speak of the Devil Billboard Albums". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Speak of the Devil Billboard Singles". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  17. ^ "RIAA Searchable Database-Search: Ozzy Osbourne". Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Gold Platinum Search for Ozzy Osbourne". Music Canada. Retrieved 25 October 2015.