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ALBUM
OZZY OSBOURNE
PATIENT NUMBER 9

Sony Music International Japan

Ozzy’ s last album, Ordinary Man (2019), was his first album in 10 years and just a few days after he released it, he announced he was already working on the next one. Well, it took a bit longer than expected due to covid and Ozzy’s ongoing health issues, the decades of alcohol and drug abuse finally catching up with him but back and neck surgery and his desire to get back out on the road seem to be driving him on. You can’t stop Ozzy and this album proves that even if he has Parkinson’s diseases mobility problems, he can still write and record albums better than anyone else in his genre.

 

You have to go back a very long way to find an Ozzy album as good as this; it’s his finest since the 1980s. The songs are darker and more melodic than Ordinary Man and it’s more wicked and maniacal, in short, the Ozzy we all know and love. The arrangements are classic and there is an array of guitar great guests riding alongside him. Beck, Clapton, Wylde, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and Tony Iommi all contribute, the latter being tracks that will have you diving for the rewind button to relive that feeling you had when you bought the new Black Sabbath in the 70s. You can add in members of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters amongst others as well.

 

Returning to produce is Andrew Watt and he has pulled all those musicians above together to form a very coherent and free flowing album that doesn’t feel like the compilation of musical performances over the years and continents which it obviously was. He has also captured Ozzy’s vocal performances better than on Ordinary man and in fact, Ozzy is sounding just as good as he did in his mega-touring days when his vocal cords would have been at full strength. In Japan, there are two releases, the standard one containing the English and Japanese booklets which are both sixteen pages and come in a jewel case and a limited-edition release which comes in a larger soft-pack with Todd McFarlane artwork and a double-sided poster. Both releases are mastered in BS2CD.

 

Ozzy is as close to eternal as one can get and Patient No. 9 is evidence that he is far from finished. In a recent inter view with the UK’s Guardian newspaper he said “You have not seen the end of Ozzy Osbourne, I promise you.  If I have to go up there and die on the first song, I’ll still be back the next day.” Anybody want to argue with him?

 

Track List

Patient Number 9

Immortal

Parasite

No Escape From Now

One Of Those Days

A Thousand Shades

Mr Darkness

Nothing Feels Right

Evil Shuffle

Degradation Rules

Dead And Gone

God Only Knows

Darkside Blues

Images and Words.jpg

ALBUM
DREAM THEATER

IMAGES AND WORDS DEMOS

Sony Music International Japan

Hot off the back of their headline appearance at Download Japan this year comes the new monthly offering from the re-mastered Lost Not Forgotten series and this time it is the Images And Words demos spanning the two years of vocal uncertainty, 1989 – 1991. For those of you that don’t know, to give you a bit of perspective, the band had formed in ’85, released their debut album in ‘89 which was largely ignored by the critics and didn’t chart and then their lead singer, Charlie Dominici, left. Then their label, Mechanic, dropped them and that’s where this CD set starts.

These recordings are really a historical document of a band that went from  nowhere to gold record status and it’s a very interesting journey for the modern musicologist. Listening first to the debut, When Dream And Day Unite, then this series of recordings which go through the process of writing, auditioning, record company demo and post-signing pre-production, then listening to the finished album, Images And Words, you can clearly see how the band evolved musically.

 

It is a collector’s release as is the entire series but this one in particular is significant in that it shows the pursuit of perfection that the then line-up of Portnoy/Petrucci/Myung/Moore wanted to achieve. The three vocalists’ auditions included here (there was a reputed 200 up for the mic spot) are very good and one wonders why they were rejected as there is nothing that they do that couldn’t have been polished by the right producer. Well, the answer to that of of course is that they were looking for James LaBrie and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

The packaging follows the lines of the series (this is the thirteenth) in that the discs are housed in a silky digipak with a kaleidoscope image on the front. There’s no English booklet but there is a 24-page Japanese one and the discs are mastered in BS2CD which is a significant audio upgrade from the original 2005 Official Bootleg release.

 

Over two years, songs change, develop, morph and some even disappear.  This collection of the four stages of an album has all of that. It’s a treasure for the Dream Theater fanatic and it’s a lesson for you budding superstars to learn from.

 

Track List

Disc 1

Instrumental Demos

Metropolis

Take the Time

Learning to Live

Under A Glass Moon

Vocalist Audition Demos

Don't Look Past Me (John Hendricks)

To Live Forever (John Hendricks)

To Live Forever (Steve Stone)

A Change of Seasons (Chris Cintron)

 

Disc 2

The ATCO Demos

Metropolis

To Live Forever

Take the Time

I&W Pre-Production Demos

Pull Me Under

Another Day

Surrounded

Under a Glass Moon

Wait for Sleep

Learning to Live