Ozzy Osbourne

Don't Blame Me: The Tales Of Ozzy Osbourne

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Details At A Glance

Category Documentary Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Biography - Ozzy Osbourne (legend)
Rating m.gif (1166 bytes)
Year Released 1991
Running Time 96:40 Minutes
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (47:08)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Director Jeb Brien
Epic Music Video
Sony Music Video
Starring Ozzy Osbourne
Bill Ward
Lemmy Kilmister
Alice Cooper
Randy Rhoades
Case Lipless Opaque Brackley
RPI $34.95 Music Ozzy Osbourne
Black Sabbath
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame (NTSC) English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes, occasionally
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, a hilarious statement from Jack Osbourne after the credits

Plot Synopsis

    "Tell me I'm a sinner, I got news for you: I spoke to God this morning and he don't like you!"

    I saw it as something of a good omen that, on the same day I bought the fifth full-length album by Norwegian symphonic black metal meisters Dimmu Borgir, a DVD-Video containing Don't Blame Me: The Tales Of Ozzy Osbourne was sent to my doorstep. It's times like these, when musicians who are interested in music rather than a slick advertising campaign designed to con those who don't know any better make their way into my players, that suffering through having today's radio vomit forced upon me seems vaguely worthwhile. The little blurb on the back cover of this DVD proclaims that Jeb Brien's documentary is about Ozzy Osbourne giving the warts-and-all story behind his remarkably successful twenty-three year solo career.

    Everything to do with Ozzy Osbourne, both the man and the legend that has built up around him, is discussed with frank and open honesty here, with no detail of his equally innovative and tragic history left unturned. From the meteoric rise of Black Sabbath, through the bitter infighting that split this great band apart, through the bat-and-bird-biting antics, the lawsuit over Suicide Solution, the death of his original guitarist Randy Rhoades, and even some details of his upbringing in Birmingham, everything is covered here in this documentary. Guest appearances from posers and lamos like Joe Elliot, Lars Ulrich, Nikki Sixx, and Mick Mars are included, with appearances from men who are almost as legendary as Ozzy himself (specifically Alice Cooper and Lemmy Kilmister) making up for that. Other guest appearances include Ozzy's wife (and manager) Sharon, and Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward. But by far the most interesting inclusion is the introduction featuring the three children from Ozzy's marriage to Sharon: Jack, Kelly, and Aimee, whose brief segments beg the question of what they would have to say at school when the conversation turned to what their parents do for a living.

    Because the chapter listing given on the back is only politely coincidental with the actual arrangement of chapters on this disc, especially after Chapter 20 or so, I will list the chapters from the menu here (I still think there are a couple missing, but this list is about ninety-five percent accurate): 

01. Program Start 17. Ozzy 33. Rochester, 1982
02. Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, Lars Ulrich 18. Home Videos 34. Randy's Guitar
03. Paris, 1970 19. Breaking All The Rules 35. Randy & Ozzy
04. Sabbath - Blue Suede Shoes 20. Moscow, 1989 36. Tribute to Randy
05. Fairies Wear Boots 21. "Let the madness begin!" 37. L.A., 1991
06. More With Sabbath 22. Paranoid Discussion 38. Studio Antics
07. Toronto, 1970 23. A Shot In The Dark 39. Rick Rubin
08. Beat Club, '69 24. Dove & Bat Incidents 40. Studio Fun
09. Hammersmith Odeon, '69 25. The Alamo Incident 41. Meet The Band
10. Paranoid 26. Conversative Backlash 42. Ladders To Fire
11. Live Aid 27. The Suicide Incident 43. Making Of No More Tears
12. Career Montage 28. Origin Of Song 44. No More Tears
13. Ozzy On Drinking 29. Alcohol 45. Ozzy's Closing Comments
14. Montage 30. Teen Suicide And Adult Influence 46. Closing Credits
15. Philadelphia, 1989 31. 1st Solo Appearance 47. Jack Talks About Birth
16. Thomas T. Anderson 32. Get Crazy 48. Copyright Info 
    I'd talk about what my favourite sections of this documentary are, but this is inhibited by the fact that such a diverse and interesting range of topics are covered that describing the overall effect is very difficult indeed. If you're after music made by a man who has risen from one of the dingiest corners of the globe to spread the message that it's okay to get upset with the way things are, then Don't Blame Me: The Tales Of Ozzy Osbourne is a great reference. Just bear in mind that only a few of the featured songs here are played in their entirety, with Ozzy himself obviously wanting to stress the story behind the music rather than the music itself (which is easily available on compact disc, anyway).

Transfer Quality


    One of the first things that has to be remembered about this documentary is that it has been compiled from source materials that range from ten to thirty-two years of age, and some of the original source materials were of very poor quality to begin. Having said that, this is an excellent representation of source materials of a lot of different qualities.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, except for the No More Tears video (Chapter 45), which is in an approximate 1.78:1 ratio, and the documentary is not 16x9 Enhanced at any time.

    The sharpness, shadow detail, and low-level noise quotient of the transfer is variable according to the age of the source materials, as well as the methods that were used to capture the materials. The No More Tears video often appears slightly hazy and out of focus, in spite of being only ten years old, while footage of Black Sabbath from 1969 looks very crisp and clear. The shadow detail of most of the material is adequate, except for some of the material that was recorded in 1969. The live performance of War Pigs is an example of this: not only is the shadow detail pretty poor, thanks in no small part to the stage lighting, low-level noise is also a bit of a problem. This is true for a lot of the older material, but it is hardly the fault of the transfer.

    The colour scheme of this transfer is also highly variable according to the source materials. The performance of Behind The Wall Of Sleep at 11:10 is quite washed out and hazy, with colours bleeding into one another, but other sections such as the interview footage are extremely well-saturated, not to mention very clear and well defined.

    MPEG artefacts were not a problem for this transfer at any time. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some occasional aliasing that only got to be distracting on a couple of occasions. The No More Tears promotional video was the worst offender where aliasing was concerned, with a lot of the edges of walls and other such linear objects frequently shimmering. I'd like to see what they could have done with this video if Sony Music had been willing to spend some time fixing it up. Film artefacts consisted of numerous nicks and scratches upon the archival source materials, but the more recent interview, concert, and promotional footage was often of reference quality. The problems with the archival materials cannot really be helped, and it is really surprising that the footage from the late sixties or early seventies looks as good as it does. I'm sure that fellow fans will no doubt be happy enough to see rare footage of Black Sabbath performing Blue Suede Shoes that it won't really matter.

    This disc uses the RSDL format, with the layer change taking place between Chapters 23 and 24, at 47:08. This is just after Ozzy Osbourne says "I'd like to be remembered as a rock and roll performer. One of the greats if you like.", and it is rather noticeable, but probably the best place that it could have been put under the circumstances.


    I've written both privately and in some articles, most of which have never seen the light of day, that Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne are just two of the more diverse artists the DVD-Audio format is going to need to support if it is going to attract anyone other than audiophiles of my father's age with a large income. This audio transfer shows that, if nothing else, the humble uncompressed stereo compact disc is going to have a lot more life left in it yet.

    There are two soundtracks on this DVD, both of them renderings of the original English dialogue: if fidelity is your thing, then the Linear PCM 2.0 48 kHz, 1536 kilobits per second soundtrack will probably put a big smile on your face, and those who prefer extra channel separation will be happy with the Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 kilobits per second soundtrack. I listened to both soundtracks in their entirety, although I did leave the default Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack for last.

    The dialogue is perfectly clear and easy to understand at all times in both soundtracks, although the Linear PCM soundtrack sounds slightly clearer in my view. Whether this is just my perception or as a result of the uncompressed nature of the soundtrack, it was a slight surprise. Ozzy Osbourne's vocals vary in clarity terms, with the earlier material, especially the old Black Sabbath songs, having a slightly muffled vocal presence, while later material such as the No More Tears video featured vocals clear enough to create the illusion that Ozzy is right there in the room. There are no discernible problems with audio sync.

    The music featured in this documentary, as has been mentioned already can either be attributed to the band Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, or co-writers with Ozzy such as the late Randy Rhoades. The music is not the entire focus of the documentary, but when it is present, it gives at least as much insight into Ozzy and the men he has worked with over the years as they do.

    The surround channels were used in a limited but perfectly serviceable fashion by the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack to support the guitars, audiences, and such ambient instruments as keyboards and strings in later songs. They were not overly worked, but they provided justification for their presence by giving the overall soundscape a bit more separation. The soundtrack tended to collapse into stereo or mono during the interview footage, as you'd have to expect, while the music pushed the front and centre channels a lot harder than the rears. The subwoofer was used in this soundtrack to put more of a bottom end on such things as the bass and drums, and it was a little conspicuous due to only really being utilized during the songs.

    Overall, I preferred the Linear PCM 2.0 soundtrack because, being uncompressed, it sounded less muddy and cluttered despite being restricted to the front channels. The subwoofer output from this soundtrack also tended to have more definition and life in it, but this is all in line with my theorem that truly great artists don't need to be coming out of six speakers at once to sound good. I think one's preference in terms of soundtrack is going to vary according to individual taste.



    The main menu and the scene selection menu are heavily animated with Linear PCM 2.0, 48 kHz, 16-bit sound. The menus are not 16x9 Enhanced. There is one specific complaint I have, in that navigating the scene selection menu is extremely difficult due to the cursor not following the progression you'd expect, with the cursor moving to the navigation controls at the bottom of the screen from the third or fourth chapter, and so forth. Otherwise, the menu is a real delight to look at and use.

Biography - Ozzy Osbourne (legend)

    A comprehensive, balanced, and equally revealing biography of Ozzy Osbourne that deals with the facts and strips down the myths with just as much fervour as the documentary. It leaves out some interesting details that I would have liked to read, such as his place of birth or such trivial little facts as what old peers from school have to say about him, but its still a lot more interesting than the crap that most newspapers and magazines write.


    A listing of the twelve albums Ozzy Osbourne has released since splitting with Black Sabbath in 1979, complete with cover photos, tracklistings, and release dates. It makes a sort of handy checklist for those who want to investigate an interesting artist with a lengthy catalogue to his name. Now, if only we could get Sony Music Video to release Wicked Videos on DVD...


    Aside from one jarring jump-cut during War Pigs, there is nothing to really suggest that this disc has been censored in any way.

R4 vs R1

    The Region 4 and Region 1 versions of this disc would appear to be identically specified, which is not surprising considering that musicians are generally the people who would benefit the least from stiffing customers in one Region on the extras or formatting fronts.


    There is a reason why Jeb Brien has been Ozzy Osbourne's and Black Sabbath's favoured music video and documentary director since the release of Live And Loud. Don't Blame Me: The Tales Of Ozzy Osbourne is a well produced, well made documentary for everyone who's ever wanted to know what songs like Suicide Solution or Mr. Crowley were really about. Ozzy Osbourne himself has done the world a favour it could never possibly repay by participating in the construction of a musical form that not only allows unparalleled expressions of one's fears, angers, and miseries (among other things), but actively thrives upon it, so everything he has to say is interesting for one reason or another. Music and artistic expression, not to mention learning about them, just don't get any better than this, so go out and buy the disc already.

    The video transfer is an excellent representation of source materials that range from good-looking to lucky-to-still-be-in-existence.

    The audio transfer not only offers two choices of how to listen to the music, but it represents great music in a way that can be described as, well, great!

    The extras are minimal, but of some interest.

Ratings (out of 5)

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 © Dean McIntosh (my bio... read it)
June 14, 2001 
Review Equipment
DVD Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output
Display Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm) in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built In (Amplifier)
Amplification Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NS-C120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer