Ozzy Osbourne-Live at Budokan (2002) (NTSC)

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Released 12-Aug-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Biographies-Cast
Discography
Featurette-The Osbournes In Japan-Behind The Scenes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 84:20 (Case: 120)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:40) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jeb Brien
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Ozzy Osbourne
Zakk Wylde
Robert Trujillo
Mike Bordin
John Sinclair
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $29.95 Music Ozzy Osbourne
Black Sabbath


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/24 2.0 (2304Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    "...and they don't really know even what they're talking about, and I can't imagine what empty heads can achieve."
   
--Ozzy Osbourne, You Can't Kill Rock And Roll

    Whatever else is said about Ozzy Osbourne, one of the great things about him is that he is never boring, to put it in simple terms. Another great thing about the man is his uncanny ability to take the words of his critics, such as Bill Cosby, and turn them on their head just by getting in front of a camera and being himself. To be even more frank about things, I would take a bullet for Ozzy Osbourne, but some of his biggest, most empty-headed critics sicken me so much by meeting the description set out in the lyrics above that I wouldn't urinate on those people if they were ablaze. I admire Ozzy Osbourne just for his ability to talk to his children, however seriously or not, without talking down at them as if they are lower than dirt.

    Forgive me if I sound like I am going out of my way to hang the proverbial on other entertainers, but this should make it clear exactly why I have such a love for the work of Ozzy Osbourne, both with and without Black Sabbath. It really only seems relevant due to the fact that Sharon's crazed appetite for publicity stunts has resulted in Ozzy's most recent solo album, Down To Earth, being inextricably linked with a certain TV series comprised entirely of raw footage taken from inside the Osbourne household. I do happen to love this album, especially in light of its superiority beyond all of the Def Leppards, Warrants, Iron Maidens, and all those other distorted pop poseurs that Rick Rubin tried to coin the term "heavy metal" for back in the early 1980s.

    However, if you really want to come and see the real thing, I am more comfortable recommending earlier Ozzy albums such as Diary Of A Madman and Blizzard Of Ozz. The former especially is one long creative trip that effortlessly lays the groundwork for other truly great artists to follow (one can see the connection in a lot of the later My DyING BRIDE albums in spite of how profusely they deny it). It's not that Down To Earth is a bad album per se, it's just not as great as those two efforts. Then again, some so-called artists go for twenty years without making a song that is anywhere near the league of Ozzy's, leave alone a whole album.

    Live At The Budokan is, as the name suggests, a recording of Osbourne and his backing band playing live at the Budokan, a rather well-known venue in Japan that has attracted a lot of big-name stars. Zakk Wylde has been Osbourne's guitarist of choice for a number of years now - ever since he announced his "semi-retirement" back in the early 1990s, in fact. I am pretty fuzzy on who Robert Trujillo is - I think he was the bassist for a hardcore band called Suicidal Tendencies, but don't quote me on that. Mike Bordin used to play drums for one of the few alternative bands that gained chart success in the late 1980s and stayed alternative, namely Faith No More. Buried off to the side where nobody in the audience can see him is the keyboardist, John Sinclair. Having listened to this disc a few times now, I can say that this is an especially effective line-up for Ozzy's shows, and long-time fans will have no problems warming to this effort.

    The track listing for this performance is as follows:

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Track Listing

1. I Don't Know
2. That I Never Had
3. Believer
4. Junkie
5. Mr. Crowley
6. Gets Me Through
7. Suicide Solution
8. No More Tears
9. I Don't Want To Change The World
10. Road To Nowhere
11. Crazy Train
12. Mama, I'm Coming Home
13. Bark At The Moon
14. Paranoid

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an approximate 1.78:1 ratio, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced. The ending credits and a glimpse inside the recording facilities in one of the extras makes it pretty clear that this concert was shot using a HDTV unit, so there would seem to be no good excuse for this Standard Definition transfer being non-anamorphic. I note that The Last Supper was also not 16x9 Enhanced and suffered noticeable problems from this limitation (amongst other things).

    The transfer is fairly sharp when the camera is close to the performers, but the limited vertical resolution soon shows up in any long shots, with shots of Ozzy egging the crowd on in particular losing a lot of detail. The shadow detail is adequate, and probably the best we can ask for considering the stage lighting. No low-level noise was apparent in this transfer.

    The colours in this transfer vary from being bright and vibrant to being slightly washed out. These variances coincide with when the lighting gets more extreme, so this is hardly surprising. No composite artefacts were noted.

    MPEG artefacts were not found in this transfer, which is hardly surprising considering the total bitrate for the main feature rarely drops below eight megabits per second (and yes, I did watch the feature with the bitrate meter turned on). Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some aliasing on guitar strings, cymbals, the back of Zakk Wylde's vest, and some lines on the stage. Film artefacts were not found in this transfer.

    There are no subtitles available on this disc. I doubt that Hearing Impaired viewers will have much interest in this programme anyway, but a lyrical subtitle track for sing-alongs would have been appreciated.

    This disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change taking place towards the end of Chapter 9 at 57:40. This causes a noticeable pause right in the middle of the audience's collective cheering, and thus it sticks out like Ozzy Osbourne appearing on a broadcast of The 700 Club, but it beats the hell out of the pause being placed during a song.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two soundtracks on this DVD, both of them renderings of the original English music: a 48 kHz/24 bit Linear PCM 2.0 mix at the subsequently high bitrate of 2304 kilobits per second, and a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix at the higher bitrate of 448 kilobits per second. I listened primarily to the Linear PCM mix while sampling half of the concert in Dolby Digital 5.1 (more on this later).

    The vocals vary in clarity somewhat during the first few songs, and this is not the only area where the viewer will get the distinct impression that age has finally started to catch up with Birmingham's most manic son. However, during Believer, and particularly during Mr. Crowley, the vocals become stronger, more defined against the instruments, and much easier to understand. Ozzy Osbourne does not sing well at a fast pace - he still slows down his master tapes a half-step in order to sing along with, which is why he sounds even screechier on studio albums than he does live. However, he still vastly outperforms any of the inferior imitators that the commercialists throw at him (try comparing this live performance with a Pantera studio album and you'll see what I mean). There were no discernable problems with audio sync.

    Most of the music on this DVD was composed by Ozzy Osbourne and whomever he happened to be working with at the time. Songs two through four and six were composed by the current line-up, among a few others, while the rest of the material also features composers such as bassist Michael Inez, drummer Randy Castillo, bassist Geezer Butler, guitarist Randy Rhoades, and so many keyboardists or musicians who haven't actually played with Ozzy that I cannot remember all of their names. There seems to be a common misconception among certain Americans that the music is like some sort of hypnotic, painful black mass, but I can swear upon my own lifeblood that I always feel far better after listening to the material on this disc than I ever will after listening to the quasi-Nazi rantings of Osbourne's critics.

    The surround channels were aggressively used by the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in order to support crowd ambience, reverberation from the cymbals, and a host of other subtle effects that make the concert performance come alive. At no time did this feel like a stereo mix, or even a stereo mix with surround elements - the six channels were alive at all times, giving the viewer the exact feeling of being right there in the crowd, despite the fact that it took place some thousands of kilometres away.

    The subwoofer was aggressively utilised to support Robert Trujillo's bass playing which, while drastically different from that of Michael Inez during such numbers as No More Tears as one example, fits into the music like a symphony orchestra would in such numbers as Diary Of A Madman. The drums were also supported by the LFE channel, although they didn't seem as prominent in the mix as is normally the case for this material. Still, this is as close to perfection as the music gets with DVD-Video, so there's no complaints here.

    As to the issue of whether the Linear PCM mix is better than the Dolby Digital mix or vice versa, it's a close call. The Linear PCM mix has a big advantage in terms of fidelity, but director Jeb Brien is featured in one of the extras as saying that the 5.1 mix gives him the chance to place the viewer in the audience, and this key advantage is what puts the Dolby Digital mix in front. While the PCM mix is entirely front-focused, the only way one could get more immersed in the performance with the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is if they had the classic "essence of armpit" fragrance common to these shows handy.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is heavily animated, but aside from the introduction being in Linear PCM 2.0 48 kHz, it is silent. It is not 16x9 Enhanced.

Cast Biographies

    Actually, there is only one biography for Ozzy Osbourne here, which occasionally diverts into such tangents as the new television series. Speaking of which, this biography commits a serious boo-boo by mentioning Aimee Osbourne as if she were one of the stars of The Osbournes - she has patently refused to have anything to do with the programme.

Discography

    And the boo-boos continue with several of Ozzy's albums being included out of sequence - Ozzmosis came quite a while after Live & Loud, not in the order depicted here.

Featurette - The Osbournes In Japan: Behind The Scenes

    This twenty-nine minute and nineteen second collection of footage featuring Ozzy Osbourne, his wife, two of his children, and the backing band (as well as a lot of other strange characters) having fun in Japan is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Linear PCM 2.0 48 kHz sound.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Information about overseas versions of this DVD is scant, but it appears that a 16x9 Enhanced version is not available anywhere.

Summary

    Ozzy Osbourne is quite simply one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth century, and one quick listen to some of the material on this DVD will show you why. Far more meaningful and uplifting than anything the bland radio and media-approved crud of the last twenty years can throw at it, this concert set, while not Ozzy's greatest by any stretch, still makes it very clear why there are literally thousands of bands lining up to be the next Black Sabbath. The only way it gets any doomier or more hardcore than this is if you stretch out into the more lunatic fringe, and even then not by too much.

    The video transfer is good, but it could have been reference quality with 16x9 Enhancement.

    The audio transfer is awesome, helped very much by a 48kHz 24bit Linear PCM soundtrack.

    The extras are good, but the text-based extras could have done with some fact-checking.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Dean McIntosh (Don't talk about my bio. We don't wanna know.)
Monday, August 26, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySamsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony STR DE-835
SpeakersYamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
Robert Trujillo background - Hugh F (what the hell is going on in bio??)