Diary of a Madman is the second solo studio album by British vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. It was recorded from the 9th of Feb to the 23 of March 1981. It was released on November 7, 1981, and re-issued on August 22, 1995. An altered version appeared in 2002 with the original bass and drum parts removed and re-recorded. In 2011, a Deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition was released.
Diary of a Madman was the final album to feature the work of guitarist Randy Rhoads prior to his death in 1982. This is also drummer Lee Kerslake's final appearance with Osbourne. Although bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge are credited in the liner notes and pictured on the inner sleeve, it was bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Kerslake who performed all bass and drum parts on the original release. Daisley also provided significant contributions to the album's songwriting, having written some of the music and most of the lyrics. They were not given credit for their contributions. According to a 2005 interview with Daisley, even though Don Airey is credited for having played keyboards on this record, it was in fact a musician named Johnny Cook (who had worked with Daisley in Mungo Jerry) who recorded the keyboard parts, as Airey was on tour with Rainbow at the time.
The album features several songs with acoustic/classical guitar intros, including "You Can't Kill Rock and Roll", "S.A.T.O.", "Tonight", and the title track. To date, the album has sold over 3.2 million copies worldwide.
Diary of a Madman was re-released in 2002 with the original bass and drum tracks (recorded by Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, respectively) removed and replaced by new recordings by Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin.
In May of 2011 Sony Legacy re-released Diary of a Madman and Blizzard of Ozz, with the original bass and drum tracks restored. These are the Deluxe 30th Anniversary Editions with demos, rarities and previously unreleased live material. The set includes remastered editions of both albums on CD as well as vinyl. The two-disc Diary of a Madman portion of the package features a second CD entitled Ozzy Live, containing a previously unreleased live performance from the Blizzard of Ozz tour. The package also features a DVD documentary entitled Thirty Years After The Blizzard.
User Album Review
Ozzy Osbourne’s second solo album, Diary of a Madman, is a classic rock record in every way – monster guitars, Ozzy’s eerie, wailing vocals, riffs so massive they slap you round the facce, and underpinning it all, pounding drum beats.
Released in 1982, the album has since been re-released twice, most recently in 2002 when the original bass and drum parts of Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake were re-recorded by Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin, part of the fall-out from a messy legal dispute between Daisley, Kerslake and Osbourne. Fans of the original loudly objected to the change, but those coming to the album for the first time will hear a band that sounds tight and on the money.
The songs on this album are in the classic rock mold, but they are lifted out of the ordinary by the legendary rock axe God, Randy Rhoads. Diary Of A Madman was the last record he played on before his death while on tour with Osbourne, and his huge guitar sound is all over the record with power riffs and extended guitar solos crammed in at every opportunity.
Bonus live track I Don’t Know perfectly showcases the live magnificence of Osbourne at his peak, with Rhoads giving a virtuoso performance. It makes you understand how the self-proclaimed 'Prince of Darkness' has kept his devoted fans over the past 30 years.
Title track, "Diary Of A Madman", combines strings with a minor key riff, creating a memorable slice of rock that is over-the-top in all the right ways, but other tracks such as "SATO" and "Little Dolls" are filler.
Rock ballad "Tonight" provides a welcome change and "You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll" is a real stand-out track. "Flying High Again" has an almost-bluesy feel, and album-opener Over the Mountain sets the tone for the fast-paced, straight-forward rock on this album.
It might be a conventional rock record, but the thudderingly raucous guitars and the strangely ethereal and creepy vocals mean that it pushes all the right buttons. If you’re a fan of Osbourne, add this one to your collection.
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