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Classic Review: Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
Ozzy Osbourne
Diary of a Madman

Label: Sony
Year released: 2002
Originally released in: 1981
Duration: 43:23
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: April 2, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.3/5 (86.05%) (43 Votes)

After proving that he could record a great album without Black Sabbath, The Prince of Darkness released Diary of a Madman in1981. The difference compared to the debut is definitely the production, which is much clearer here. Amazing considering that it was released a few months after. The songs just breathe and flow a lot more here than on Osbournes's first album.

The performances are stellar, as was the case during this stage of Ozzy's career. Starting with Osbourne, his voice is as biting as ever, while he doesn't possess pristine range; the songs are tailor-made for him. He adds character to the compositions as no other singer would have sounded right for this album. The rhythm section composed of Tommy Aldridge (drums) and Bob Daisley (bass) shines all the way through - especially Daisley, just listen to "Little Dolls" and "Tonight" where his instrument is prominent. Randy Rhoads is spectacular, making his last appearance on a studio album before his untimely death. He makes his mark in every single song, his guitar leads just blowing out the speakers.

Aside from talented musicians, the band is a composed by a bunch of talented songwriters. While Diary of a Madman is not as wide open as the debut, the songs are just as good. Beginning with the excellent opener "Over the Mountain," the album just has a seamless transition from one song to the next. There is a little bit of filler though, "Tonight," while a good ballad, seems a little bit repetitive until the guitar solo but I am nitpicking here. This record contains the best song of Ozzy Osbourne's career: "Diary of a Madman". Beginning with the haunting and beautiful acoustic intro, we are treated to six minutes of pure genius telling the story of a psychiatric patient from his point of view. I consider this song to be in the top ten of all time, it just kick my ass every time I listen to it.

While I consider Blizzard of Ozz a better album, Diary of a Madman is a classic by all means, not only because it contains wonderful songs but also because it is the swansong of guitar god Randy Rhoads. This record is an essential piece of metal history that every fan must have; no exceptions. If it wasn't for that fateful plane ride, we could have had four or five more classic by the Rhoads/Osbourne tandem.

More about Ozzy Osbourne...
Review: Bark at the Moon (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Black Rain (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Blizzard of Ozz (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Down To Earth (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: Live and Loud (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Live in Quebec City (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: Ordinary Man (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Randy Rhoads Tribute (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Scream (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Speak of the Devil (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
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