Diary of a Madman (Remastered Original Recording)

Diary of a Madman (Remastered Original Recording)

Ozzy Osbourne’s second and final studio album with guitarist Randy Rhoads is the pinnacle of their collaboration. Released in October of 1981, Diary of a Madman is the result not only of the duo’s road-honed chemistry, but of a creative lineup that had gelled into a world-class songwriting machine. But therein lies the sad legacy of Diary. In addition to being Rhoads’ final studio performance—he’d be killed in a plane crash at age 25, while on tour with Ozzy not long after the album’s release—the true songwriters were almost written out of history. Though bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot) and drummer Tommy Aldridge (Black Oak Arkansas) are credited on the album’s sleeve, they didn’t play a note on Diary. It was actually Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake who played bass and drums, respectively (they also played on Ozzy’s 1980 solo debut, Blizzard of Ozz). In fact, Daisley wrote the bulk of Diary’s lyrics, and both he and Kerslake contributed musical ideas, but weren’t credited for the first 20-plus years of the album’s existence. This resulted in a successful lawsuit by the duo that prompted Sharon Osbourne to hire Rob Trujillo (later of Metallica) and Mike Bordin (Faith No More) to replace Daisley and Kerslake’s parts on the 2002 re-issues of both Diary and Blizzard. When fans objected, the original parts were reinstated in 2011. Legal wrangling aside, Diary is a true gem. The opening track, “Over the Mountain,” absolutely smokes, boasting some of Rhoads’ most torrential guitar moves. “Flying High Again,” meanwhile, is a double entendre that combines Ozzy’s well-documented fondness for narcotics with the rejuvenation of his career after being sacked by Sabbath. And the power ballad “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll” is Ozzy’s love letter to his vocation, propelled by Rhoads’ seamless transition from nimble neo-classical to searing heavy metal—and back again. Built over a beefy Daisley bassline, “Believer” boasts a twisting riff that sounds like it may have inspired Glenn Danzig a decade later on Danzig II. Kerslake’s military march on “Little Dolls” underscores a voodoo-inspired lyric, while “Tonight” sees Ozzy invoking a Beatles-esque vocal melody over pure AM gold. “S.A.T.O.” may or may not stand for “Sailing Across the Ocean” but it’s easily the album’s secret ripper—and one of the most impressive songs this lineup produced. Last but not least, the sweeping presentation and Omen-like choir of the title track lay the foundation for the kind of satanic panics that Swedish occult rockers Ghost would perfect 35 years later.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada