OZZY OSBOURNE — Diary Of A Madman

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

OZZY OSBOURNE - Diary Of A Madman cover
4.13 | 48 ratings | 5 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 1981

Filed under Heavy Metal


1. Over The Mountain (4:31)
2. Flying High Again (4:44)
3. You Can't Kill Rock And Roll (6:59)
4. Believer (5:17)
5. Little Dolls (5:38)
6. Tonight (5:50)
7. S.A.T.O. (4:07)
8. Diary Of A Madman (6:17)

Total Time 43:26


- Ozzy Osbourne / vocals
- Randy Rhoads / guitars
- Bob Daisley / bass
- Don Airey / keyboards
- Lee Kerslake / drums

Guest musicians:

- Johnny Cook / keyboards
- Robert Trujillo / bass (on 2002 reissue)
- Mike Bordin / drums (on 2002 reissue)
- Rudy Sarzo / bass (on 2011 reissue bonus disc)
- Tommy Aldridge / drums (on 2011 reissue bonus disc)

About this release

Release date: November 7, 1981
Label: Jet Records

Reissued, remastered, remixed and partly re-recorded in 2002 with the following bonus track:

9. I Don't Know (live) (4:56)

Reissued as Deluxe Edition in 2011 with a bonus disc recorded live in 1981 during the Blizzard Of Ozz Tour with the following tracklist:

1. I Don't Know (5:08)
2. Crazy Train (6:26)
3. Believer (5:37)
4. Mr. Crowley (6:19)
5. Flying High Again (4:17)
6. Revelation (Mother Earth) (5:58)
7. Steal Away (The Night) (8:00)
8. Suicide Solution (8:34)
9. Iron Man (3:12)
10. Children Of The Grave (5:07)
11. Paranoid (3:17)

Total Time 61:55

Thanks to progshine, Pekka, Lynx33, diamondblack for the updates


More places to buy metal & OZZY OSBOURNE music

  • CDUniverse - Specializing in the sale of domestic and imported music CDs and Imports


Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
The early 80s were a magical time for OZZY OSBOURNE who had left Black Sabbath without any guarantees of future success. By sheer luck he met the late great Randy Rhoads and together they set a new standard of heavy rock and metal that would usher in the next chapter of heavy metal music for the 80s riding alongside the NWOBHM. After the success of “Blizzard Of Ozz,” OZZY and Randy Rhoads collaborated on yet one more album of the same style as the debut but in the process of an incessant touring schedule become more of a cohesive unit as heard on the followup DIARY OF A MADMAN (the title is possibly taken from the 1963 film about an evil spirit). Rhoads in particular found that the album was rushed through due to time pressures imposed by the label. This is the period of crazy turbulence for the OZZ man which produced great controversy and in the process a whole lot of publicity. Plagued by accusations of Satanism and an overall image of public enemy #1 for the conservative folk about, OZZY’s image of biting off bat heads and allowing his future wife to scare the band off as a ruthless manager overshadowed the fact that DIARY OF A MADMAN was a very innovative album, musically speaking, in the history of heavy metal music.

While OZZY’s lyrics continued the polemic mysticism and poetic errancy, the real star of the show was the classically trained guitarist Randy Rhoads who raised the bar over his own neoclassical guitar prowess of the debut album. On DIARY OF A MADMAN, Rhoads put his heart and soul into the compositions contained on this album which showed his musical sophistication move up a couple notches. Once again, Rhoads’ guitar playing is a fusion of the Black Sabbath metal construct embellished with the neoclassical tricks that Ritchie Blackmore developed in Deep Purple. Also in the mix is the pyrotechnic soloing prowess straight out of the Eddie Van Halen playbook only with more finesse and thoughtful in delivery. Tracks like “Over The Mountain” and “Flying High Again” have become classic standards in the metal universe and demonstrates OSBOURNE’s one two punch of escapism and drug indulgence issues, however tracks like “You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll” and “Believer” display a rather innocent sense of optimism absent from “Blizzard Of Ozz” which seemed to be stuck in a negative outlook.

One of my favorite tracks on the album and in all of OZZY’s career for that matter is the exquisitely designed title track which is a basic blueprint for the progressive metal to come. The track seamlessly melds different time signatures and unique classically infused chord progressions peppered with differing dynamics that create a bona fide masterpiece of heavy metal music. Despite having been rushed through, all songwriters and musicians on board gelled quite beautifully and the album doesn’t suffer one bit showing the professionalism of everyone on board. Likewise the album flows nicely as each track has a unique feel and stands on its own two feet. The only track i find to be a little weak is the forgettable “Little Dolls” which could have used some sprucing up. Because of the momentum created by “Blizzard Of Ozz,” the followup DIARY OF A MADMAN was an instant international hit selling well and even spawning two hit singles (unlike the debut), but as always it wouldn’t be an OZZY album if there wasn’t some controversy involved.

The controversy derives from the fact that bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake were very much a part of the songwriting team but received no credits for their efforts. Another misstep occurred with the 2002 re-issue that took erased their roles on the album altogether and was re-recorded with OZZY’s at the time bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer Mike Bordin (of Faith No More.) History has rectified theses errors as the 2011 deluxe 30th anniversary edition returns the original album but these bad moves has surely tarnished OZZY’s reputation as a fair player in the world of business, but to be honest, it was probably more on the management which happened to include his wife Sharon Osbourne, the true business brains behind the scenes.

DIARY OF A MADMAN is one of my favorite metal albums of all time with strong catchy melodic metal tracks augmented by some of the best musicianship of the day that makes it feel like the timeless classic that it is. The album also feels like it was the mere dawn of a new era for the OSBOURNE / Rhoads team and everyone was anxious to see how Randy Rhoads would evolve into the next level as he seemed utterly unstoppable but sadly it was not meant to be. While on tour for this album, Rhoads played his very last show on 18 March 1982 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum in Tennessee and died the next day in an airplane crash in Florida. The tragedy would send OSBOURNE’s career in a tailspin and another bout of deep depression. While the world was robbed of one of the greatest musical contributors to the metal universe, luckily Rhoads left behind two strong albums with OSBOURNE before his untimely demise. DIARY OF A MADMAN is perhaps the stronger of the two but personally i find each album has its own charm.
Ozzy Osbourne’s second studio album was released one year after his debut in 1981. Diary Of A Madman has since gone on to become a classic album and Ozzy himself has named it his favourite.

The album is the second of only two studio albums with Randy Rhodes on board as the guitarist before his untimely death in a plane accident. As you are likely already aware, Randy’s inventive style of guitar playing is legendary.

Diary Of A Madman contains the classic tracks ‘Over The Mountain,’ and ‘Flying High Again,’ although the whole album is strong and of a pretty consistent quality. The album is beyond strong guitar-wise, the warm analogue production sounds fantastic and the general quality of songwriting is top class.

This 2011 remastered edition of the album does not come with either linear notes or a DVD, nor does it contain the bonus disc found in the Legacy Edition.

What this version does feature however, are the original performances. This is not the version where Mike Bordin and Rob Trujillo were made to overdub the original rhythm section out of the mix, but rather a new version that reinstates the original musician’s work, remastered to the highest quality.

Overall; Diary Of A Madman, the last studio effort to feature Randy on guitar, is a superb album by Ozzy Osbourne and this 2011 remastered edition is a no-frills fantastic sounding version.
"Diary of a Madman" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK heavy metal artist Ozzy Osbourne. The album was released in November 1981 by Jet Records.

In the liner notes in the booklet for the 2002 remaster of "Diary of a Madman", Ozzy tells that the album was recorded in a rush. The band were constantly touring in those years and Ozzy had to say accept the final mix to producer Max Norman over the phone from a phone booth somewhere on the road. That´s certainly not audible though. Compared to "Blizzard of Ozz (1980)" which is a bit inconsistent in quality, "Diary of a Madman" is a much more artistically succesful release. The only track, out of the eight tracks on the album, that I don´t think is better than average is the power ballad "Tonight" ( and it ain´t bad). The remaining seven tracks are simply among the best tracks Ozzy Osbourne has yet put out. Take a listen to the powerful opening track "Over the Mountain" for starters or the equally powerful "S.A.T.O". Now that´s what I call kick ass heavy metal. The power ballad "You Can't Kill Rock & Roll" is also pretty great but it´s with the delightfully dark "Believer", the Beatlesque "Little Dolls" ( well very dark and heavy Beatlesque) and the epic closing title track that I´m completely won over. The latter features maybe the best vocal performance ever by Ozzy. It´s quite the intriguing and dare I say progressive heavy metal track too. Absolutely breathtaking that one.

Despite Ozzy saying that the album was rushed the sound production is excellent and powerful and if you ever had any doubts the musicianship is of course also of high quality. Ozzy´s wailing vocal delivery never sounded better and the late Randy Rhoads is simply on fire on some of these tracks. His guitar playing was great on the debut album but here the playing is outstanding. The rest of the guys in the band are also very competent and do a great job here too. I´d like to mention the playing by drummer Lee Kerslake as one of the instrumental highlights too.

"Diary of a Madman" comes highly recommended from me as the best starting point if you are new to Ozzy Osbourne. It doesn´t get much better than this when we´re talking Ozzy. A 4 - 4.5 star rating is deserved.
The Madman Returns

Neither Ozzy nor Randy Rhoads expected the success that was Blizzard of Ozz, and the band quickly returned to the studio to record a second effort. By this time Rhoads had a little more experience under his belt, and the songwriting is a fair bit more complex. There are great songs and great solos on Diary of a Madman, but really nothing quite reaches the anthemic heights of Crazy Train or I Don't Know.

"Over the Mountain" is a killer riff, one of Randy's best. "Flying High Again" has one of his best solos ever. "Diary of a Madman" pulls the Carmina Burana intro used to bring in live shows and makes it into a heavy metal riff and spooky tune perfect for Ozzy. "Believer" sports a great bass line. It's all very good. Just not quite as good as the debut. And from every interview I've read, the album was simply a little rushed.

The production is better but still has strange choices that have been discussed for three decades. The excessive reverb on the guitars clouds some of Randy's great playing. The fade out on "Tonight" is especially famous, with scores of aspiring guitarists cranking the volume to try to hear every last note.

The biggest emotion I get from listening to this disc is sadness. This is the last original work we get from Randy Rhoads, and though it shows and artist still yet to hit his peak, at the time it was one of the best guitar albums made. It could have been better. A little more time to record, vet out the songs, it could have been more. Despite all that, it's still a classic.

Members reviews

You can’t kill Rock ‘N’ Roll, but the guitarist might die in a tragic accident!

Ozzy Osbourne’s career was like a rollercoaster; first being kicked out of the band he had been in for close to a decade and then finding great success as the leader of his own band only to have his brilliant guitarist killed in a tragic plane accident after only two years. Diary Of A Madman was the second solo album from Ozzy and the last ever recording featuring the great Randy Rhoads (RIP). About what would have happened had Rhoads survived we can only speculate, but this album shows that he evolved as a player right till the end (he was, after all, only 25 years old when he died). As we all know Ozzy would continue a successful solo career for many years with other guitarists, but what a blow it must have been to lose Rhoads who was very influential on Ozzy’s first two albums.

It is often claimed that Diary Of A Madman was a bit rushed but, if that applies at all, it applies only to a couple of tracks in the middle of the albums that perhaps could have been somewhat further developed. The best tracks of the album, however, do not at all feel rushed or underdeveloped. On the contrary, this album contains Ozzy’s most elaborated piece of music ever in the excellent title track. This rather progressive song features strings and wonderful acoustic and electric guitars by Rhoads and a moving vocal from the man himself. Diary Of A Madman is probably my favourite Ozzy Osbourne song.

The rest of the album’s material is, in my opinion, up to par with the classic debut. That album had a couple of weaker tracks and so does this one. But despite some weak moments on both albums, I think they are both excellent additions to any Metal collection. Songs like Over The Mountain and Flying High Again are, together with the aforementioned title track, Ozzy classics. Compared to the debut, this second album is darker and a bit more serious in its subject matter.

Diary Of A Madman is an excellent companion to Blizzard Of Ozz

Ratings only

  • sploosh
  • Jack Revelino
  • SilentScream213
  • Seven Moons
  • Olly
  • tapfret
  • Anster
  • Fant0mas
  • RetroMetalMan
  • changowero96
  • TerryDactyl
  • 666sharon666
  • michelandrade
  • Unitron
  • Pekka
  • leechburton
  • shadowoffadream
  • sepozzsla
  • aglasshouse
  • luanpedi
  • Jan
  • jsorigar
  • fisciletti
  • Colt
  • Stooge
  • stefanbedna
  • IndianaJones
  • Lynx33
  • progpostman
  • life93
  • miguellangell
  • bassgeezer
  • cannon
  • Tupan
  • pazkual
  • kalacho
  • Tlön
  • bratus
  • spizzetti
  • earthworm
  • caligula
  • slow man
  • progshine

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Doom Machine Stoner Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Nightmares Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Another Green Drought Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Buy this album from MMA partners
Caught In A Mirror Metalcore
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Metal News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us