Ozzy’s second solo studio album Diary of a Madman was released on 7 November 1981. It is the final album recorded with late guitarist Randy In 2011, a Deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition was released.
Proving the success of his first solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, was no fluke, Ozzy reestablished himself as the wild maniac of metal with Diary of a Madman, which came out on Nov. 7, 1981. Following a similar structure to that of Blizzard, Ozzy skillfully combined storming fist-in-the-air rockers like “Over the Mountain,” “Flying High Again” and “S.A.T.O.” with more subtle and dynamic songs such as “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll” and the heartrending power ballad “Tonight.” The only thing missing was a classical guitar instrumental, but guitar god Randy Rhoads didn’t need a solo spotlight since he shined bright as the sun all over the record.
“Over the Mountain” is the opening track on Ozzy’s Diary of a Madman album. With Ozzy’s iconic voice and Randy Rhoads’ exceptional neo-classical guitar playing, Diary of a Madman was another amazing roller coaster ride full of musical depth, sharp songwriting and top-notch performances! Diary of a Madman is a crisp, polished recording in which every instrument is clearly audible and the lows and highs are perfectly balanced. Like Blizzard of Ozz, Diary was recorded quickly in an effort to get Ozzy back out on the road. Most of the songs were written throughout 1980 and by February, 1981 the band was at Ridge Farm Studios in Rusper, England. In less than a month the album was complete. Sadly it would be the last studio album to feature Randy, who died in that tragic plane crash on March 19, 1982.
OZZY OSBOURNE PERFORMS LIVE AT 1983 US FESTIVAL (5/29/83)
Randy came up with the rough idea for the song Diary of a Madman in rehearsals and Ozzy’s bass player Bob Daisley wrote the lyrics. He said: “I really wrote that one about myself. When I was 16 I had my first nervous breakdown and it really f—ed me up. I was a sensitive kid and I have always been a sensitive person. Quite often we have problems and we are our own worst enemies and that is why ‘Enemies fill up the pages one by one in the diary. Are they me?’ I am my own worst enemy. I thought it would be a good song for an Ozzy album because he’s got the reputation of being the madman of rock and roll.” The title of Diary of a Madman came from a 1963 movie of the same name starring the legendary Vincent Price. Oh and the little boy on the cover is Ozzy’s son Louis from his first marriage to Thelma.
In addition to its 2002 reissue, the album was released in a deluxe 30th Anniversary Edition in 2011 that also featured a bonus live disc recorded during the second leg of the Blizzard of Ozz tour. Highlights include early performances of “Flying High Again” and “Believer” as well as the Black Sabbath songs “Iron Man,” “Children of the Grave” and “Paranoid.”
Back in 1981, all that mattered was Diary of a Madman’s impressive sales and chart placements, including a lofty No. 14 in the U.K., where it sat uncomfortably close to Black Sabbath’s newly released second album fronted by Dio, Mob Rules. In the U.S., though, it was Ozzy who beat his former bandmates, reaching No. 16 with Diary vs. their album’s peak just inside the Top 30. Needless to say the competition or the rivalry between them became quite heated! In the end Diary is a lasting Ozzy classic that stands as the definitive showcase for the late Randy Rhoads! Every fan should own it!
Metallica cover’s Ozzy Osbourne’s “Diary of a Madman” at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA for the MusiCares MAPfund on May 12, 2014