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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 31 January 2012
This for me has always been Ozzy's solo masterpiece. The album has it all: superb, ambitious songwriting, timeless production, musical light and shade (operatic solos, classical arpeggios and country twangs alongside ear-splitting metal) plus some of Ozzy's career-best vocals. I got it on original release and it was years before I heard the background to Ozzy's finest hour: Main songwriter and bassist Bob Daisley was sacked just as the album was finished, along with drummer Lee Kerslake. Neither was mentioned on the album sleeve, instead new recruits Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge were credited and pictured. Daisley was never paid valuable production or performance fees and to cap it all, the remastered 2002 CDs removed all traces of Daisley's superb bass playing (his Believer and Tonight intros are gorgeous) as well as Kerslake's perfectly pitched drumming - his crime being to side with Daisley in their dispute.

Needless to say, the 2002 remasters were a travesty and Ozzy's vandalism of his own career-best was scorned by all of his non-reality show fans. This clearly wounded Oz and the low-point of his otherwise great autobiography was, for me, his shabby attempt to excuse his treatment of his band mates, which he'd previously blamed on Sharon. The news of this re-remastered edition (ie restoring the original bass and drums) had me thinking there must have been some kind of reconciliation. Maybe now, we'd have the full mea culpa alongside some words of rapprochement with Ozzy's best collaborator outside Sabbath. No such luck sadly: there are no photos of Daisley or Kerslake, no 'making of' story, no discussion of the feuds, bad behaviour or lessons learned. Daisley and Kerslake have apparently not even been consulted over this release, so presumably they still won't get paid for their contribution. 'Glories overdue' as Daisley aptly put it in 'You Can't Kill Rock and Roll'

Politics aside, how does this 2011 remaster sound? Utterly superb is the answer. If anything, Daisley's original bass is more prominent, which makes the whole album sound less dated and 80s. I've listened to this release on a variety of stereos and it sounds as exciting and vibrant as it did back in 1981. Ozzy's vocals, Randy's searing and chilling lead licks, Bob and Lee's perfectly matched rhythm backing and the array of non-metal contributions (country slide and classical guitar, Johnny Cook's uncredited keyboards, the Orffian-chorus in the title track) all sound crystal clear. As do the odd timing fluff, which is a testament to its gloriously analogue heritage.

A great and long overdue restoration of a classic then. The Legacy edition Diary Of A Madman (Legacy Edition) adds a disc of live tracks that largely overlap the live Tribute album, albeit with poorer sound (both featuring studio recorded vocals). I hope one day Ozzy will be man enough to right some of his (or Sharon's) past wrongs. In the meantime, just stick this on and revisit Ozzy's glorious post-Sabbath peak.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 October 2016
2016 reissue of the 2011 legacy edition,i managed to miss picking this (version) up first time around,so its good to get this reissue ini ts digipack format.

Disc1 is a straight reissue of the 2011 remaster,8 tracks of quality Ozzy and co,sounds superb

Disc 2 a live disc recorded,presumably on the American leg of the Blizzard of Ozz tour,as it includes 'Madman' track 'Believer' noted as coming from the forthcoming 'Diary of..' album,also lists Sarzo & Aldridge as Bass and Drums, Its a stunning 60 minutes plus of Prime Ozzy and includes most of the Debut album plus some Sabbath classics,sounds absolutely wonderful.

Packaging, comes as a stiff card gatefold sleeve/mini album format with both discs,made to look like vinyl LP's with plain white inner sleeves,booklet has plenty of photo's of the era but no liner notes and sadly ,once again Bob Daisly and Lee Kerslake are not listed as playing on disc 1.
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on 17 May 2017
Not for the original content (that would be 5*) but for the way the family Osbourne treat great musicians who helped put Ozzy back on the heavy metal map. Bad move I'm afraid. I'll wait and pick up a good original copy.
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on 7 November 2003
The second album from Ozzy after his departure from Black Sabbath, 'Diary of A Madman' continues in much the same vein as 'Blizzard of Ozz' with incredible guitar from the late Randy Rhoads, powerhouse drumming from Lee Kerslake and some inspired playing from Bob Daisley (who wrote much of the material with Randy and Lee). With another strong set of songs this consolidated Ozzy's position after the success of 'Blizzard of Ozz'.
Why then only 1 star for this reissue? You know the answer to that, the shameful decision by the Osbournes to remove the rhythm section and re-record the parts with new players, some twenty years after the original album was made! It is with this album that the whole dispute between Ozzy/Sharon and his former rhythm section originates; when the album first came out in 1981 Ozzy had already decided to replace drummer Kerslake with his friend Tommy Aldridge; the reason Bob Daisley went as well was because he objected to what he saw as a needless line up change to an excellent rock band. So in came Rudy Sarzo on bass, and it is these two musicians (Sarzo/Aldridge) who were listed in the credits on 'Diary', when they did not play a note on the album! This set in motion the dispute that rumbled on for many years afterwards.
Ironically, both Daisley and Kerslake *are* finally given playing credits on this new version, but as performers on the 'original album' - they then list bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer Mike Bordin as having overdubbed their parts on the new version!
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the dispute, the real losers are the fans who are once again being offered a dud album in place of a classic, and once again the buyer is not told of the change to the recording until he or she reads the inside back cover of the booklet - so an unwary consumer can be tricked into buying the album thinking it is the original!
I have already stated in my review of 'Blizzard' that this practice is, in my view, fraudulent, and in the long run can only do Ozzy Osbourne damage in the eyes of his loyal fans.
As with 'Blizzard', if you want this album I implore you to seek out the previous remaster from 1995; that version is easy to spot with the cover art being reduced and the word 'OZZY' in large letters down one side (on a dark green background) That version does not contain any extras but does contain the true classic performances by Ozzy, Bob, Lee and Randy, before the disgraceful decision to graft on new bass and drums, played by musicians Randy Rhoads never knew.
AVOID this shameful abomination masquerading as a classic album at all costs!
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on 4 September 2009
If you don't know it yet, the bass and drums tracks on these recordings have been replaced due to legal disputes. It's just an appalling decision which has shocked many a fan, myself included. Protest here and post one star reviews on what's become a parody of a great metal masterpiece. An insult to metal and fans. This is obviously not advertized and many people will think they're buying the original album.
Should Ozzy call himself the Prince of Business from now on?
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on 18 May 2012
......when i say, you need this in your collection if you are thinking of getting it. My favourite Ozzy album (it took a while deciding after all his back catalogue!!) is one of the best metal albums. Not a bad song on here and the new remaster sounds amazing! Just make sure it is this one you get and not the re-recorded 2002 version. Enjoy.
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on 20 October 2013
The perfection of Randy Rhoads playing will never be bettered. I thank God for the brief time he had and the legacy he left. This album is perfection personified. The bonus live disc, whilst fantastic, falls short of the excellent Tribute CD, but its still an essential collection.
The ONLY small gripe I have is the album cover which is pretty ropey. The songs, however, are just amazing, with Randys' solo on 'SATO' and jumping straight into the neo-classical acoustic intro of 'Diary of a madman' moving me emotionally as its THAT good. I must give credit to Max Norman who co-produced the album.
Its been widely accepted that this was a rush-recording with demos of Randy's playing left on instead of re-recording them.....just imagine how this epic could have been bettered!
Get past the pantomime that is Ozzy Osbourne this past decade, get past the continual money-grabbing issues that is Sharon, and play this album. You won't regret it!
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on 30 September 2007
This is not the original album its a clobbed together mess, put together so as to avoid paying royalites to the original bass player and drummer, Spiteful in the extreme, Turns out ozzy never even wrote the lyrics for most of his songs as he was too bombed , but that doesnt look good so he and his wife Shazza are trying to change history , Im glad Randy doesnt have to witness this betrayal.. Avoid this get the 1995 reissue , its 1000% better
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on 29 July 2010
Ok, the re recording of the bass and drum tracks as a response to a legal dispute with the original players
on this album was a pretty damn low trick. That said a delux reissue is on the horizon with the original tracks
restored, together with unreleased bonus material. Could Ozzy be feeling a degree of guilt and trying to make amends
for this doctored version of the original album? Quite possibly, or its a marketing ploy by his Mrs.

After 3 or 4 listens I cannot notice anything vastly different from the original, it sounds great to me?
The songs are top draw and the arrangements full of imagination. Ozzy sounds so much better on this than on
'Bark at the moon' and Randy Rhodes guitaring is nothing short of majestic. The only filler for me is 'Tonight',
the proverbial power ballad but its not cheesey like 'So tired' off BATM. 'Little Dolls' wouldn't sound out of place
on Sabbaths 'Vol 4', 'Over the Mountain' is a powerful opening track and the closing 'Diary of a Madman' is intricate,
ambitious and inspiring. What a wonderful album.
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on 7 June 2011
This for me has always been Ozzy's solo masterpiece. The album has it all: superb, ambitious songwriting, timeless production, musical light and shade (operatic solos, classical arpeggios and country twangs alongside ear-splitting metal) plus some of Ozzy's career-best vocals. I got it on original release and it was years before I heard the background to Ozzy's finest hour: Main songwriter and bassist Bob Daisley was sacked just as the album was finished, along with drummer Lee Kerslake. Neither was mentioned on the album sleeve, instead new recruits Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge were credited and pictured. Daisley was never paid valuable production or performance fees and to cap it all, the remastered 2002 CDs removed all traces of Daisley's superb bass playing (his Believer and Tonight intros are gorgeous) as well as Kerslake's perfectly pitched drumming - his crime being to side with Daisley in their dispute.

Needless to say, the 2002 remasters were a travesty and Ozzy's vandalism of his own career-best was scorned by all of his non-reality show fans. This clearly wounded Oz and the low-point of his otherwise great autobiography was, for me, his shabby attempt to excuse his treatment of his band mates, which he'd previously blamed on Sharon. The news of this re-remastered edition (ie restoring the original bass and drums) had me thinking there must have been some kind of reconciliation. Maybe now, we'd have the full mea culpa alongside some words of rapprochement with Ozzy's best collaborator outside Sabbath. No such luck sadly: there are no photos of Daisley or Kerslake, no 'making of' story, no discussion of the feuds, bad behaviour or lessons learned. Daisley and Kerslake have apparently not even been consulted over this release, so presumably they still won't get paid for their contribution. 'Glories overdue' as Daisley aptly put it in 'You Can't Kill Rock and Roll'

Politics aside, how does this 2011 remaster sound? Utterly superb is the answer. If anything, Daisley's original bass is more prominent, which makes the whole album sound less dated and 80s. I've listened to this release on a variety of stereos and it sounds as exciting and vibrant as it did back in 1981. Ozzy's vocals, Randy's searing and chilling lead licks, Bob and Lee's perfectly matched rhythm backing and the array of non-metal contributions (country slide and classical guitar, Johnny Cook's uncredited keyboards, the Orffian-chorus in the title track) all sound crystal clear. As do the odd timing fluff, which is a testament to its gloriously analogue heritage.

So what about the bonus CD? Well, it seems to be drawn from various dates on the 1981 tour, but more than that it's difficult to say. The sound isn't as good as the Tribute album - hence why that gig was released originally I suppose. Sadly, the setlist is the same as Tribute, just without No Bone Movies. It would have been good to hear the 1981/82 live versions of Over the Mountain, Rock'n'Roll Doctor, You Lookin' At Me Lookin' At You or Back Street Kids, but given the high notes in those tracks, maybe Ozzy wasn't happy with his pitching. He's on great form on the released tracks though - even if there's the whiff of re-recording on at least some of the vocals. Randy Rhoads is simply possessed - absolutely on fire. Tommy Aldridge's drumming is less subtle than Lee Kerslake's, I could probably have lived without hearing another of his take-no-prisoners 4 minute drum solos.

A great and long overdue restoration of a classic then. I hope one day Ozzy will be man enough to right some of his (or Sharon's) past wrongs. In the meantime, just stick this on and revisit Ozzy's glorious post-Sabbath peak.
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