MADMAN: AN EXPLANATION
This page is partly self indulgent and partly for myself to reference, but primarily it is designed to catalogue my Diary of a Madman collection. It is also to share with people who also collect the album and it is to give people who enjoy my own music an insight into my record collecting habits.
It is in no way an exaggeration to say that Ozzy Osbourne’s second album, Diary of a Madman, changed my life. When the album first came out in 1981, I was a lonely and very shy 12 year old. I was at very best, academically average, a daydreamer who stared out of the window during class, with few friends at school or socially. Consequently I immersed myself in music, voices and stereo sounds that magically vibrated through a needle and fed into the speakers, this was, and still is, my favourite kind of company.
I already had the first Ozzy Osbourne album, Blizzard of Ozz, and was busy cultivating a collection of Black Sabbath records, along with an ever growing collection of hard rock and NWOBHM discs. But Diary of a Madman was the very first record that I was old enough to be there for at its virgin birth, for that all important day of release. It was the first record that I was anticipating every day since its release date was announced, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I am sure every ardent record collector would relate to this and agree that there is no greater feeling than rushing to the record shop to pick up a crisp, shiny, new LP on the day of its delivery.
With one foot still firmly in the world of childhood and the other foot on the first slippery steps to becoming a teenager, Diary of a Madman resonated with me.
The cover was instantly satisfying, with its spooky cobwebs, satanic overtones, inverted cross, blood and dead animals. My childish interpretation of the sleeve was that it represented a truly compelling evil, a hermetically sealed world of diabolic conjurings and evil machinations. In some way I felt as if I were opening a gateway to a secretive and exclusive world of demonism, it made me feel as if I belonged.
The magical and strange alchemical text on the inner sleeve added to this sense of other worldly occultism and devil worship. I quickly discovered that the text was written in what is called the ‘Theban Alphabet’ and I set about translating those abstract shapes into English. The inner sleeve sadly said nothing more than ‘The Ozzy Osbourne Band’.
An interview with the sleeve’s designer Steve Joule aka Krusher can be found here: INTERVIEW
Trivia: For any Nurse With Wound fans reading, the man seen on the front of the magazine was Max Sylvester, the owner of Sylvester Barth Signwriters and Engraving Co. Steven Stapleton worked there. But he was almost sacked when a livid Mrs Sylvester saw the picture used on the compilation album The Elephant Table Album (A Compilation Of Difficult Music).
The bust of Mr Sylvester was at the entrance to his business (how vainglorious was that!). It can be seen in the photo nestled between Mr Stapleton and Mr Fothergill.
BACK TO THE DIARY...
I loved the music on the album. It spoke of voodoo dolls, madness, hallucinogenic journeys, and then there was the strange indefinable quizzical title S.A.T.O. which I later found out stood for Sharon. Adrian. Thelma. Ozzy. At the time Sharon had a boyfriend called Adrian, and Ozzy’s then wife was Thelma.
There were ‘lone man against the world’ anthems like You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll and Believer with such lines as ‘You’ve got to believe in yourself or no one will believe in you’. The words directly spoke to me, it was myself, Ozzy and Rock n’ Roll against the world. Everything a certain type of child of my age at the time loves – anarchy, escapism, flamboyance and fantasy.
As I grew up and the ‘know-it-all’ late teenage years manifested themselves, I began to view ‘Diary of a Madman’ as nothing more than mere showmanship and Hollywood horror, which, of course, it is. Its cover art is arguably contrived and engineered, utilising a comic strip font and ‘shock’ horror, cynically designed to sell a commodity to young men. But now that doesn’t really matter as Diary of a Madman meant and still does mean a great deal to me.
The music is amazing! At the time Randy Rhoads’ innovative guitar style modernised heavy rock. The cover is hilarious and of course tongue-in-cheek and it was the first record that I truly loved and cherished.
Diary of a Madman taught me about art and design, record collecting and investing time and effort into researching and learning about every facet of objects of your passion. Diary of a Madman also, of course, inspired me to make my own music.
With lyrics that convey a message of self reliance along with notions that one should reject regular society and convention, it also instilled a once timid kid with a much needed sense of independence and autonomy. Diary of a Madman, like all great records, is nostalgic, as with anyone who listens to their favourite records of yesteryear, it has become a key which has unlocked faint memories and reflections. To me it will always be a classic.
In 2011 the 30th anniversary edition of Diary of a Madman was announced, of course I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this new and expanded edition of the release. Much like 30 years back I impatiently longed for the day that this plush new deluxe version would arrive. I was genuinely excited to wait for the box to be delivered. It ignited a passion and excitement in me similar to that of being 12 again.
Throughout 2011 I began to collect ALL the vinyl versions of Diary of a Madman I could find. I chose only the vinyl versions as they are more tactile, more tangible than a CD or cassette tape (I have included an 8 Track and Mini Disc version for their obscurity alone).
The process of manufacturing a record is far more involved than that of any other format. It takes pressing plants, cutting instruments, engraved metal plates and huge machines. In 1981 there would have been pressing plants all over the world, each with their own set of plates of Diary of a Madman.
Essentially, I see vinyl as the most ‘romantic’ of formats, there is a physicality of a 12″ record, the needle cuts into a groove, the vinyl is being worn away, fragile and eroding with each use. In a day of file sharing and the digital dissemination of music, the instant and easy access of even the most obscure of recordings is at anyone’s fingertips.
To find these records is a little more investigative and challenging than merely downloading all the tracks. Then there is the waiting process, waiting for the disc to arrive in the post and the anticipation of seeing the disc for the first time. There is no instant delivery in searching for physical goods, it takes time and patience. I also see the vinyl LP as the most authentic archival format. Also most, if not all, of the records I have acquired are previously owned, giving a human element, who owned these records? Who touched these records? Who cared (or NOT) for these objects?
I have been researching all the versions I can find through the internet and e-mailing record stores worldwide. Using Discogs as a starting place, I discovered many versions, BUT there are far more versions in existence than are listed on Discogs and many more variations than I could have anticipated.
Diary of a Madman is not a rare record and even the first editions from most of the territories where the record was initially pressed can be found at affordable or cheap prices. There are, of course, exceptions and some very rare versions. To discover how many variations of the record exist is pretty hard, maybe impossible to determine, there must be test pressings and acetates that I will never find. Every time I look on eBay or search the internet a new version seems to appear. I am sure the search to find every possible variable will be a lifelong passion.
Diary of a Madman was the second solo album by Ozzy Osbourne. It was recorded from the 9th February to the 23rd March 1981 and it was first released on November 7th 1981. The album is Osbourne’s personal favourite of all his releases. The album has sold over 3.2 million copies worldwide.
Track listing and writing credits are as follows –
1. “Over the Mountain” – Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley, Kerslake
2. “Flying High Again” – Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley, Kerslake
3. “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll” – Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley
4. “Believer” – Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley
1. “Little Dolls” – Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley, Kerslake
2. “Tonight” – Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley, Kerslake
3. “S.A.T.O.” – Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley, Kerslake
4. “Diary of a Madman” – Osbourne, Rhoads, Daisley, Kerslake
The Ozzy Osbourne Band:
Ozzy Osbourne – lead & backing vocals, production.
Randy Rhoads – guitars, production.
Bob Daisley – bass.
Lee Kerslake – drums, percussion.
Although bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge are credited in the liner notes and pictured on the inner sleeve, it was bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake who performed all bass and drum parts on the original release. They were not given credit for their contributions nor was Johnny Cook who played keyboards on the album.
Johnny Cook – keyboards (uncredited).
Louis Clark – string arrangements on “Diary of a Madman”.
Rudy Sarzo – credit on original release, but does not appear on the album, bass on 2011 reissue live CD.
Tommy Aldridge – credit on original release, but does not appear on the album, drums on 2011 reissue live CD.
Produced by Max Norman, Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads
Engineered by Max Norman.
Recorded at Ridge Farm Studios.
Cover Art Set by Ernie Spruces / Denise Richardson.
Make up by Cheryl Hubbard.
Design by Steve ‘Skull’ Joule.
Photography by Fin Costello and Tony Harrison.
Links of Interest
The official Ozzy Osbourne site is here: OZZY OSBOURNE
An interview with the producer / engineer can be found here: MAX NORMAN
An illuminating interview with the writer of much of the album is here: BOB DAISLEY
MADMAN: A TALL TALE AS TOLD BY MICHEL FABER
… I wonder, though, if you are aware of the 1982 Russian pressing on Melodiya? Several thousand were pressed although almost all were immediately destroyed.
The tale is a strange one: When the day-to-day running of Melodiya was thrown into disarray due to the arrest and internment of label boss Evgeny Levko, his son, Kiril, was briefly drafted in as a replacement. Kiril, fresh from his national service and fundamentally uninterested in politics, seemed a safe pair of hands, but what the politburo did not know was that this 19-year-old lad was a big Heavy Metal fan, having been introduced to the genre via illegally copied cassettes.
Mindful that many of Melodiya’s releases were brought into existence more for the notion of prestige than because anyone (least of all the notoriously philistine politburo) actually listened to them, Levko Jr organised the Russian release of Ozzy’s Diary Of A Madman, disguising it in an audacious yet logical way: the cover artwork does not mention Osbourne’s name nor depict his likeness; instead, the sleeve reproduces an austere black&white photograph of a 19th century painted portrait of Poprishchin, the anti-hero of Nikolai Gogol’s short story, ‘Diary Of A Madman’, thus implying (but nowhere actually stating) that this LP consists of a spoken-word rendition of the tale.
Sadly, Kiril, who knew a great deal about Ozzy Osbourne but very little about Gogol, misjudged the politburo’s attitude to this great Russian author and the LP was immediately seized as anti-bureaucratic (and, by implication, anti-government) propaganda. Only the fact that the vinyl’s contents proved, on aural inspection, to be the caterwaulings of a dipsomaniac from Birmingham, saved Kiril Levkov from the labour camp.
Mint copies of the LP are nowadays much prized, as the only exemplars that were not destroyed in the week following the album’s release were posted to elderly provincial dignitaries who received all Melodiya product by subscription.
MADMAN: A COLLECTION
I have broken down my collection of Diary of a Madman discs into alphabetical order by country. The majority of the images are of the A side of the label only, generally the cover art is the same throughout all the copies. Everything shown on this page is from my own personal collection.
I have started by showing the UK cover and insert which is pretty standard throughout all the first editions of the LP I have included the covers that deviate from the standard sleeve and I have also included images of the inserts that are different.
All track listings are standard, aside from a few copies which are explained in the notes. Also, note that there are multiple different versions of the LP from the same territory, Korea having no less than three versions and the USA having seven versions or more.
If you have, or know of, any copy that does not appear below, or of photographic art proofs, anomalies, acetates, test pressings and curios related to Diary of a Madman, please e-mail me at:
Also, if you think I have made any errors please let me know at the same address.
DIARY OF A MADMAN: COVER ART
Below are images of the UK cover and insert. These images area pretty standard throughout all the editions of the LP. I have included the covers that deviate from this throughout the discography.
MADMAN: THE ANDREW LILES COLLECTION
Argentina: MULTIPLE VERSIONS
AUSTRALIA: JT 6028 & 241072
BRAZIL: 144.828 & 184.019
CANADA: FZ 37492
GREECE: JETLP 237 & EPC 4630861
JAPAN: 25AP 2237 (JT) & PROMO
KOREA: MULTIPLE VERSIONS
NETHERLANDS: JETLP 237 & EPC 463086 1
RUSSIA: ATR 30061 (BOOTLEG)
SOUTH AFRICA: ASF 2708
SPAIN: JET LP 237 & EPC 463086 1
TAIWAN: JD-1017 (BOOTLEG)
UK: JET LP 237 & EPIC LABEL
UNICEF BLUE VINYL: 1907591181
U.S.A: MULTIPLE VERSIONS
WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTED: RE-ISSUES
MINI DISC: USA - Sony Music Entertainment Inc. – ZM 37492
EIGHT-TRACK CARTRIDGE: USA - Jet Records – FZA 37492
DIARY OF A MADMAN T-SHIRTS
ENDLESS PRICE I HAVE TO PAY: ADDENDUM - 2021
It’s ridiculous to think that Diary of a Madman is 40 years old and I’m still obsessing over it. If we were to shoot back to 1981 it would the equivalent of a 52 year old man obsessing over “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters or Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo”! Yet, after all these years, four decades on, the diary pages keep turning and I continue to chronicle the history of DOAM.
To many, DOAM is as irrelevant as Ragtime was to me when I was 12. In other quarters it may be deemed anachronistic, a tiresome rock cliché from yesteryear. Everything fades and becomes less and less relevant as time marches on, but you can’t understate the significance of DOAM changing the face of heavy rock forever, both musically and in terms of sleeve design.
This page has existed for over 10 years, and it has taken 11 years to acquire all the DOAM ephemera documented here. It has been a long and often frustrating pursuit. I’ve sent hundreds of emails all around the world. Many people have got in touch to ask me questions, others have told me of their collections and enlightened me to versions that I didn’t have.
I bid and lost, I bid and won and I trawled the internet for hours. Sometimes I got lucky, sometimes I paid way over the odds. But now, after 11 years of searching, I think, to the best of my knowledge, I own almost every possible variation of the album ever issued on vinyl.
Some discs were surprisingly easy to find, some extremely difficult. A few were very expensive and others staggeringly cheap.
The hardest discs to find were the Taiwan bootleg, the South African version and the CX copy of the LP.
The rarest items in the collection are the Argentinian test pressing, American Forces disc, Unicef blue vinyl and my most treasured item, the 1981-82 tour book.
Is my collection a futile pursuit, a waste of time and money? Why have the very same album over 40 times? The music is just the same on all the discs and the covers very similar or identical in many cases. There’s no significant difference between any of these records that sit on my shelf.
Is the collection a form of nostalgia or just antique hunting? A Statement? Escapism? A catalogue, a library? A gallery and exhibition? An art installation? A cultural investigation? The historical study of vinyl manufacturing and international record distribution? A fixation, a compulsion? The pursuit of order and control in reaction to an increasingly shambolic world?
Yes! It’s all of that and more, yet still the question remains – why? No, really… why? The answer is almost certainly…. BECAUSE I CAN
Download Andrew Liles’ experimental 3 hour work ENTRIES OF CONFUSION
This download is constructed from the run in and run out grooves of 33 different copies from my Diary of a Madman collection of LPs. 33 beginnings and 33 endings. It is both the beginning and the end of the record, but not the album at all.
Purchase Andrew Liles’ instrumental homage to the 1981 album Diary of a Madman LP – DIARIO DE UN MONSTRUO
MADMAN: AN EPILOGUE AS TOLD BY MICHEL FABER
This page functions as a shrine in cyberspace, celebrating not only Diary Of A Madman, but the madness of Andrew Liles, the two of them inextricably linked not only in life but… beyond. Because, tragically, the obsession that drove Liles for forty years also delivered him to his doom.
You will have noted, among the photos of the various editions of Diary Of A Madman, an alternative version of the 8-track cartridge (FZA 37492), coloured blue. When Andrew first got hold of this rare item, he was overjoyed to possess it. However, as the years passed, the thrill of ownership was supplanted by an uneasy craving typical of the memorabilia addict. The condition of the cartridge was… well… shabby. Its previous owner had obviously not treated it with the reverence it deserved. Wrinkles, scuffs, abrasions of the paper’s surface — had some dipshit put this thing in a dishwasher or left it out in the rain?
One day. Andrew was excited to read, in the back of the latest edition of Record Collector magazine, that someone had another copy of the blue 8-track to sell — in pristine condition. And they were only asking £14.50 for it (or, more precisely, 20 US dollars). The only catch was that it was in Tijuana, and the seller insisted on local pickup only.
For many hours — indeed, for more than a day — Andrew tried to reason with himself. Mexico was a long way from Hebden Bridge. It would cost him a lot of money to get there. He already owned the blue cartridge (tatty as it might be). He didn’t actually own an 8-track player, so there was nothing he could do with the item other than possess it. Nobody would notice or care if he traded in a beat-up copy of the blue cartridge for a pristine one.
Nobody, that is, except himself.
He made contact with the seller, who insisted on communicating via Snapchat. The seller enthused about Ozzy Osbourne. He and Andrew hit it off at once. In the course of the conversation, the seller mentioned that he also had a Mexican version of Diary Of A Madman, released in 1982. Andrew was aware of no such version. Might the seller mean the Mexico-only CD (CDDEI85249) released in 2002? No, this was vinyl, presumably some sort of pirate edition. Andrew felt that this was highly plausible. Tijuana was, after all, quite a lawless place, dominated by rival drug gangs and statistically the most violent city in the world. Vinyl piracy was consistent with that picture.
The seller, a true Ozzy fan, did not wish to part with his Mexico-only pirate vinyl edition of Diary Of A Madman. But Andrew begged. And, eventually, the seller, whose true name we have still not been able to establish, relented. “How much do you want for it?” wrote Andrew. These may well have been the last written words of Andrew Liles, before his gruesome demise. “I don’t know. Just bring money,” was the reply.
Those of you who mourn the passing of this unique musician can draw comfort from the fact that the upkeep of his gravestone (pictured below) will be supported by any purchases made from his website.