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 L.P. 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
BACK TO THE DIARY...
I loved the music on the album. It spoke of hallucinogenic journeys on Over the Mountain, and then there was the strange indefinable, quizzical title S.A.T.O (which I found out later to stand for Sharon.Adrian.Thelma.Ozzy. because Sharon at the time had a boyfriend called Adrian, and Ozzy’s current wife at the time was Thelma).
Then there was ‘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 L.P. 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” – Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley, Lee 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”.
Robert Trujillo – bass on 2002 CD reissue.
Mike Bordin – drums on 2002 CD reissue.
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.
1995 CD reissue remastered by Brian Lee with Bob Ludwig.
2011 re-release mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound in 2010.
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.
Randy Rhoads Born: December 6th, 1956, Santa Monica. Died: March 19th, 1982, Leesburg.
Diary of a Madman was the last album Randy Rhoads made before his untimely death in a plane crash on 19th March 1982.
Randy Rhoads played his last show on Thursday March 18th, 1982 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. The next day, the band was heading to a festival in Orlando, Florida. After driving much of the night, they stopped at the property belonging to Jerry Calhoun, owner of Florida Coach, in Leesburg, Florida. On the Calhoun property there was an airstrip with small helicopters and planes. Ex-commercial pilot and tour bus driver, Andrew Aycock, took a small plane on a joyride with Rhoads and make-up artist Rachel Youngblood aboard.
During the second flight, attempts were made to ‘buzz’ the tour bus, where the other band members were sleeping. Aycock succeeded in making two close passes, but botched the third attempt. The left wing clipped the back side of the tour bus, tearing the fibreglass roof and sending the plane spiralling out of control. The plane severed the top of a pine tree and crashed into the garage of a nearby mansion, bursting into flames. Rhoads was killed instantly, as were Aycock (36) and Youngblood (58). All three bodies were burned beyond recognition and were identified by dental records and Rhoads’ jewellery.
It was later revealed in an autopsy that Aycock’s system showed traces of cocaine at the time. Rhoads’ toxicology test revealed only nicotine, he was a very heavy smoker. The NTSB investigation determined that Aycock’s medical certificate had expired and that his biennial flight review, required for all pilots, was overdue. In Ozzy Osbourne’s autobiography, ‘I Am Ozzy’, he writes that the night of Rhoads’ death, he told his wife, Sharon: “I don’t think I want to be a rock’n’roller any more.”
Rhoads’ funeral was held at the First Lutheran Church in Burbank, California. He is interred at Mountain View Cemetery in San Bernardino, California, where his grandparents are also buried.
2002 RE-ISSUE CONTROVERSY
The 2002 Diary of a Madman reissue was derided by fans due to the removal of Daisley and Kerslake’s original bass and drum tracks.
The reissue featured re-recorded bass and drum tracks contributed by Osbourne’s then bassist and drummer Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin. The move was suspected of being retaliatory in nature, as Daisley and Kerslake had successfully sued Osbourne and his wife/manager Sharon in court, winning songwriting credits and royalties for their contributions to Diary of a Madman.
Sharon later stated that Ozzy, and not herself, was responsible for the decision to re-record the parts, stating “because of Daisley and Kerslake’s abusive and unjust behaviour, Ozzy wanted to remove them from these recordings. We turned a negative into a positive by adding a fresh sound to the original albums.”
Fans and critics strongly disapproved of the move. The “re-recorded” versions of the album released in 2002 contained no disclaimer stating that anything had been changed on the album. The record company eventually began putting a “featuring re-recorded drums and bass parts” sticker on the cover.
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 L.P. 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 L.P. from the same territory, Korea having no less than three versions and the USA having around six 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:
I will more than likely be interested in learning more. Also, if you think I have made any errors please let me know at the same address.
I am currently looking for the following:
Canadian 8 Track. This is a red cartridge (not black like the US version).
A different version of the Russian bootleg shown here – which has a different label – red lettering on a white background. Cat number is – П93-00299-300, ATR 30061-2 and the label can be seen here RUSSIA
The incredibly rare 2019 Unicef Blue Vinyl pressing limited to 50 copies.
Drop me a line if you have these.
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.