Category: Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne – Diary of a Madman

ARTIST: Ozzy Osbourne

TITLE: Diary of a Madman

YEAR RELEASED: 1981

CHART ACTION: #16 US, #14 UK

SINGLES: Tonight, Flying High Again (#2 Mainstream), Over the Mountain (#38 Mainstream)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: None

LINEUP: Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley, Lee Kerslake, Johnny Cook on keyboards.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Ozzy’s second album as a solo artist utilizes the strengths of his band and shows his creative juices weren’t spent after his first solo album.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Showing that the Blizzard of Ozz wasn’t a fluke, Diary of a Madman continues his creative roll. Utilizing the talents of Randy Rhoads’ flashy guitar, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake as lyricists and songwriting foils, and his ability to get convincingly deep inside his Ozzy character, Osbourne creates another record worthy of his legacy.

Rhoads comes into his own here, propelling many of the songs with his guitar and his sound. Even potentially trite ballads like “You Can’t Kill Rock & Roll” shine with his drive and sound.

The downfall of this album is that the songs, while good to great, go on too long. There were only eight of ‘em, and I know you gotta fill an album, but why not write a ninth to cut down on some of the length so it doesn’t sound too bloated?

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Again, Sharon Osborne reared her head, withholding credits and firing Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake after this album was in the can. On the original releases, the only people credited properly were Ozzy and Randy

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: As with his debut, the 2002 remaster replaces Daisley and Kerslake out of spite. Avoid.

 GRADE B+: Had the songs been tighter, it would have been an easy A-.

Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz

ARTIST: Ozzy Osbourne                       220px-Blizzard_of_ozz

TITLE: Blizzard of Ozz

YEAR RELEASED: 1980

CHART ACTION: #21 US, #7 UK

SINGLES: Crazy Train (#106 US, #9 Mainstream, #49 UK), Mr. Crowley (#46 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I Don’t Know, Suicide Solution

LINEUP: Ozzy Osbourne, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley, Lee Kerslake, Don Airey

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut solo album from Black Sabbath front man is more energetic and lively than anything he sang with his old group since 1975.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Somehow, after several years in a creative stupor thanks to drugs and…well…drugs, Ozzy Osbourne got it together after being fired from Black Sabbath for good (well, kinda for good with all the reunions and all) and created his best known solo work with his best known song.

A lot of the credit goes to Ozzy’s band. They were spitting hot fire behind Ozzy, especially guitar hot-shot Randy Rhoads (having escaped Quiet Riot). Ozzy and the band put together several memorable hooks and riffs, and constructed some memorable songs.

Don’t kid yourself, it’s not a perfect record. There are a couple of clunkers (ballads, feh). But this put Ozzy on the map – ironically at the same time his old band was also going through a creative renaissance.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: There was a lot of drama behind the scenes with the original producer being fired, songwriting credits not being equitable, and the band name itself, which was supposed to be a band named Blizzard of Ozz.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, the 2002 reissue should be avoided because Sharon Osbourne basically had the bass and drum parts re-recorded to spite Daisley and Kerslake. The recent re-issue restores to original.

GRADE: B+: Most cuts are pretty good to great, but as for my ears, Ozzy and ballads don’t mix.