Ozzy Osbourne Thought ‘Diary of a Madman’ Sounded Like ‘Crap’
The artist makes the music — and it's his name on the record cover — but that doesn't necessarily mean he's 100 percent on board with the way the whole package comes together. Case in point: Ozzy Osbourne and his 1981 solo album, Diary of a Madman.
As bassist Rudy Sarzo recalls during a new interview with The Metal Voice (which you can hear in the video above), Madman's final mix caught Osbourne completely by surprise — and not in a good way. "I was on the bus when Ozzy got the mixed version of the record," says Sarzo. "I saw his expression and I heard how he felt about it. He thought it was crap, the mix."
The problem, as Sarzo sees it today, was that Diary of a Madman was an album slightly ahead of its time. "If you really look back at that record, it was the first album of the '80s to be mixed with so much ambiance," he argues. "It sounds like an '80s record, and nobody had heard that before. It was completely different from the sound of Blizzard of Ozz, and Ozzy just had no idea that this was going to be the sound of the future."
That sound certainly didn't hurt Madman's sales — it was certified platinum by mid-1982 — although it sadly ended up marking the end of an era after guitarist Randy Rhoads perished in a plane crash. The record's legacy was also marred by disputes between Osbourne and band members Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake, whose contributions went uncredited in the liner notes and were wiped out with controversial overdubs for a 2002 reissue — a decision Osbourne fortunately reversed for the 30th anniversary edition.
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