Top critical review
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Remaster? Yes. Remix? HECK NO!!!
on April 27, 2002
Ozzy has never produced a bad album in his career... Until now. I have to say that this tampered-with version of an iconic metal masterpiece is a big dissapointment. They have taken away the epic "wall-of-sound" mix of Max Norman's production, drained it of reverb and worst of all, TURNED DOWN RANDY RHOAD'S REVERED GUITAR PLAYING IN THE MIX!!! For Godsakes, that's the last thing I would have thought an Ozzy-approved production would allow. Most of the sting and bite of Randy's lead solo's have been dried out and E-Qued down. Bassist Bob Daisley and Drummer Lee Kerslake also don't fare well, THEY'VE ACTUALLY BEEN REPLACED WITH SESSION GUYS!! Daisley's melodic, crucial basslines in "Tonight" haven't been copied very well. And even Ozzy's vocals have had much of the processing and double-tracking stripped back to give him a more natural-sounding performance. It is this aspect that I am in two minds about. I always thought his voice was a bit too processed on his early solo albums anyway.
But LOOK: You guys in the Ozzy and Sharon camp, I don't know what your were thinking, altering this classic, iconic album. Although it's yours to tamper with as you please, you MUST consider the millions of fans, myself included, who grew up with this recording and loved Randy Rhoads. You have drained all color and life from "Diary Of A Madman". A simple remastering to boost quality and signal-to-noise levels would have sufficed. For examples on how to do re-mastering properly, just listen to the Judas Priest re-master series to hear how it SHOULD be done.
My rating gives 2 stars purely as nostalgia for the music itself. I would have given 5 stars if this had been done properly.