on July 8, 2003
I have always loved the 1995 remastered edition of Diary of a Madman, and when this, the 2002 remaster came out I bought it quickly, expecting virtually the same if not better than the 1995 version (also what with the bonus track and all), but as soon as I put it in the CD player it didn't sound right at all. Then I looked in the info about it in the booklet and it said that the original drums and bass guitar had been cut out and replaced with new recordings by Ozzy's current bass player and drummer, Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin. Now don't get me wrong, I have great respect for both of them, but they do not do the songs anywhere remotly near the justice they deserved when they were originally recorded by Bob Daisly and Lee Kerslake. If you are looking to buy Diary of a Madman, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY THIS ALBUM, GET THE 1995 REMASTER (the one with the small album cover in the middle with the green background and OZZY written down the right-hand side in big yellow letters)
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.
on April 4, 2002
I recently heard that two of my all-time favorite albums, Ozzy Osbourne's "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman," had undergone a 24-bit remastering process, and were to be re-released on CD. I couldn't wait to check them out, and I purchased them the moment they became available.
The first clue that something was wrong came while I was leafing through the booklet for "Blizzard." The old back cover photo of Ozzy on stage with guitarist Randy Rhoads, bassist (and lyricist) Bob Daisley, and drummer Lee Kerslake had been doctored so that only Ozzy was now visible. Strange, I thought.
Then I sat down to listen. My first reaction to "Blizzard" was that the drumming sounded sloppier than I remembered. Skipping from track to track, I noticed some things were sounding very different, and that the album seemed to have not only been remastered, but had been completely remixed from the original multi-track tapes.
Giving the liner notes a closer look, I discoved that all of the bass and drum tracks for both albums have been re-recorded by current Ozzy sidemen Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin, respectively.
I'm not kidding.
At this point I began to get pretty upset. The bass and drum tracks have been re-recorded in such a way as to mimic the original sound of the albums, but it doesn't work: Trujillo's bass is actually noticably out-of-tune on a couple of numbers, and Bordin's drumming never matches the feel of the original tracks. Of course, "Blizzard of Ozz" was a somewhat lo-fi album to begin with. What about "Diary of a Madman," the album I've long characterized as the "Sgt. Pepper" of Heavy Metal?
In my opinion, "Diary" has been ruined. From the opening drum triplets of "Over the Mountain" everything is wrong, wrong, wrong. Every ounce of magic the album had has been sucked out of it. Randy's guitar tones are completely [messed] up. Some of his solos and fills are barely audible, and his various effects and textures have been replaced with a dry, shrill tone in many spots. The new mix retains none of the charm, atmosphere, or detail of the original. Even "Flying High Again" sounds awful. Why on earth would Ozzy mess with one of the greatest sounding albums in hard rock history?
Well, according to Sharon Osbourne, Daisley and Kerslake have been removed from the albums because they have been "harrassing" the Osbourne family. The truth is that Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake are suing Ozzy for non-payment of royalties and for crediting others (Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge) for their work on "Diary of a Madman." By removing them from the recordings, Ozzy can ensure that Daisley and Kerslake will receive no future mechanical royalties from his back catalog. This is simply an act of monumental greed and arrogance, and I implore you not to support Ozzy in this shameful endeavor.
These CD's are being promoted as "original recording remastered," with no outward indication to the buyer that they have been re-recorded with sidemen Randy Rhoads never even met. It is an unforgivable affront to Randy's memory, and it is deliberately misleading to Ozzy's longtime fans. Unfortunately, these will soon be the only versions of these albums you can buy, so get the 1995 22-bit remasters while you still can: They sound fantastic and are the only authentic versions of these hard rock masterpieces.
on May 30, 2003
Musically, this is a great album. The redone bass and drums, however, are horrible and detract from the "remaster" in every way. Buy a used copy of the totally superior early remaster with the tiny little album cover. Any early copy, cassette or LP or whatever, beats this catastrophe of a "remaster."
on March 17, 2006
Dont get me wrong, Diary of a Madman is probably one of the bands best albums, but this re-release is to be thrown away. They completely re-recorded the bass and drum tracks with the current Ozzy members, so that they wouldnt have to pay the original band members royalties, even though they were some of the ones that wrote and arranged songs with Randy, Ozzy usually has nothing to do with the music, and quite often doesnt even write lyrics.
I will never purchase another Ozzy album again, do yourself a favor and try to find the original recording of this album on ebay or something. Do not give a single penny to these greedy people.
on September 7, 2005
DONT F WITH A STUFF.
OZZY! You may have saved $$$ in royalties but you are gonna pay big time for this crap.
REMIXING BLIZZ and DIARY with new drums and bass? And you almost destroyed RANDYS guitar tracks in the process. WHY DON'T YOU CHANGE THOSE TOO. WHY DONT WE ADD NEW VOCAL TRACKS WHILE WE'RE IN THE PROCESS?
This ain't no joke. I've been reading these reveiws and on the verge of tears.
So, I gotta find a used version now from years ago?
I used to have that version but I lost it. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW, HUH?
I've stood by you a billion times OZZY but this is BS to the hilt. You otta be ashamed.
Like 99.9% of other Ozzy fans, I hated the 2002 crap with re-recorded bass and drums. Ozzy says it was Sharon's fault, most fans blame both of them, but I don't really care anymore. That mistake from 2002 can now be swept under the rug. This version is highly recommended to anyone who does not currently own Diary on cd, and to hardcore fans who already do, as they did a good job keeping the price reasonable, and the content is fantastic.
If anything, the restored bass and drums on Diary have been brought up in the mix; the bass especially has a hearty thump to it, making it noticeably more bottom-heavy than the 1995 release. It's also louder and clearer, with every note of the bass clear and powerful. Excellent production that doesn't take anything at all away from the guitar tracks or the vocals, which sound crisp and clean.
Extras: Ozzy Live bonus cd, with live tracks from the Blizzard tour. It's definitely not Tribute, as some people have wondered. The sound quality is not quite up to that album, but the performances are incredible. I actually think I Don't Know rocks a little harder here than on Tribute. And Believer, which Ozzy tells the crowd will be on his forthcoming album, Diary of a Madman, is AWESOME. It's slower and has more of a groove than the final album version, and Ozzy's vocals are way more aggressive. Great, great stuff. The band kills it on every song, and Ozzy sounds young and energized. In addition, the digipack panels and booklet have several photos from the Diary album shoots that I hadn't seen before, as well as other vintage photos. Given the quality of the packaging and sound, this is easily a five-star release.
on February 4, 2003
I no longer have any respect for Ozzy & Sharon. I bought this album thinking I was getting the original & then found out after I opened it, that Bob Daisley & Lee Kerslake's parts have been wiped right off the album and replaced with new parts by current Ozzy band members. And it doesn't even state that on the front cover (I blame the greedy record company as well, for going along with this). And all because Ozzy doesn't want to pay royalties that he owes to these guys. If Randy Rhodes' estate made demands that Ozzy & Sharon didn't want to pay, would they rerelease these again with his guitar parts wiped off as well? And if Bob Daisley wrote most or all of the lyrics, shouldn't Ozzy have removed those too & just rewritten all the lyrics, plus whatever musical parts Daisley wrote? I mean, just come out with "Diary of a Madman" but with all new musicians, music & lyrics!! This is a travesty. It would have been better if he had just come out with a brand new recording of this album & "Blizzard of Ozz" (he did the same with that album) - as long as the original was still available. Anyhow, Sharon talks about turning a "negative into a positive" but for who?? Only them obviously...not Daisley or Kerslake & certainly not the fans who can no longer have an album that they have loved for 20 years the way it is supposed to sound. Now I have to go to the store & lie in order to try to get my money back. STAY AWAY FROM THIS ALBUM & "BLIZZARD OF OZZ!!!" (From what I have read, Ozzy didn't do this with later albums, even though Bob Daisley played on them - what sense does that make?).
on February 6, 2006
Some have said that only Ozzy and Randy matter. Sure, Randy and Ozzy are the main guys, but, I am a long time fan of Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley as i`m sure others are too. Anybody who really listens to the music and knows how it`s suppose to sound can hear the difference right away and would`nt want to listen to it that way. I bought "Dairy" 25 years ago when it was originally released and this B.S. just don`t cut it. The 2002 CD is listenable, but so what. When I buy a re-issue of a classic album I expect to get what was on the original recording, not a bunch other players screwing up the song. Anytime you have different musicians playing a song it changes the feel of the original, PERIOD! The CD cover gives no indication that there are different guys playing the bass and drum tracks, which pissed me off even more. It`s like they think we are stupid and would`nt know the difference. Some of us care who is on the recording. This on going war over royalties is just stupid. Ozzy and Sharon live like freaking royalty. One would think they can afford to pay people that they have employeed, especially when they were so important to the creation of a classic, timeless album like this. It makes me sad when people who were so rebellious and were wavemakers in their day get so tied up in money, greed and corporate politics. Nothing but money matters anymore and i don`t blame Daisley and Kerslake at all for suing the Osbournes. They deserve to get the roylties thats owed to them. Bunch of stupid, greedy nonsense that ruined two outstanding classic albums..............
on October 8, 2005
Yoko Ono multiplied by a thousand? Meet Sharon Osbourne. Was the TV show amusing? Sure, make Ozzy the Al Bundy of heavy metal music. What comes next? Removing drum and bass tracks so you don't have to pay the original musicians? A new low and a new lame. Sharon Osbourne pulling the plug on Iron Maiden during the Ozzfest, or staging hecklers? May Eddie sodomize Sharon in hell, where she'll assuredly be headed. She's turned Ozzy into a joke. Tell her to take all these "reissues" and stuff them. By the way, the Ultimate Sin album still exists, no matter how much you try to ignore it, Sharon. What, was Ozzy coked out and cheating on you then, so you want to bury that material, or is it simply you want to stiff a whole other set of musicians?