Ozzy Osbourne is my kind of madman. He is the ultimate mascot for rock and roll, and his outspoken love for it is the reason is why I adore him so much.
Having grown up with Ozzy, I feel like I know him pretty well. As a kid, my eyes were constantly glued to The Osbournes on MTV, and ever since the first time I heard my Godfather blast Crazy Train when he picked me from school, I’ve been a die-hard fan of the man.
This year marks the 38th Anniversary of Ozzy’s second solo album: Diary of a Madman. This particular vinyl pressing is extremely important to me because it’s the first picture disc I ever bought. Watching the iconic images spin around the turn table takes the experience to a whole other level. My favorite side of the record depicts Ozzy as a blood-thirsty, fringe-rocking werewolf, while Louis, his first son, giggles unafraid in the background. Having this creative coating is like owning a little piece of history.
Out of all of Ozzy’s solo work, I feel most connected to this album because of how personal he made it. He really lets his fans in; something that’s not always easy for a musical artist to accomplish without making it seem over-the-top. I am a HUGE Black Sabbath fan, and my obsession with their sound has led me to understand myself in ways I never knew how. Once I started focusing on how their music was making me feel, I knew my attachment was something special. Whether it’s with Sabbath or on his own, Ozzy’s music has let me in, and in result has made me feel more like myself than anything else.
Tragically, this was the last album to feature his guitarist and close friend Randy Rhoads. He died in a plane accident when they were on the Diary of a Madman tour. That heartbreaking fact alone makes this album even more sentimental to me. Listening to the songs that showcase his pristine talent and chemistry with Ozzy, and knowing that they were the last ones they made together, is very hard to comprehend. I just wish things could have been different. I often wonder what could have been; if Randy were still alive after this album, just what would he and Ozzy have made together?
I love the upbeat, in-your-face attitude of this album. It starts out with a bang — Over the Mountain. Up next is another huge hit, Flying High Again. Both songs are a lot of fun and really get you in the mood to rock out. The last song, Diary of a Madman is classic Ozzy. His choppy vocals chime well against Randy’s intensity, especially in this song. It’s the perfect end to a classic Ozzy Osbourne record.
My favorite song on Diary of a Madman is You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll because, well, you can’t! Rock music is indeed here to stay, and I know there are many more people my age, and even younger, who feel the same. My favorite part is the chorus line: “Rock and roll is my religion and my law.” The feeling is mutual, Oz-Man.
Ozzy’s artistry has affected my heart deeply. Even more so today, he makes me believe in who I am and what I’m working to be. His music is what supports him, and his entire solo career is made possible because of his deep relationship with rock and roll. His passion for it ignited a confidence in me a long time ago, and I’m certain, just as it is for Ozzy Osbourne, that will be a part of me forever.