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Turn the bass down a little please. - 70%

hells_unicorn, May 24th, 2009

This is among the plainer sounding work to come out of “Diary Of A Madman”, which was otherwise a pretty impressive and complex set of songs. It sees Ozzy and company developing the format that they’d already established from the get go, and also maintaining a loose sense of balance between aggression and musicality. “Little Dolls” is yet another in a 3 single succession of simple driving, mid to upper mid tempo songs that lend themselves immediately to fanfare rather than depth and complexity. The riffs are essentially a slightly less lead fill happy version of b-side mainstay “You Said It All”, although there is a pretty solid increase in the bass activity on here, coupled with a much louder drum presence that gives this more of a harder rocking flavor.

“Tonight” is essentially a pumped up and more active version of “Goodbye To Romance” that features Randy getting a bit overzealous with his lead slots at certain points. It’s effective for the most part, but towards the end it gets to be a bit much even though the song starts to pick up in tempo. A piano is included to sort of replace the lack of multiple guitar overdubs, and once again the bass is really loud and traveling up and down quite a bit. Although this was probably never admitted to at the time, it seems as if Ozzy is missing Geezer’s bass lines and probably wanted something much more active than what was considered standard in most quarters. It’s well done, but it’s just a bit too high in the mix and starts to drown out the drums at times.

For the most part, this is a pretty solid pair of songs from the better of the first two Ozzy albums. The production leaves a bit to be desired, but the songwriting on here is definitely on point, as are Ozzy’s vocals, which tended to be hit or miss during this era depending on which song he’s singing and how high it goes. The “Diary Of A Madman” album should be the first one to buy, but these two songs are probably the weakest representations of why.