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Review of the Album Called "The Ultimate Sin" by Ozzy Osbourne

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Why is The Ultimate Sin a Famous Album?

The Ultimate Sin is the 4th studio album by British vocalist and former Black Sabbath member Ozzy Osbourne and it was released on February 22, 1986. The album is most notable to some of us because of the really awesome song called “Shot in the Dark.” Personally, I believe that Ozzy is better as a solo artist than if he were to remain with Black Sabbath.

review-of-the-album-called-the-ultimate-sin-by-ozzy-osbourne

The Ultimate Sin Was Released at a Time of Lineup Instability

At first, the working title for this album was Kiiler of Giants however Osbourne worked to change the album’s title at the last minute. Playing the guitars on this album is Jake E. Lee who had also played the guitar for the album Bark at the Moon in 1983. Lee himself said that this time he was refusing to contribute anything to the album until he would be guaranteed a contract that would determine his writing credits and publishing rights. After the conclusion of the various tours in support of the album in 1987, Lee was fired by Sharon, Ozzy’s wife and manager. Ozzy lost a great guitar player when he fired Lee and whether he knows that or not we can never tell. There was a bit of lineup turnover as this album was recorded and the tours were done in promotion of the album. Much of the lyrics for The Ultimate Sin were written by longtime Ozzy bassist and lyricist Bob Daisley. Daisley left the band prior to the recording of the album due to a disagreement that he had with Osbourne. He would return to the band in 1988 though. Ozzy himself did not like the album very much saying that everything on it sounded the same and that there was no imagination.

What is the Musical Style of The Ultimate Sin?

Having said all this, your next question might be how good of an album is The Ultimate Sin? The album is just your standard rock and metal album with the sound that resembles more of a hard rock nature such as White Lion’s Pride album. The Ultimate Sin is one of those albums that stylistically represented the time period that it was released in. 1986 was one of those years that the surge of heavy metal as a genre continued in its popularity among all of the other artists of other genres that were making themselves famous at this time. In spite of the upheaval and lineup turnover during this period, the songs are decent with the best highlight being of course “Shot in the Dark” which we will get to shortly. However, Diary of a Madman is the better of the two solo albums of Ozzy that I have heard all the way through the most. In spite of the album’s title, there is not really a discussion about the Bible or the sinful acts that were committed by Adam and Eve. Speaking of the song “Shot in the Dark” it is a song that starts with a nice bass line as the song is probably about a professional killer.

"Shot in the Dark"

Further Review and Analysis of The Ultimate Sin

The album begins with the title track which is lyrically about the negative effects of a person that hungers for power and greed. The album’s lyrical themes range from the threat of nuclear war to the topic of sin and this is present in the song “Secret Loser.” This song has a very memorable chorus where Ozzy’s British accent is clearly present. Then there is the song “Never Know Why” with its repeating lines of “we rock.” Is The Ultimate Sin as bland of an album musically that Ozzy Osbourne claims? That’s a very questionable statement considering that this album has catchy choruses and the lead guitar work is pretty good though not really superb. “Lightning Strikes Again” is a song about the rock star kind of lifestyle as people are partying late into the night. “Killer of Giants” has a nice and interesting acoustic section which is something that we had not heard in Ozzy’s solo stuff before this. The song is about what could happen if the so-called “giants” or strong and influential men get their hands on the nuclear codes. The song is very much an anti-war song that is trying to bring awareness to the issue that these “giants” threaten the safety of humans on the Earth. The Ultimate Sin is pretty much a hard rock sort of album that has that one long acoustic section that we discussed earlier. It is mostly hard rock so if you are looking for musical variety, this album will disappoint you. On the other hand, if you are a fan of 1980s style hard rock with good lead guitar work then The Ultimate Sin will be a pleasure to listen to.

Rating for The Ultimate Sin: 80 out of 100 points for a B grade

© 2021 Ara Vahanian