Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin
The Ultimate Sin is another popular album on the sales front and a good reminder that guitars and rock are here to stay. Multiple platinum, number six in the US album charts, and number eight in Ozzy Osbourne’s UK homeland. It’s a bit too normal and ordinary for an Ozzy record though.
The circumstances leading up to and surrounding the recording of The Ultimate Sin certainly weren’t helpful. Osbourne was just out of a spell in rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic. There were money and contractual disputes with guitarist Jake E. Lee who has written a lot of content for the album and with bass player Bob Daisley co-writer on many of the songs with Lee. They got through all that, with some comings and goings in band membership, and the album was finally released in January 1986.
A high point on The Ultimate Sin is “Shot In The Dark”. It rocks along with decent guitar riffs and a good chorus and vocal performance from Osborne. But while good, it feels a bit restrained and playing within the lines. It needs more power and passion really.
That then applies to the rest of the album. If “Shot In The Dark” is the peak, the rest flatlines in terms of similarity and excitement. It's all a bit going through the motions and at a fairly innocuous level. Not poor songs, just not in the great category either. Osbourne is at his best when you don’t know what he’ll do next. Earlier solo albums, and those with Black Sabbath, pushed the boundaries at times. There’s not that much pushing going in here.