Great Metal Albums of 1986: Ozzy Osbourne- The Ultimate Sin


One great anticipation I had throughout 1985 was that I knew Ozzy would be coming out with a new album. I read all the reports in magazines like “Hit Parader,” (Motley Crue Magazine), about his time at the Betty Ford Clinic where he wrestled with his demons of alcohol and substance abuse. When he came out, Ozzy stated that his new album would deal less with demonic related themes and more topical ones like nuclear destruction and corporate greed. It was on this premise that “The Ultimate Sin” was released in early 1986.

First, let me address the controversy surrounding this album. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t call it controversy but Ozzy has stated that this was his least favourite solo album. He said, all the songs sounded the same. Of course, people have been saying that about heavy metal since it arrived on the scene but that’s not the point. I don’t think all the songs on “The Ultimate Sin” sound the same and I should know, I’ve seen Cannibal Corpse in concert and to me, it sounded like they played the same song fourteen times. That backs up my argument that these songs aren’t same sounding.

What could be said is that many of the songs don’t stray from the traditional Ozzy sound. For example, “Never Know Why” sounds like it would have fitted nicely on any of his previous albums. Especially with the way Jake E. Lee cranks out the guitar solos on it. However, even if it does adhere to the formula, it doesn’t sound at all tired. Another example is “Secret Loser.” This song is so generic Ozzy that at some point many years ago, I had forgotten it was on this album. Still, it’s pretty good.

Flip-flopping back to an earlier point, the opening title track is the song that deals with corporate greed, saying that putting profits over people is ‘the ultimate sin.’ The video for the song takes from the then popular “Dallas” where Ozzy plays the role of a corporate big wig. The nuclear destruction themed song is also my vote for hidden gem, “Thank God for the Bomb.” I think the reason I love it so much is because I saw Ozzy on this tour, yes the one with Metallica in support, and he used the song for a little audience participation. Even after thirty-four years, I still get a little tingly when I think back to that night where twenty-thousand of us were all singing or screaming “Thank God for the bomb!” at Ozzy’s direction. Sadly, which was the problem with “Rock and Roll Children,” I don’t do that part enough justice.

Coming in second for hidden gem, is “Lightning Strikes.” It has a beat that gets your head bopping along at the start and continuing to do so at the very catchy chorus. I have to give full marks to the rhythm section of Phil Soussan and Randy Castillo here as they definitely earn their stripes with it. Then the cool guitar solo from Jake just propels the song even further into the exosphere. After the guitar solo, there is a musical bridge that reminds me a little of “Crazy Train.”

Not wanting to take away from the others songs, “Killer of Giants” is damn good with that intro, but I feel the need to ask why the single, “Shot in the Dark,” was the closer. There is nothing wrong wit hit singles being closers but it doesn’t seem to be right as this album’s closer. Thinking about it, “Killer of Giants” would have been better as the closer, hearing the way it goes out, the end of the song screams “album closer.” But that’s probably me again. In any case, my little nit pick doesn’t in any way dampen the fact that I really enjoy listening to “The Ultimate Sin.”

Track Listing:

  1. The Ultimate Sin
  2. Secret Loser
  3. Never Know Why
  4. Thank God for the Bomb
  5. Never
  6. Lightning Strikes
  7. Killer of Giants
  8. Fool Like You
  9. Shot in the Dark

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne- vocals

Jake E. Lee- guitar

Phil Soussan- bass

Randy Castillo- drums

Mike Moran- keyboards

Like it or not, Ozzy Osbourne was back in 1986. At least it got the Jesus freaks something to get in a dither about. Ozzy/Metallica was the first concert where I encountered them. That was a brilliant night and while I don’t say that this album is as great as his first three, it’s still a pretty good album to me.

Next post: Metallica- Master of Puppets

Since these two were so great together in concert, I thought it only right that I post their great albums in succession.













































12 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1986: Ozzy Osbourne- The Ultimate Sin”

  1. Some good stuff on this one Fella. I think its pretty good at times sounds like a mid 80s heavy metal Heart record thanks to Ron Nevison but that was his sound but Heart with the 85 record this one and Crazy Nights by KISS all sound the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Can I cause some controversy? This is my favorite Ozzy album!! I said it!! This was my gateway in to Ozzy and as a result, this is my go to when I am in the mood for some Oz. And now, I want to go put it on and listen to it again!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry but I agree with Ozzy. A lot of same same stuff on here. I can’t get into the production and I think it’s the weakest of the first five or six Ozzy. It was too pop for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t apologize, maybe you and Ozzy have a point. I like this album, but I like his first three albums more.

      Liked by 1 person

    • No Rest for the Wicked blows. Awful production, mediocre songs that scream cheese harder than the darkness of this record, even with Nevison’s glossy production. This record mops the floor with it. I’d take glossy production of Nevison over Keith Olsen’s muddy underwater sound and Zakk’s stupid pinch harmonics. I’d argue The Ultimate Sin is better than BATM and definitely No More Tears as well. The two Randy records are a different story. Diary is probably the best thing he’s done.

      You said TUS was a 5/5 in terms of songs in your review!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely agree that TUS mops the floor with No Rest for the Wicked and whether it’s better that Bark at the Moon is something I would have to investigate. I’ve never listen to both albums together so this is incentive to do so.


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