Whilst the song is most commonly attributed to Ozzy Osbourne, the writing of the song originated with bassist Phil Soussan, who was part of the band Wildlife in the early 1980s and composed the tune's melody. Subsequently, fellow Wildlife bandmates Steve Overland and Chris Overland wrote the original lyrics and arrangement and demoed a derivative version of the song. Meanwhile, when Soussan joined Ozzy's band several years later, his original version of the song was re-worked with Ozzy.  However, people have not only disputed whether the Overland brothers deserve writing credit for Osbourne's version, but also questioned Osbourne's role in the writing of this version. This authorship issue has become a source of contention over the years, and in spite of its success, the song has rarely appeared on Ozzy Osbourne greatest hits compilations as a result. One exception was the original release of The Ozzman Cometh; however, the song was omitted from the 2002 re-mastered re-release of this compilation and replaced with "Miracle Man." Both Just Say Ozzy (an EP containing an alternate version of "Shot in the Dark") and The Ultimate Sin were deleted from Ozzy's catalog in 2002 (although they are now available on iTunes and all digital outlets).
The Wildlife version of the song was covered by the Overland brothers' post-Wildlife AOR band FM on their 2012 release Only Foolin' EP. The song was also covered by Finnish melodic rock band Stala & So. on their 2013 album Play Another Round (as bonus track) and by Children of Bodom as a bonus track on their 2000 record Follow the Reaper.