The Ultimate Sin

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The Ultimate Sin
The ultimate sin.jpg
Cover art by Boris Vallejo
Studio album by
Released22 February 1986
StudioTownhouse Studios and AIR Studios, London,
Studio Davout, Paris, France
CBS Associated (US)
ProducerRon Nevison
Ozzy Osbourne chronology
Bark at the Moon
The Ultimate Sin
No Rest for the Wicked
Singles from The Ultimate Sin
  1. "Shot in the Dark"
    Released: 1986
  2. "The Ultimate Sin"
    Released: 1986
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]
Martin Popoff6/10 stars[3]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[4]

The Ultimate Sin is the fourth studio album by British heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. It was released on 22 February 1986, and it was remastered and re-issued on 22 August 1995. It marks the final appearance of lead guitarist Jake E. Lee and the first and only Osbourne album to feature bassist Phil Soussan, who co-wrote the album's hit single "Shot in the Dark".[5] Drummer Randy Castillo, who had previously played in Lita Ford's band, also makes his recording debut with Osbourne.[5]

The album was awarded Platinum status in May 1986 and was awarded Double Platinum status in October 1994 by the RIAA.[6]


The Ultimate Sin is the first and only Osbourne album to feature bassist Phil Soussan, who co-wrote the album's hit single "Shot in the Dark".[5] Drummer Randy Castillo, who had previously played in Lita Ford's band, also makes his recording debut with Osbourne.

Upon returning from the Betty Ford Center in 1985 where he had undergone treatment for substance abuse, Osbourne was presented with a substantial quantity of music written by guitarist Jake E. Lee. After having been cheated out of his writing and publishing claims for Osbourne's previous album, 1983's Bark at the Moon, Lee says this time he refused to contribute anything until he had a contract in front of him guaranteeing his writing credit and publishing rights.[7] Much of this music would form the basis of the album. The album's lyrics were largely written by long-time Osbourne bassist and lyricist Bob Daisley. Daisley left the band prior to recording after having a disagreement with Osbourne, prompting the hiring of Soussan as his replacement. Daisley was not credited for his songwriting contributions on the initial 1986 pressing of the album, though this was corrected on subsequent pressings.

Future Y&T and Megadeth drummer Jimmy DeGrasso worked with Lee and Daisley on demos for the album, but this version of the band fell apart due to Osbourne's commitment to the Black Sabbath summer 1985 reunion concert at Live Aid; Castillo and Soussan ultimately replaced DeGrasso and Daisley once recording commenced.[8][9]

The working title for the album was Killer of Giants[citation needed] after the album's song of the same name. Osbourne opted to change the title to The Ultimate Sin at the last minute. On 1 April 1986, a live performance promoting the album in Kansas City, Missouri, was filmed and released later that year as the home video The Ultimate Ozzy. In 1987, after the various tours in support of the album had concluded, guitarist Lee was unexpectedly fired by Osbourne's wife and manager Sharon.[10] The specific justification for Lee's dismissal remains unknown. Bassist Soussan also departed, as Bob Daisley once again entered the fold.


At the time of its release, The Ultimate Sin was Osbourne's highest charting studio album, as heavy metal was enjoying a surge in popularity during the mid-1980s. The RIAA awarded the album Platinum status on 14 May 1986, soon after its release; it was awarded Double Platinum status on 26 October 1994.[11] The album sold over 2,000,000 copies worldwide. In the UK, it was the final of four Osbourne albums to attain Silver certification (60,000 units sold) by the British Phonographic Industry, achieving this in April 1986.[12]

Despite its achievements, Osbourne cites The Ultimate Sin as his least favourite solo album. He said that producer Ron Nevison "didn't really do a great production job". He has no negative feelings towards the songs on the album, but that "they were just put down weird. Everything felt and sounded the fucking same. There was no imagination. If there was ever an album I'd like to remix and do better, it would be The Ultimate Sin."[13]


Despite its initial commercial success, The Ultimate Sin was not reissued or remastered along with the majority of Osbourne's back catalog in 2002. Though no official reason was given, rumours circulated that an ongoing legal struggle with bassist/songwriter Phil Soussan over his song "Shot in the Dark" was responsible for the album's failure to be re-issued. Such reports are unfounded, as the only known legal proceeding between them was over an accounting issue that was believed to have been resolved in the early 1990s. The only available CD version of The Ultimate Sin remains the 1995 remastered version, which is missing four measures of music between the first chorus and second verse of "Shot in the Dark" found on the original CDs, vinyl copies, and cassettes.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Bob Daisley, Jake E. Lee and Ozzy Osbourne, except where noted.

Side one
1."The Ultimate Sin"3:45
2."Secret Loser"4:08
3."Never Know Why"4:27
4."Thank God for the Bomb"3:53
Side two
6."Lightning Strikes"5:16
7."Killer of Giants"5:41
8."Fool Like You"5:18
9."Shot in the Dark" (Phil Soussan, Osbourne)4:16


Additional performers



Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1994 2x Platinum (+ 2,000,000)[6]
Canada CRIA 1986 Platinum (+ 100,000)[25]
UK BPI 1986 Silver (+ 60,000)[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin (album review)". Sputnikmusic. 10 January 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  3. ^ Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5.
  4. ^ Holmes, Tim (24 April 1986). "Ozzy Osbourne: The Ultimate Sin : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 5 February 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Saulnier, Jason (2 October 2008). "Phil Soussan Interview Ozzy Osbourne Bassist talks Jake E. Lee". Music Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b "RIAA Searchable Database-Search: Ozzy Osbourne". Archived from the original on 26 June 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Jake E. Lee: Why I Gave Up Songwriting Credit for Ozzy Osbourne's Bark at the Moon". 10 December 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  8. ^ Syrjälä, Marko (19 January 2010). "Jimmy DeGrasso: Interview and Live Pictures". Metal Rules. Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Jimmy DeGrasso of Black Star Riders". They Will Rock 28 May 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Jake E. Lee Says Interview: He Found Out He Was Fired From Ozzy From His Guitar Tech".
  12. ^ a b "Search for Artist Ozzy Osbourne". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  13. ^ Grow, Kory. "Fetus Jars and Werewolves: Ozzy Osbourne Looks Back Ahead of Box Set Release". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g The Ultimate Sin (1995 CD) credits. Epic Records. 1995. p. 10.
  15. ^ Ozzy Osbourne- The Ultimate Sin album images Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  16. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  17. ^ "The Ultimate Sin Billboard Albums". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  19. ^ a b c "Ozzy Osbourne Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 39, No. 19, March 29, 1986". Library and Archives Canada. 29 March 1986. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  21. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  22. ^ "Album – Ozzy Osbourne, The Ultimate Sin". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  23. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin". (in Dutch). Media Control Charts. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  24. ^ a b "The Ultimate Sin Billboard Singles". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  25. ^ "Gold Platinum Search for Ozzy Osbourne". Music Canada. Retrieved 25 October 2015.

External links[edit]