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The Ultimate Sin? No, no it isn't.
on 3 June 2010
By the mid 80's, Ozzy Osbourne was a fully fledged superstar in the metal scene, with his unique vocals, crazy antics and some great music proving that he would indeed survive being " just the singer in Black Sabbath".
This was the second album of the Jake E. Lee era, and although it's virtually verging on the emerging glam metal scene in places, The Ultimate Sin isn't really that bad.
The title track is a good solid rocker, Secret Loser is a good track as well (and used in the soundtrack of the Charlie Sheen vehicle The Wraith), Never Know Why is Ozzy telling us why he rocks (simplistic Ozzy lyrics sure, compared to some of his moments with Bob Daisley, but the guitars here are good - and Lee's solos towards the end are brilliant), Killer of Giants has some great arpeggiated guitars and a good solid riff base, even if the "no-nuke" message is a bit limp-wristed compared to the songs that would come out during the thrash metal onslaught of the time about the same subject.
There are tracks which aren't that flash either - Lightning Strikes doesn't do anything for the album, Thank God For the Bomb with Ozzy's cheesy "nuke ya nuke ya!" is at odds with Killer of Giants for one thing (though the main riff isn't too bad).
The best is saved for last (at least on my version of the cd) - the now infamous Shot in the Dark - Ozzy's closest moment to disco to date (largely thanks to Phil Soussan's bassline - but it works!) and a fondly remembered video of the glammed up Ozzy and fellow bandmates you can see these days on youtube to relive those crazy LA days during the mid 80's.
All in all, as the Lee era came to a close (Lee was fired and he went to join Black Sabbath deserters Ray Gillen and Eric Singer to form Badlands), so too did the glammed up sound of Ozzy, as Zakk Wylde turned up to reinject a bit of metal into proceedings.
The Ultimate Sin isn't the ultimate sin after all - if anything, it's a lightweight metal album that actually does rock more than it's reputation suggests.
Great Boris Vallejo artwork as well.