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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on January 9, 2014
Let's face it; without the outstanding guitarist/songwriters he hires, Ozzy wouldn't have the successful career he has. His song-writing credits are questionable, and he doesn't have the range that, say.... Dio (RIP) or Ray Gillian (RIP) had. But he's entertaining and funny as the best of 'em. Smart man too..... but back to the review:
Jake's guitar playing and song-writing outshines his debut album with the Oz (Bark at the Moon). Ozzy's singing is classic 80s, and not dried-up-all-sounds-the-same of the late 90s and forward.
This was Ozzy at his best; I'm disappointed he fired Jake and brought on Zakk Wylde. Zakk is an incredible guitar player as well, but he doesn't have the feeling and versatility that Jake has - Zakk's solos are pretty predictable, actually.
The Ultimate Sin is a must for all Ozzy fans, and a must for all fans of excellent rock guitar.
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on June 18, 2004
Thoughts about this 4th studio effort by Ozzy from 1986 have varied over time. This came out when i was 17 and was highly thought of at the time. I don't remember anyone thinking this album was glam or anything short of another strong edition to Ozzy's already solid library. This album had a theme built around the nuclear scare that people felt back in the Ronald Reagan era. Accept also had an album around that time called Russion Roulette which had the same message. In retrospect, it is wild to look back now and see that you had musicians from different countries (Accept being from Germany) who had the same concerns and sang about it. "The Ultimate Sin," according to Ozzy was pushing the button to start nuclear war. The songs Killer of Giants, Thank God for the Bomb, and the title track are just a few that address this. I think this album is relatively heavy, the music is energetic, and it has substance. It makes you think and may leave you with a feeling of impending doom. It is not your basic Ratt and Motley Crue (though i love that too) stuff from that era that only talks about women and partying. Jake E. Lee is excellent on guitar and Randy Castillo makes his debut w/ Oz on drums. Maybe over the course of time and due to the rebirth that Ozzy had with No More Tears, this album has fallen in the Ozzy ratings but not on my list. This would be in my top ten 80's hard rock/metal albums. Don't miss this one. Also, wasn't this the coolest cover artwork?
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon August 21, 2011
Nearly three years after Bark At The Moon Ozzy returned with The Ultimate Sin. Since the last album things have changed, it is now 1986 and hair metal now dominates. Ozzy followed the current and released a hair metal album. This album helped him reach some commercial success (Shot In The Dark). The Ultimate Sin was quite different from his three previous albums and is pretty strong for the time it was released considering most bands were playing poppy songs and were doing anything to get a hit. It's certainly not his best album I'll tell you right now, and Ozzy himself hates the album, but is it really that bad?

It's Ozzy so of course it's a little heavier than your average hair metal band. I think the title track is a good example of that. The title track is a classic and doesn't give any sign about this album being a hair metal one. It is truly one of Ozzy's classics and I think most fans will agree with me on that one, the beginning's heavy drums with that crunchy guitar riff is memorable. The next song Secret Looser is another heavy track that's catchy and in some ways reflects all of us, one of the best songs on the album. Never Know Why sounds more like hair metal than the previous two songs, different I quite like it. Thank God for the Bomb on the other hand is my least favorite song and I just don't get it. Never is much better and the chorus is great, not great but a good song.

Lightning Strikes is a good song and get you in, another great song. Up next is what I can describe as perhaps my favourite Ozzy song ever; Killer of Giants. The song is much talked about and it just has to be heard to know what fans are talking about. It starts slowly with some great guitar work by Lee and just gets better from there. It's an epic song with fantastic guitar work and Ozzy delivers an inspiring performance singing this song. Fool Like You is a great song I can't say much more, it's a great song. Shot In The Dark is another classic and unfortunately it's the only song Ozzy acknowledges from The Ultimate Sin (he prefers the live version from "Just Say Ozzy"). It was a huge hit in the 80s and is one of his best songs.

The Ultimate Sin would be the last album with guitarist Jake E. Lee, Lee did a very good job at replacing Randy Rhoads and proved on his work with Ozzy to be a very good and creative guitar player. The album is clearly a hair metal album but it's good at what it is and rocks. I believe it is an underrated album as besides Shot In The Dark, Ozzy refuses to acknowledge the album. In fact it didn't even get a remaster, it was just ignored. It has some classic songs and is worth listening. It's just too bad that the album is so underrated and sometimes skipped when you look at Ozzy's career. I give it 3.5 stars.
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on May 6, 2004
This is surely one of the greatest Ozzy albums, if not the best of them all. The greatest songs are Never Know Why, Lightning Strikes, Fool Like You and Shot In The Dark, but you won't find a single regular song at all among the others. This album is the last one with one of Ozzy's greatest guitarists, Jake E. Lee and the first one with the fabulous Randy Castillo. Definitely a must buy.
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on May 10, 2004
ive always liked ultimate sin the best u get beyond the dude randy rhodes hype and ultimate sin is ozzys most solid cd nearly everysong is good the lyrics are meaningful they came out at a very tense and unsure time involving the us and soviet union and jake e lee has his trademark killer guitar writing and blazing marshall jcm800s goin on personal fav are the song ultimate sin and killer of giants this is the cd that at 10 year old made me want to become a guitarist to this day its my fav sounding guitar tone aswell kinda like a dokken sound but with harmonics and heavier and actually decent lyrics if u havent heard this cd lately or at all your missing out on ozzys best and his first truly sucessful albulm years before zak wylde was around if jake e lee wouldnt have quit to go to rehab for 2years then decide to change paths hed still probly be ozzys guitarist i like zak wylde and all but songs like bark at the moon and shot in the dark were co written by jake and the guitar by jake this cd cannot be overlooked buy from a seller i had to buy it again myself cause i scratched mine its that good
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on April 24, 2004
Ozzy Osbourne is a legend not just in the metal world, but also in the entire music industry. Very few artists have managed to have the staying power which he has had. All the work he has ever done should be evidence of this as they are all great material. But, as with everybody, he has had an album which will be regarded as the best of his career and an album which will be regarded as his worst. Despite that I think all his albums kick ass I can understand why the Ultimate Sin is generally regrded as his least liked album. For two main reasons:
1. He decided to do the glam rock look and I believe he did it better than all the other glam rock bands, such as Motley Crue, Poison and Kiss.
2. Of all the albums he has ever done the Ultimate Sin has a number of tracks which sound the same as each other. Even Ozzy himself has admitted this and claims it is the reason why he won't re-release it.
A great album that is very underated. The Ultimate Sin is the best album featuring Jake E. Lee as the guitarist before Zakk Wilde took over. Not Ozzy's best, but neither is it his worst. I don't think Ozzy even has a worst.
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on March 29, 2004
I have a soft spot for The Ultimate Sin because it was the first Ozzy tape I bought right when it came out. I saw the cool music video for "Shot in the Dark" on MTV's Headbanger's Ball with the heavy metal groupie who becomes the leather-clad, big-haired album cover girl on a billboard when she becomes possessed during an Ozzy concert and knew I had to get the album. I know Ozzy does not care for "Shot in the Dark" (he states inside the cover of the Just Say Ozzy EP that he was "happier" with the live version of that track on that little live album than he was with the original here) but I think it is an excellent track and convinced me to buy the album back in 1986/7. I also think guitarist Jack E. Lee was unfairly criticized because he was replacing a legend in Randy Rhoads. The guitar work here is amazing. Listen to the acoustic opening of "Killer of Giants." It is beautiful!
No weak songs here, although a few deserve special mention. The title track is an excellent opening. It really rocks. The more interesting songs are the obviously "Cold War" inspired tracks like "Killer of Giants" (again, if you have not heard the acoustic opening of this track, get this album right away!) and "Thank God for the Bomb." The latter track on the subject of deterrence through the arms race takes a different stand than one would expect from the music world: "War is just another game tailor made for the insane, but make a threat of their annihilation, and nobody wants to play. If that's the only thing that keeps the peace then thank God for the bomb." Sound's like Reagan's military policy. One track here that I find to be amazing but have not see on compilations is "Secret Loser." It is one of my favorite Ozzy songs. It just rocks! And the guitar work is amazing, especially during the bridge. I've played this song over and over many times! It is addicting but I doubt it ever wound up on Ozzy's live set list in recent years. I like Ultimate Sin better than any Ozzy album to follow (including No More Tears). I recommend it to any Ozzy fan or '80s "metal" fan.
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on February 26, 2004
The Ultimate Sin has become the forgotten album in Ozzy Osbourne's extensive solo output. He hasn't performed any songs off the album live in many years and not one track is represented on The Essential Ozzy Osbourne album. However, this is easily his most underrated album and along with No More Tears is his best studio work since the death of Randy Rhoads.
Several of the tracks here are very strong with the best being "Killer Of Giants", "Secret Loser", and the should have been hit single "Shot In The Dark." This album was recorded at the height of the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and his lyrics on the political tracks "Killer Of Giants" and "Thank God For The Bomb" are among the best of his solo albums. Jake E. Lee's guitar work continues to impress and his killer riffs highlight the tracks "Lightning Strikes" and "Never." Other strong tracks here include "Never Know Why" and the title track. Randy Castillo's playing is also outstanding here and his drums are way up in the mix, similar to Kiss' Creatures Of The Night album but not as heavy. Unlike some of his other post-Rhoads albums like Bark At The Moon, No Rest For The Wicked, and Ozzmosis, there is absolutely no filler here and "Shot In The Dark" and especially "Killer Of Giants" are among his best solo work. Fans who discovered Ozzy after his hit "Mama, I'm Coming Home" or much later with his reality show The Osbournes should check this out.
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on February 17, 2004
yep you heard me correctly. this is definitely one of the most underrated albums ever. i mean, c'mon whats not to like about this album? ozzy delivers some killer vocals, that are bone-crunching and melodic at the same time, which is hard to do. jake e. lee is an awesome guitarist and pulls off some wild solos. he comes so close to surpassing the great randy rhoads (R.I.P.). then of course the booming baselines of phil soussan and the frantic drumming of randy castillo(R.I.P.) tops it all off perfectly. so what makes this album so perfect you ask? well ozzy managed to combine hard rock with some 80s touches so well (keyboards and such). ITS NOT POP as some reviewers have stupidly put it. its melodic hard rock that borders on glam, but never quite crosses that border.yeah the pictures of the band back then may disgust people nowadays in 2004, but remember this was 1986.look at who was popular then (Bon Jovi,Poison, etc.) hairspray and makeup were "in." the pictures are good for laughs now(you aint seen nothing until youve seen ozzy with black eyeliner wearing a coat made of pearls or whatever it is) but you're buying this album for music and you're getting some damn good music here. now read on for the songs:
1.The Ultimate Sin-nice drum intro.sort of like a march.then comes such a catchy riff itll be stuck in your head for days. ozzy sings the chorus with a melodic tone to his voice.
2.Secret Loser-a faster track.if you think this album is glam, you need to listen to this one more. glam metal just doesn't sound like this. very 80s sounding guitar but a good sound nonetheless. jake's solo is AMAZING. when you hear it, you'll just stare at your stereo at wonder "how the f*ck did he do that?"why wasn't this song more popular?
3.Never Know Why-begins with some eerie distorted guitar sounds, but then BOOM the song just bursts from out of nowhere. lyrically, its basically ozzy giving a big middle finger to everyone who misunderstands him (which is a LOT of people, even to this day)
4.Thank God For the Bomb-another hard rock song.ozzy giving off some of his highest-pitched vocals. the chorus is so-so, but its cool when ozzy goes "nuke ya nuke ya." another memorable solo from jake. phil's bass roars on this one.
5.Never-oh man, another song that deserved more popularity.starts off very fast. some of ozzy's most melodic vocals ever, especially the pre-chorus. and yet another killer solo from jake(why didn't this guy get more well-known?and where does ozzy find these killer guitarists?) some of randy's best drumming.
6.Lightning Strikes-one of ozzy's most underrated songs(are you even surprised anymore?)phil makes his bass HEARD on this one. nice keyboard parts during the chorus and good drum performance by randy there.very 80s but very cool.
7.Killer of Giants-nice slow beginning.its very slow and soft with ozzy giving some of his best vocals yet. then after about two minutes, the song just lets loose and ozzy just belts out that chorus with such authority.
8.Fool Like You-you wanna know what melodic rock is?just listen to this song. very cool guitar sounds in the intro. ozzy gives off more melodic singing and phil's bass going description doesnt make it sound like rock and roll but it is.
9.Shot in the Dark-sadly, the only popular song, but its a good one. at first i thought it was weird that the only popular song was last on the album, but after listening through the album, its a great way to end such a great CD. that being said, this is another song with a melodic intro(very beautiful guitar chords). this is a slow song and the most commercial-sounding, but it rocks. everything here is perfect-ozzy's singing,jake's guitar(especially the solo),phil's bass, and randy's drumming.
well there you have it. one of the most under appreciated rock albums of all time. ozzy himself would probably hate me for liking this album, since he doesnt like it, especailly shot in the dark. for some reason he can't stand this album (probably because of his glam look at the time)but because of this, this album did not get a 2002 remaster. and the 1995 remasters are long out of print, which includes this album(hey at least it won't get re-recorded.)i was lucky enough to find a german import after MONTHS of patient searching. it was a tad on the pricey side (sixteen dollars) but i think it was VERY worth it and if you're an ozzy fan with an open mind, you'll agree.
so what are you waiting for? go get this album now before its gone forever and the only place it shows up is on eBay.
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on November 28, 2003
This was an album that no one really seemed to take much notice of when it was released. The reason being, it really does not have too many catchy commercial singles like Bark at the Moon had. The only one that comes to mind is "Shot in the Dark". All the songs are pretty good rockers, though. If I could, I would give this cd a three and a half star rating. The songs could have had some better melody lines and the guitar playing could have used some intense, fast solos. The highlight is that even though the songs omit the fast solo work, Jake E. Lee's heavy power chords are distinctive and this album solidified the Jake E. Lee "sound". Without Jake Lee playing on this cd, though, it would be very average. After all, a rock song should have a memorable chorus line. That's what makes it exciting and interesting. I don't understand these individuals who say heavy rock should not have this, or that it is too "80's" or "commercial". That's what good music should be like. Def Leppard did it well in the mid 80's before going overly sappy in the 90's. The opposite extreme of "counter-sappiness" has been the grunge movement. Most 90's grunge music is just utter garbage. In conclusion, Jake makes this cd, as does the tune "Shot in the Dark", which the new Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde is not able to emulate. "Fool Like You" is another well written song. Overall, this is a fairly strong cd, but it possesses very little in the way of big hits.
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