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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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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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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 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 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 October 27, 2003
First off, as a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Veteran, I must say that Jake E. Lee is definitely Ozzy's best guitarist. Don't get me wrong, Randy Rhoads and Zakk Wylde are two kick ass guitarists, but they are very overrated. Jake E. Lee was way more talented and musically diverse. It really is a shame that he never received the credit he deserved all these years. But, anonymous musicans are ALWAYS more successful and talented in the long run. As for "The Ultimate Sin", I personally can't understand everyone's problem with this album, being that is definitely Ozzy's best. I've been listening to Ozzy for many years now and he never topped The Ultimate Sin, even the stuff before with Randy. Believe me, every song on this album is heavy and true. On a lot of Ozzy's later albums without Jake, there are only about 3 or 4 good songs that you'll actually skip just to listen to. The Ultimate Sin is an album that you can play for hours and listen all the way through without skipping to the next track. You won't find one weak, soft, out-of-place, or a filler song located in this whole record. Once you get this album, you won't want to take it out of your cd player for weeks, it's that damn good and absolutely addicting. Hell, I'm listening to it right now as I'm typing all this, lol. I must compliment on the guitar work as being absolutely brilliant, flawless, and phenomenal. Just plain brutal and lots of energy! I must also compliment on the cover art too, definitely Ozzy's best cover. You will also find that the musicians on this album (Ozzy, Jake E. Lee, Phil Soussan, Randy Castillo) are without a doubt the strongest line up in Ozzy's history. I can't believe that one guy earlier posted that Ozzy sounds tired on this record, B.S.! If anything, Ozzy sounds the most energetic and down right pissed off than in anything else he has ever done, period. I didn't claim The Ultimate Sin as possessing the strongest line up for nothing, it does, believe me. I just don't get the people who bash The Ultimate Sin,...I guess not many people know what good Heavy Metal is anymore, or they never did in the first place, amateurs lol. The only downfall is that this album is out of print everywhere so definitely purchase it ASAP. I think it's a damn good thing that they didn't re-remaster The Ultimate Sin like the others that were recently...they left it alone in it's 1995 22 bit remastered true and pure form. But if they did re-remaster it, it would be crucified like the rest, with the new bass and drums recorded over the originals,(Argggg!) In conclusion, make every effort you can to buy this album, it is hard to find and is only for the true and dedicated. No one will ever replace Jake E. Lee on guitars.
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on October 6, 2003
Which is much better than previous Jake E. Lee collaboration, "Bark at the Moon." That album was just dead. Now, for whatever reason, 1986 brings us a slightly better (if much harder to find) album. Not as good as 3 stars, not as bad as 2.
The rock and roll here, though still not comparable to the Randy Rhoads releases, has some feel - "Bark at the Moon" was just numb. Except for the good final track "Shot in the Dark," the other eight songs are of about the same quality. Fortunately, they are just good enough to be distinguishable from one another, and Ozzy helps the situation with good lyrics that are very characteristic of him. At times he tries a little too much to get the notes on pitch, but that's pretty much the norm for him. Yes, Ozzy does about the best he can do with the uninspired playing of Jake E. Lee. If anything, this album gets much of its being - for better or worse - from said guitarist.
Synopsis of Mr. E. Lee: The good thing is that he never tries to emulate Randy, as he would not be able to anyway. So, it's granted that he's got some interesting shoes to try to re-wear.
The flipside of that is that he just has no individual style. He's a run of the mill player who hints at classical stylings on the beginning of "Killer of Giants" but never really takes it anywhere. His soloing is a little better than BATM, for example on the all around decent title track opener. I get the rare detection of feel in his mid-song noodling. It all breaks back to even again, though, on the inexcusable watering down of the "Crazy Train" riff on "Lightning Strikes." To his credit, I wouldn't have been surprised to hear more rip-offs in his playing, but the previously mentioned one is big and obvious. A big blunder. He's not a bad guitar player, but it is ultimately his performances that inhibit the album from producing any solid classics such as the year's cornerstone, Jovi's "Slippery When Wet." Often times, albums get the opposite recognition from what they deserve, but the era of 1986 yielded mostly proper results - after all, glam was peaking, and it would have to be pretty good to still be respected today.
Which leaves us with "Shot in the Dark", the only song Ozzy ever represents this album with, if anything at all. I admit this song's style is very non-Ozzy like, it's a little light for him, and I don't blame him for not performing it all the time. Still, that song has grown on me, and somehow, I really think it's a good song - even Jake's high note-bends that characteristically start it off are - tasteful! It's perhaps a very dated and 80's sounding song, but the groove is strong. I always enjoy hearing this song now, even if it's not the best.
Just another good album that's nowhere near great. The best thing about it is this is the one they decided to package in the awesome green color!... THEN come the songs. It's being hard to find adds to the mystique. Collectors definitely find it, and casual Ozzy fans - it's a tossup.
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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 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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on March 5, 2003
The Ultimate Sin is Ozzy's second most underrated album (No Rest For The Wicked is first.) Many call the material on this album "glam", but that is NOT true. "Melodic heavy metal" is a better way of describing it. Jake E. Lee is back as Ozzy's guitarist. New drummer Randy Castillo establishes himself as being quite possibly Ozzy's best drummer to date. Bassist Phil Soussan plays on this album only, but does an excellent job. Read on for track ratings.
The title track kicks off with an excellent drum pattern, soon joined by excellent guitar playing. Ozzy then joins in with a melodic voice tone. It's an excellent crossing of hard and melodic rock styles. Secret Loser is a fast-paced track that is both light and heavy at the same time. The ultra melodic voice tone used in the chorus pays off. It's a classic Ozzy masterpiece even if it was never a hit. Never Know Why has verses here have a heavy sound resembling those of Flying High Again. This proves to be another excellent track combining heavy and light stuff. Thank God For The Bomb is the album's weak point. It's is a mid-paced hard rocker, in which Ozzy uses slower vocals than on the other tracks featured here. Guitar playing is the prime attraction in it. Never kicks off with guitar playing that sounds like it belongs in a hair band (but it's by no means bad.) It's slower than the other tracks and not as heavy. Lightning Strikes is a more generic Ozzy track. This is a mid-paced hard rocker with little progression, but proves to be a pleasant diversion from the experimental stylings. Killer Of Giants is the slowest track on the album, and is also melodic and epic. This anti-war message is one of Ozzy's strongest efforts to date. The ultimate high point is in the chorus. Someone said this sounds like a rehash of Revelation Mother Earth, but that person couldn't be further from the truth; this track is awesome! Fool Like You is another lighter track which proves to be one of the album's high points. By all means give it a listen. The final track, Shot In The Dark, Is the only track on the album that gets radio play. Ozzy has tried to make melodic metal several times with mixed results, but here he pulls it off perfectly. This album closer is among his best tracks, no questions asked.
Though not the ultimate album, it's far from being bad. Hey, I gave it 4 stars, didn't I? That should tell you something. It's not the best Ozzy album to start with, though. If you want to get into Ozzy buy his albums in order. Even though this is a four star effort, it should have been more. Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman, excellent albums, came out in the same year. Bark At The Moon, an even better one, came out two years later. Three years later this came out. Assuming it took three years to release it should have been better than the last album, but wasn't. It's also interesting to note a 2002 remaster of this one wasn't released. That means this album is NO LONGER BEING PRODUCED! If you want a copy, you'd better get one fast, while they're still around.
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