Ozzy continued his solo success with ‘The Ultimate Sin’, his fourth studio album, which was originally released on Feb. 22, 1986, and it was remastered and re-issued on Aug. 22, 1995. It marks the final appearance of lead guitarist Jake E. Lee and the first and only Ozzy album to feature bassist Phil Soussan, who co-wrote the album’s hit single “Shot in the Dark”. Drummer Randy Castillo, who had previously played in Lita Ford’s band, also makes his recording debut.
Work on the album began in the Ozzman’s absence as he was undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol abuse at the Betty Ford Clinic. Overweight and teetering on the edge of some serious health issues, he was so out of it when wife and manager Sharon admitted him that he believed her when she told him it was “a club where they would teach him to drink like a gentleman” — and seeking to take advantage of that, he even asked Mrs. Ford herself where he could find the bar after checking in! He ultimately made it through the program and claimed to embrace a healthier lifestyle, at least for the time being. As we all know he’d continue to struggle with chemical dependency off and on for over several years throughout his career.
After returning from the Center in ’85, Ozzy was presented with a substantial quantity of music written by guitarist Jake E. Lee. Much of this music would form the basis of the album. The album’s lyrics were largely written by long-time Ozzy bassist and lyricist Bob Daisley. Daisley left the band prior to recording after having a disagreement with Ozzy, prompting the hiring of Soussan as his replacement.
The working title for the album was Killer of Giants, after the song of the same name. Ozzy changed the title to ‘The Ultimate Sin’ at the last minute. In 1987, after the various tours in support of the album had concluded, guitarist Jake E. Lee was unexpectedly fired via a telegram from Sharon. The specific justification for his dismissal remains unknown. And Soussan — who had his own disagreement over songwriting credits with the Osbourne’s — also exited, clearing the way for Daisley’s return and the introduction of new guitarist Zakk Wylde.
“The Ultimate Sin” is the opening track on Ozzy’s fourth studio album of the same name.
“Shot in the Dark” is the ninth and final track on his 1986 solo album ‘The Ultimate Sin.’
Despite its initial success, Ozzy has tended to look back on ‘The Ultimate Sin’ with a lot of disdain. Sadly the album has since been deleted from his catalogue and was not reissued or remastered along with the rest of his albums in 2002 (same for Just Say Ozzy and Live & Loud). The story goes that the continuing legal struggle between Ozzy and bassist/songwriter Phil Soussan over “Shot in the Dark” is responsible for the album’s failure to be re-issued. And the fact that Ozzy refuses to play the track live or that the Official video for the track has since been blocked on YouTube and most if not all music sites online. And it has rarely appeared on any Ozzy greatest hits compilations as a result. One exception was the original release of ‘The Ozzman Cometh’ in 1997. At one point is was said to be resolved in the early 1990’s. However according to several sources it continues to be an ongoing issue to date. The only available CD version of ‘The Ultimate Sin’ is the 1995 remasters version.