I purchased “The Ultimate Sin” on cassette tape back in the spring of ’86 right before summer hit and this one (along with some others) for the longest time, was a favourite of mine in my trusty old Walkman!
Ozzy was on a creative roll after the awesome debut of Jake E Lee on ’83’s “Bark At The Moon” in which Jake showed up with a bag of riffs and laid down some serious guitar chops and continued Ozzy’s success . The thanks Jake got for “Bark At The Moon” was squat in the songwriting credits but this would change for the “Ultimate Sin”.
Ron Nevison fresh from bringing the band “Heart” off of life support a year earlier in which that self titled album sold millions. Ron was tasked at hand at dialling it in with Ozzy and the band.
“Ultimate Sin” in 2021 is kinda the forgotten album in the Osbourne solo catalog. Why? I have no idea but I’m sure its business related and personal as we all know Sharon’s deal right?
Ultimate Sin has a good batch of tunes. Is it as good as “Bark At The Moon”? In my opinion no but this record had some killer riffs and songs.
Actually listening to it now there’s really no bad tunes it’s just that Nevison tried making a heavy metal Heart album. Whereas Bark At The Moon had a production style to its own Ultimate Sin doesn’t.
The songs can’t be knocked as the title track opens the album and it just crushes and launches right into “Secret Loser”. Thats a good starter pack right there as Jake smokes that fret board.
I will say that each song has some good Ozz and Jake value. The crowning achievement on this record is the stellar “Killer of Giants” which slowly builds up until it lifts off. What a great track as Jake delivers the goods on this track.
“Shot In The Dark” (written by Ozzy and Bassist Phil Soussan) was the big video/song from this record and helped propel the album up the charts.
So for Ozzy having Jake along (Bob Daisley co wrote 8 of the tracks with Jake and Ozzy) in the drivers seat helped keep Ozzy playing the arenas whereas his old band Black Sabbath was changing lineups quicker than a McDonalds worker flipping patties!
In what has to be one of my rock n roll blunders was when I had an opportunity to catch this tour In Minneapolis in early July of 86 in Minneapolis as I had to decline as I working full time that summer.
My thinking was no biggie I will catch Ozzy next time.
Well that was partially true. I caught Ozzy not o the next tour but on Ozzy’s “No More Tour Tours” back in July ’92!
That was no big deal but what I missed out on was that July ’86 show was Metallica opening for Ozzy when Cliff Burton was still alive.
I have this on vinyl which my pal El Donko passed onto me. It’s a little worn but I have never seen this out there in the wilds so this beat up copy will do for now!
What do you get when you mix Ozzy guitar heroics with some Zeppelin like based riff rock? Ya get Badlands.
The Guitars are handled by Jake E Lee. Lead Vocals are by Ray Gillen. Bass is handled by Greg Chaisson and Eric Singer is the Drum Dude!
Badlands kicked to the curb the Hairspray Antics Of Poison as they could play and they fused a sound that was its own. They came together at a time that perhaps wasn’t as ready for them as should have been. It happens!
The song’s speak for themselves! Opener Hard Wire leads the Charge with Jake playing super charged rock riffs while Ray(RIP) has the vocals to deliver. They had a sound that would be similar more to the 70’s than the late 80’s! Bombastic Rock I say!
The rest of the tracks are just straight ahead Blitzes of Hard Blues Rock(Streets Cry Freedom and Winter’s Call are awesome)making Badlands a band that people should talk about.
Before the release of the next album Voodoo Highway (1991)drummer Eric Singer got a call from Ki$$ and it was adios amigos as was Badlands after an onstage meltdown between Lee and Gillen shortly after.
There was a ton of hype for this record in 1983 and if your any kind of hard rock follower you know why. Just a year earlier Randy Rhoads (RIP) who joined Ozzy when Ozzy was tanking professionally and personally (late 1970s) basically rescued the Ozz and wrote the all the guitar riffs to Ozzy’s first two solo albums(Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman) before a joyride plane ride ended Rhoads life!
Ozzy though carried on. Hired Brad Gillis and they released Speak Of The Devil(all Sabbath tracks) but as 1982 rolled into 1983 Gillis departed and went back to my good friend Tbones guilty pleasure and that would be NightRanger!
Enter Jake E Lee! This was big news as who was this new hot-shot LA guitar slinger playing with Ozz? Guitar World was the first place I read about Jake and even for that matter seen a picture of him. I guess he played in early incarnations of Rough Cutt and Ratt and then slinked around until he got the Ozzy gig!
So in December of 1983 out comes Bark At The Moon and what’s interesting is in the credits Ozzy it says wrote all the songs! No one else was involved! Ummm yeah right! Word on the street was that Sharon (Ozzy wife and manager) made Jake sign a contract relinquishing all co writes and if he refused to sign they would fire him and hire another guitar player. What else could you do if this was indeed the truth. You finally land a once in a lifetime gig and you got Sharon strong arming and threatening you. So of course you sign it.
Theres some real slick guitar riffing on this album so I tend to believe that Jake was forced at will…
Ozzman,Jake,Don Airey,Tommy Aldridge and Bob Daisley crank out what I think is a pretty damn decent piece of Rock!
Thanks to Aaron from the KMA for getting me a copy of this album! Cheers Pal!
BARK AT THE MOON- Jake solos right out of the gate and lets us all know that everything is well in Camp Ozzy! What a corker of a opener. Jake burns his fretboard with a real ripping riff and by golly it got my attention real quick! Ozzy nails down a great vocal and the chorus with its bass line drives the song real smooth down Osbourne Avenue! Tommy Aldridge (the only fella left from Ozzys band a year earlier) slams the drums and Jake plays a fantastic solo and for a band that lost a superstar guitarist the year before its amazing that Ozz and the boys could muster up pure brilliance right out of the gate!
YOU’RE NO DIFFERENT-Kinda Ballad like…Kinda not! Keys play a big role on this album but don’t fret kids Jake and his six string is still cranked up.
NOW YOU SEE IT NOW YOU DON’T-My favourite track from this album! It reeks Cool! The opening riff along with Tommy’s drums are locked n loaded and I just dig the sloshy grind between guitar and drum! “Overbearing Woman. Making It So Hard For Me!” is the opening line. I read on Wiki that Bob Daisley wrote these uncredited lyrics and they were directed straight at Sharon which is pretty surprising to say the least! Who know’s only the ones involved would. This song though is great especially when they head into the second verse and you can hear Don Aireys little 80s Synth blasts at the end of each line. Even after the solo they rip right back into the verse for another dose of the Overbearing Woman! Crank the video when your eating your Cheerios!
ROCK N ROLL REBEL-Power chords from Jake lead of this track and its a full-bore Jake E Guitar workout! Ozzy lets us all know he’s a Rock N Roll Rebel and people say he worships the devil but I say hogwash! This is Jake’s tour de force man! He slays the strings,bends,dives,riffs and proves without a doubt he belongs!
CENTRE OF ENTERNITY-Don Airey opens side 2 with big swooping organ like synth blasting intro and Ozzy and Peeps follow suit with Jake and Tommy barrelling down the highway at a 110 mph with the guitars and drums tearing along at super speed! This is a great track with Ozzy and Jake trading off between vocal and some serious guitsr rifffage!
SO TIRED-This song confused the hell out of me back in 1983-84. I was like “WHUT!” So Tired Is kinda a bizarre track that sticks out like a sore thumb. Call it a power ballad? Nope. Call it what? A song that is just a musical shift its like Ozzy was trying to cross over into a different territory musically speaking and fair enough. For my money though a song like “Tonight” from Diary Of A Madman is much better suited to Ozzy’s voice and with a bit of kick than So Tired. I’m sure people out there like this tune and yeah I can listen to it surprisingly enough now in 2016. Back in 1984 it was give me loud guitar instead please!
SLOW DOWN-Jake and Tommy lead the charge and this song kicks the tar out of So Tired and The Ozzman is back. Just a simple good Ol fashioned Ozz tune. “Slow Down Your Moving Way Too Fast!” Just a Simple Simon straight ahead rock track! Ozzy and the synths reign during the chorus but having said that at least they don’t water down the guitar in the mix of the album!
WAITING FOR DARKNESS- End of the album production. Don Airey and his keys full throttle and propel this song. Prince Of Darkness meets Waiting For Darkness! This song is a decent ending to the album in general. This song is one that no one ever talks about it as its buried at the end of the album. Call this one Ozzy Proggy!
FINAL YAMMER- Jake E shows up and makes us listen with our ears to let us know there’s a new guitar sheriff in Ozzville! No one forgets or forgot about Rhoads but hand it to Jake he set the pace with the opening title track and lays down the law! That was the way to do it man! Show up do your job and people will notice and we did!
Too bad if it is the case he got uncredited for the tunes here and Ozz takes all the credit. Still what a great debut for Jake and a pretty decent album overall for Ozzy!