Ozzy Osbourne Reveals His Least Favorite Solo Album
Ahead of the release of a career-spanning vinyl box set, the "Prince of Darkness" Ozzy Osbourne is getting down to brass tacks about some lesser known aspects of his fruitful solo career. Namely, that 1986's The Ultimate Sin is the rocker's least favorite of his own solo albums.
While he recently claimed his solo debut Blizzard of Ozz (1980) and its follow-up Diary of a Madman (1981) are tied for first place in his mind, Osbourne's reservations about The Ultimate Sin — an album which remains out of print physically, although it can be accessed on streaming services — place it at the bottom of the pile. That's what the musician revealed, anyway, when he was asked for his least favorite.
"[Producer] Ron Nevison didn’t really do a great production job," Osbourne replied to Rolling Stone last week (Aug. 23). "The songs weren't bad; they were just put down weird. Everything felt and sounded the fucking same. There was no imagination. If there was ever an album I'd like to remix and do better, it would be The Ultimate Sin."
Still, the album's fantastical cover art from Peruvian painter Boris Vallejo surely remains a high point. Especially among the rich tapestry of artwork elsewhere in Ozzy's catalog. In fact, the musician said he misses the large-format art and liner notes that used to accompany rock albums, something faithfully represented in his upcoming box set.
"It's like a trip down memory lane in a lot of respects," Osbourne said. "Especially the album sleeves. That's the thing I miss now with albums; you used to have a double sleeve with something you could read."
Elsewhere in the interview, Osbourne recounts the "fucking freezing" video shoot for 1983's "Bark at the Moon," the dark themes of his solo material following his initial foray in Black Sabbath, and the not-so-hidden Easter egg found on the cover of Diary of a Madman: his eldest son, Louis, chuckling in the background. ("He’s having fun," Osbourne remembered. "He's now forty-fucking-three or something. That's how long I've been doing this.")
Perhaps due to Ozzy's concerns, The Ultimate Sin wasn't remastered or reissued along with the bulk of Osbourne's back catalog in 2002, though the exact reason remains unclear. The album's "Shot in the Dark" — then a top-ten hit at mainstream rock radio — was one of the singer's most successful singles at the time.
Osbourne's 24-record box set containing 173 songs and B-sides, See You On the Other Side, comes out Nov. 29. (Pre-order it here.) Watch the funny promo trailer starring guitarist Zakk Wylde below.
Photos: Ozzy Osbourne Through the Years