Lately I’ve been checking out a tonne of stuff I haven’t listened to for ages, and one of the most pleasant surprises has been rediscovering this all-guns-blazing affair from Ozzy at the height of his notoriety; for me, it is (contrary to popular opinion), quite the little corker. In fact, if I ever do a follow-up post to my Criminally Underrated rundown of some of rock’s most neglected gems, there’s a good chance that this baby will make the list. I think it’s sometimes forgotten just how good Jake E. Lee really is; of course, he had a very tough act to follow when he replaced the late, beloved Randy Rhoads as Ozzy’s recording guitarist, but it has to be said that the guy is sensational on this album – the solos, the riff work: throughout the album, his playing is irresistably engaging and tremendously energetic. And the quality of songwriting on offer on Sin is much more consistent than on the so-so affairs that flank it in Ozzy’s career, Bark at the Moon and No Rest for the Wicked. The brooding title track is terrific, and Secret Loser is fantastically compulsive, and probably one of the most underrated tracks the Ozz Man has ever put his name to. Lee also stars with the beautifully Iommi-esque intro to Killer of Giants, giving the album a genuinely Sabbath-y moment. And then, of course, there is the closing cut, that pop metal masterwork Shot in the Dark.
It might represent a period in his life that Ozzy would like to forget, but, through the hedonistic haze and the craziness, somehow he managed to deliver a cracking album in 1986 – whether he realises it or not!