Ozzy’s Missing Albums

Every once in awhile I get asked what the deal is with Ozzy Osbourne’s 1986 album “The Ultimate Sin” is. When Ozzy remastered his albums for the first time in 1995, this album was part of the remastering sessions. However, when the second round came in April of 2002, “The Ultimate Sin” was deleted from Ozzy’s product line. If you look at the 2003 Greatest Hits collection “The Essential Ozzy Osbourne“, there are no songs from TUS. I’ve asked a few times the question of Ozzy’s office why it was deleted (as were a few others, like Speak/Talk of the Devil & Just Say Ozzy), and I got a polite “no comment”.
Given that I can’t get an official statement on the matter, we’re all left to our own devices to guess. The most popular story is that Ozzy didn’t much care for the album (he’s said as much in a few interviews), and that’s probably why it was deleted. I’ve heard other rumours that it’s a similar kind of royalty issue with band members on the album similar to what caused the Daisley/Kerslake problems on the first two Ozzy albums. If that were true, it would account for the deleting of Just Say Ozzy as well, because of the track Shot in the Dark appearing on both of them. Now keep in mind, these are just rumours I’ve heard and personal speculation on my part – I do NOT pretend that it’s the truth. But to be honest, when no explanation is ever given for something, people are going to be left to make their own opinions. These rumours could be totally wrong, and if they are, I have no problem with that. But if they are wrong, I am left to wonder what the real reason is, then? An official explanation would help clear this issue up. If I’ve missed something (which is also always possible), someone please let me know what it is.
Anyway, since early 2002, The Ultimate Sin album has been generally unavailable, due to the fact that it’s not made anymore, and unless you find a store with a copy that’s been sitting around for a couple of years, you’re not going to find it (legally) unless you pick it up at a second hand CD store. Not too long ago I was putzing around the Apple iTunes store, and decided to see what music was up there by Sabbath related bands. Much to my surprise I found that Ozzy’s The Ultimate Sin, Just Say Ozzy, & Speak of the Devil were listed there. I inquired to see if the albums were now being produced again, and got told no. I was also told that they were unaware that the albums were on iTunes and that they were going to “look into it”.
Well, as of now, they’re still there. If you were wanting to obtain these albums, I suggest that you head over to iTunes and buy them. Below are direct links to the albums in the iTunes store. If you have iTunes installed already, just click on them, and iTunes will launch and you’ll be taken to that album. If you don’t have iTunes, you can download it by clicking on the graphic below.
UPDATE: Ozzy’s other live album “Live and Loud” was also part of the “2002 Purge”, but that album is not on iTunes.