PHIL SOUSSAN Sets Record Straight: 'I Never Sued' OZZY OSBOURNE
May 17, 2021
Bassist Phil Soussan, who played on Ozzy Osbourne's "The Ultimate Sin" album and was credited with co-writing one of Ozzy's biggest hits, "Shot In The Dark", discussed his decision to leave Osbourne's band during a recent appearance on "The Five Count" radio show. Asked about the "weirdness" that went on between him and Ozzy's camp following his exit from the group, Phil said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Let me clear this up once and for all. There wasn't that much weirdness that was going on. I think what happened was I was in a position where I was not able to cut the deal that I wanted. I wanted to do certain things; I wanted to cut a certain type of deal. And kudos to Sharon [Ozzy's wife and manager]. Listen, she basically presented this to us in a very simple way. We were there, and we were being hired to do our best work — the best work that we could possibly do to make Ozzy sound and look as good as he possibly could. And we also knew that if we were not okay with that situation, there's probably three dozen people waiting in the wings that would gladly come along and do what we were doing."
He continued: "It got to a point where I was being expected to write more songs, and I wanted to kind of boost up my publishing and what have you, and for whatever reason, I was not able to cut a deal that was acceptable with Sharon, and I couldn't really get the same deal that I wanted. And at the moment, I just said, 'It's time for me to move on.' And it was a difficult decision — you leave the biggest band in the country. But I said, 'You know what? I've done it all once. I did one round, one tour, one this, one that, and let me move on and see what happens.' And I left. And I think she might have been a little upset about that, about the fact that I left. But for whatever reason, we had some accounting issues. So all of a sudden, I was having a hard time getting paid, and my accountants went back and forth a few times. And all of this got resolved eventually. It was just a payment thing — it was, like, late payments and stuff. And I don't know what the motivation was, or whatever it was, or if there was even a motivation — maybe it was just 'out of sight, out of mind' — but once I wasn't in the band, people weren't jumping to take my call about things like that. So it got resolved, and it got resolved in probably 1992 or 1993. And ever since then, everything's just been fine."
Soussan went on to say that he has heard "some really weird stories" about why he supposedly left Ozzy's band, including that he had sued Osbourne over unpaid royalties. He clarified: "I was asked to join a lawsuit that [former Ozzy bassist] Bob Daisley had, but I never joined that lawsuit; I didn't have anything to sue anybody about. I think Bob and Lee [Kerslake, former Ozzy drummer] had some issues that were going on, but when they called me, I just said the same thing I just said to you. I said, 'Why would I wanna do this?' So that was it. But all of a sudden, you hear these stories that we were in court. We never went to court. I never sued anybody."
"The Ultimate Sin" reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum in the United States on May 14, 1986, by the RIAA and and double platinum in October 1994. It was the follow-up to "Bark At The Moon", which was the first Ozzy album to feature Jake E. Lee on guitar following the tragic death of Randy Rhoads.
The writing sessions for "The Ultimate Sin" were by disagreements over songwriting, with Jake, who claimed he had been cheated out of the credits he deserved on "Bark At The Moon", later telling Ultimate Classic Rock that he demanded a revised contract before agreeing to contribute. Daisley was dismissed during the making of the LP and Soussan was brought in as is his replacement. Ozzy later invited Daisley to come back to help with the lyric writing, which Bob had shouldered the bulk of since the start of the singer's solo career.
Two years ago, Ozzy said that "The Ultimate Sin" was his least favorite album he has ever released as a solo artist. Although it's currently out of print physically (but available on streaming services),the 1986 LP has been certified double platinum. "[Producer] Ron Nevison didn't really do a great production job," Ozzy told Rolling Stone. "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'."
Daisley, who is credited with all the lyrics on "The Ultimate Sin" apart from "Shot In The Dark" (which is credited to Soussan and Osbourne),later said he was also heavily involved with the music writing on the LP.
"I did write the album with Jake and then Ozzy and I had a falling out and he fired me and he was going to fire Jake as well," he explained in an interview. "I've never been a 'yes' man. So a few weeks later, he called me and he had Phil Soussan on bass but I'd already written a lot of the music with Jake, so they knew they had to credit me on the songs anyway, so I guess he thought he may as well get his money's worth and asked me to come back and write the lyrics also. I did that as sort of a paid job. I write it, you pay me and take it and go. So I spent a few weeks writing the lyrics for the whole album. Then they recorded it. In a way, I am glad I am not on that album. It's the one album I didn't really like."
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