Interestingly, I think both of you unintentionally hit on one of the problems with these types of groups in general: expectations. Hearing Sykes in Whitesnake and Jake in Ozzy set up certain expectations for what their future projects would sound like, which is completely understandable, but is also perhaps a bit unfair because it can taint your ability to enjoy the music for what it is. I distinctly remember that initially happening with both of those bands at the time, despite that I quickly grew to love them both.
When I picked up the Blue Murder album, I hated it on first listen and was about to trade it away to a friend of mine. I decided to give it one more listen just to make sure, and I picked up on a bunch of stuff the second time through that I had not cared to hear the first time simply because I was expecting a certain kind of sound.
Similar with Badlands. I was expecting Jake to tear it up like he did on Bark At The Moon. And when I found out there was a guitar instrumental on the album, I was expecting it to be full of blistering solos, something along the lines of Mr. Scary. When it was much more blues influenced, I was initially pretty disappointed. I had to take a step back and adjust expectations. When I did, I was blown away by how much awesomeness was there. It was just a different kind of awesomeness than I was expecting.
@Lowdz: I disagree about Badlands' follow up albums. I think Voodoo Highway, although a lot less slick and polished, was a BIG step up from the debut. And Dusk easily topped both of its predecessors. But the other bands on the list? Yeah, I agree.