OZZY OSBOURNE Fan Files Lawsuit Over 'Remastered' Classics

February 21, 2005

Steve Patterson of the Chicago Sun-Times has issued the following report:

Anthony Wester said he hoped to hear remastered versions of OZZY OSBOURNE's "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman" albums.

Instead, he's a mad fan who says he and others were blindsided by a blizzard of deceitful acts by Sony Entertainment and Epic Records.

In a lawsuit filed last week in Cook County Circuit Court, the Downstate man is demanding compensation for himself and anyone else who bought "remastered" versions of the Osbourne classics because the original drummer and bassist on the albums were replaced.

The CDs, released in 2002, were marketed as crisp updates of the originals, with no mention that the sounds of bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake were cut out and replaced by Robert Trujillo and Mike Bordin.

Loyal fans of Osbourne ridiculed the move, which came after Daisley and Kerslake filed lawsuits in a dispute over unpaid royalties from the original albums.

Fans claim there's "a noticeable difference" in the changed rhythm sections on the original and remastered albums, while Wester says the change "forever alter[ed] and stain[ed] the legacy" of the originals, as the new version "bears little relation to the original."

A Sony spokesman could not be reached. Wester did not return a call to his Belleville-area home.

Wester's Chicago attorney, Ben Barnow, said "consumers are supposed to get what they paid for. ... For a product as treasured as these albums, to change the ingredient is to change the product."

Barnow wants class-action status for the suit. He hopes to recover damages on behalf of anyone who felt deceived after listening to the 2002 version of the albums.

Other class-action efforts have been filed here against rock bands LIMP BIZKIT and CREED, who concertgoers said put on shows not worthy of the price of admission.

But in this case, a fan says he was duped by a record company trying to remake classic albums.

Bordin, who once played with FAITH NO MORE, and Trujillo, now with METALLICA, were hired to re-record Daisley's and Kerslake's parts on albums that have sold more than 10 million copies since their original releases in 1980 and 1981.

A year after the updated CDs were released, judges dismissed the suit brought by Daisley and Kerslake. Since their performances were cut from the 2002 remastered CDs, they can't seek royalties from those.

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