URIAH HEEP guitarist Mick Box has blasted Sharon Osbourne for removing the original drum and bass tracks from Ozzy Osbourne's first two albums, saying it is about "as low as you can get."
The 2002 re-releases of "Blizzard Of Ozz" and "Diary Of A Madman" featured FAITH NO MORE drummer Mike Bordin and METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo — both then members of Ozzy's solo band — in place of Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley.
The controversial move was spearheaded by Sharon after Kerslake and Daisley sued Ozzy over royalties and songwriting credits. Daisley and Kerslake's original performances were restored in the 2011 reissues of the albums.
Box, who had played with Kerslake in URIAH HEEP for three and a half decades between 1971 and 2007, was asked in a new interview with Radio Forrest if Lee ever mentioned anything to him about not getting credited for the Ozzy albums. Mick responded (hear audio below): "Of course he did. It was a big bone of contention with him. 'Blizzard Of Ozz' and 'Diary Of A Madman', I think Sharon took off Bob and Lee from both those albums and put on Tommy Aldridge and whoever. It's just as low as you can get, really, isn't it?
"The versions of the albums with Bob and Lee on, and Randy [Rhoads] and Ozzy, were just immense," he continued. "They're rock history. Anything else that Sharon did to replace that is just bad news bears, mate, in my book. And in Lee's, it really hurt him. He got the platinum [plaques from Ozzy before he died], but he didn't get the financial reward that should have gone with it. And that's very sad. But sometimes that's how it goes in our business. If I got paid for everything I did correctly, I would be in a different position. [Laughs]"
Kerslake and Daisley were fired before "Diary of A Madman" was released and in the process had their names removed from the album. Bassist Rudy Sarzo and drummer Tommy Aldridge are credited in the original LP's liner notes and featured in the photo on the inner sleeve.
Kerslake died in September following a battle with cancer. He was 73 years old.
In January 2019, Kerslake was inducted into the Hall Of Heavy Metal History in Anaheim, California. During his induction, Kerslake was presented with two platinum discs for his work with the BLACK SABBATH frontman. The presentation was filmed for Kerslake's documentary.
During an interview with The Metal Voice in December 2018, the drummer revealed that after all these years, he just wanted platinum album certifications for both "Blizzard Of Ozz" and "Diary Of A Madman", so he could feel some acknowledgement for his work before he died.
"I really wrote a nice letter to them and I hope they will come to terms with it and say yes," he told The Metal Voice of his appeal to Ozzy and Sharon.
Kerslake was eventually granted his wish as Ozzy shared a photo on social media of Lee sitting on a sofa and holding the "Blizzard" and "Madman" platinum discs, a handwritten letter from Ozzy placed on his chest.
"I'm so glad that Lee Kerslake is enjoying his Blizzard and Diary platinum albums," Osbourne wrote in an accompanying caption.
According to the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA), 1980's "Blizzard Of Ozz" has been certified quintuple platinum for shipments in excess of five million copies, while 1981's "Diary Of A Madman" has been certified triple platinum for more three million units sold.
Kerslake and Daisley's multi-year legal battle with the Osbournes had taken a massive financial toll on the drummer.
"I went belly-up bankrupt when I lost the case to Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne in the courts," Lee told The Metal Voice. "It cost me hundreds of thousands and I had to sell the house and then started to get ill. I never managed to get back up, but a platinum certification on my wall for these albums would be fantastic and it would say I helped create those albums."