Paranoid
BLACK SABBATH

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BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid cover
4.43 | 134 ratings | 16 reviews
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Album · 1970

Tracklist

1. War Pigs (7:56)
2. Paranoid (2:49)
3. Planet Caravan (4:25)
4. Iron Man (5:55)
5. Electric Funeral (4:49)
6. Hand Of Doom (7:08)
7. Rat Salad (2:30)
8. Fairies Wear Boots (6:14)

Total Time 41:48

Line-up/Musicians

- Ozzy Osbourne / vocals
- Tony Iommi / guitars
- Geezer Butler / bass
- Bill Ward / drums

- Tom Allom / piano (track 3)

About this release

Released by Vertigo, Warner.

Reissued as Deluxe Edition in 2009 with the following tracklist:

Disc 1: Original Album

1. War Pigs (7:56)
2. Paranoid (2:49)
3. Planet Caravan (4:25)
4. Iron Man (5:55)
5. Electric Funeral (4:49)
6. Hand Of Doom (7:08)
7. Rat Salad (2:30)
8. Fairies Wear Boots (6:14)

Disc 2: Quadraphonic Mix 1974

1. War Pigs (7:55)
2. Paranoid (2:47)
3. Planet Caravan (4:30)
4. Iron Man (5:58)
5. Electric Funeral (4:47)
6. Hand Of Doom (7:07)
7. Rat Salad (2:29)
8. Fairies Wear Boots (6:13)

Disc 3: Alternate Versions

1. War Pigs (instrumental) (8:00)
2. Paranoid (alternate lyrics version) (2:50)
3. Planet Caravan (alternate lyrics version) (6:01)
4. Iron Man (instrumental) (5:57)
5. Electric Funeral (instrumental) (4:52)
6. Hand Of Doom (instrumental) (7:14)
7. Rat Salad (alternate mix) (2:29)
8. Fairies Wear Boots (instrumental) (6:16)

Total Time 127:13

Thanks to Pekka, Time Signature, Stooge, progshine, Lynx33 for the updates

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ParanoidParanoid
Warner Bros / Wea 1990
Audio CD$1.97
$0.18 (used)
Black Sabbath: ParanoidBlack Sabbath: Paranoid
Widescreen
Eagle Rock Ent 2010
DVD$5.63
$4.86 (used)
Black Sabath Paranoid Warner Brothers 1887 Vinyl LPBlack Sabath Paranoid Warner Brothers 1887 Vinyl LP
Warner Brothers records
Vinyl$15.00 (used)
Paranoid / Iron ManParanoid / Iron Man
Single
Rhino 2004
Audio CD$3.80
$1.37 (used)
Paranoid 12Paranoid 12" EP (Clear Vinyl, UK Import)
Import
Nems
Vinyl$19.99 (used)
ParanoidParanoid
Import
Audio CD$11.73 (used)
Rock Milestones: Black Sabbath's ParanoidRock Milestones: Black Sabbath's Paranoid
DTS Surround Sound
Classic Rock Legends 2006
DVD$0.01
$0.01 (used)
Reflections on ParanoidReflections on Paranoid
Import
Anvil Media 2011
DVD$11.69
$12.00 (used)
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BLACK SABBATH PARANOID reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Sinkadotentree
Well they established the style of music they were going to play on the debut and on this their second album released the same year they improved upon it. Songs like "Paranoid" and "Iron Man" brought them into the limelight and they became a household name. How good are the lyrics on "War Pigs" ? PINK RFLOYD's "Us And Them" sounds like a spacey continuation of this track but the words are no less damning against war and those who oversee it. "Paranoid" is less than 3 minutes in length but it's pedal to the metal all the way. They just rip it up, very intense. "Planet Caravan" is a nice break from the insanity. Surprisingly psychedelic. "Iron Man" continues to be brought into today and now because of the "Iron Man" movies. Heavy duty. "Electric Funeral" reminds me of ALICE IN CHAINS everytime i hear it these days. A drugged out doomy piece. "Hand Of Doom" is an anti-drug song while "Rat Salad" is the Bill Ward show. "Fairies Wear Boots" is probably my favourite. So yes i've played this to death over the years but it's still a 5 star masterpiece, and they don't lift their foot off of the pedal one bit for the followup album "Master Of Reality".
Conor Fynes
'Paranoid' - Black Sabbath (9/10)

Barring the fact that the album was released a damned decade before metal was in full swing, Sabbath's 'Paranoid' was, and is as solid an album as they come. Although the self-titled debut may have had more of an immediate impact, Iommi and company would focus in on their doom innovation, a decision setting them further apart from the hordes of UK blues rockers. It's not often that an album is still relevant forty years after its release.

Considering how iconic 'Paranoid' is, it seems redundant to dwell on general information regarding the album. Suffice to say, taking into consideration that 1970 was the same year Deep Purple recorded 'In Rock' and the year after Led Zeppelin recorded 'II', Black Sabbath took a more downtuned, heavier approach to rock music. British rock was opening itself up to a more distorted sound in general, but Sabbath weren't afraid to sound ugly. A familiar blues style can be heard in Iommi's crunchy lead work, but the use of tritones, or 'evil' sounding riffs was what gave the band their then-unique take on rock music. The lyrical content somewhat fittingly either contends with the concept of war, or nightmarishly drug-fuelled adventures. As a respite from the doomy riffs, 'Paranoid' is fleshed out with some sounds of 60's era psychedelia, as best exemplified by the spacey, jam-oriented 'Planet Caravan'.

The first side of the album is a hit parade of some of the band's best-known tracks. 'War Pigs' sets up the rest of the album perfectly; a gloomy overture introducing Iommi's gritty guitar tone and some of the best riffs on the album. 'Paranoid' and 'Iron Man' are both instantly memorable tunes that have earned their due as rock radio staples. My favourite cut from the record would have to be 'Electric Funeral' however, opening the second side on an even darker note. From its signature psych-doom riff to lyrics about the apocalyptic existence of mutants in a post-nuclear city, it perfects the heavy darkness explored on the first side. The rest of 'Paranoid's later half doesn't feel quite as memorable as the first, however. The musical tightness never lets down, but 'Hand of Doom' and instrumental afterthought 'Rat Salad' feel a little less vital than the rest. Luckily, 'Fairies Wear Boots' wraps things up on a rocking note, closing with an epic lead melody that seems to foreshadow the future sound of Iron Maiden.

'Paranoid' is not quite perfect, but it's fairly close, especially considering that the sound of heavy metal was still so young. At the very least, it deserves its status as a classic. With memorable songwriting, evocative lyrics and some of the best riffs ever written, who could ask for more?
Sheavy
People think I'm insane....

Two masterpiece albums within a year? Yes, it is possible and Black sabbath are proof of this. The follow up to their self titled debut is just as much a masterpiece in every way to the debut, except the dumb cover, but that does not make this album bad at all.

This album is the one that really got everyones attention to this crazy new heavy blues band with a taste for the occult.

This album features probably the three most reckognized Sabbath songs ever, and they all deserve the recognition they get. From the almost radio friendly Paranoid, to the devasting beginning of Iron Man, to the rumbling behemoth crawl of Luke's Wall/War Pigs, this is, I dare say, the most influential metal album ever created. Almost every metal band in existence owes something to this band, and this album.

From the drum solo on Rat Salad to the rather creepy Electric Funeral, this album is indispensable for any music collection.
Warthur
Black Sabbath's second album of 1970 still heavily features the doom metal sound that they had already perfected on their debut - unleashed with devastating effect in War Pigs and Hand of Doom - but the selection of songs this time around are more varied, proving that the group weren't just a one-trick pony. Never has a quickie throwaway single been as influential as the title track, which set a precedent for speed metal in proving that crunching heavy metal riffs could be played fast to good effect. The trippy space blues track Planet Caravan proves that the band were paying attention to the experiments then underway in the progressive rock genre, and also acts as an interesting interlude between the speed metal of Paranoid and the doom metal of Iron Man.

The band even prove they have a sense of humour on the closing track, Fairies Wear Boots, which as well as taking a pop at skinheads who'd hassle the band for having long hair also prefigures the more light-hearted odes to weed and other illegal substances that would make appearances on Master of Reality and Volume 4. The inclusion of this song at the end of the album is actually an inspired choice - after treating the listener to doomy visions of war, nuclear holocaust, and heroin addiction, perhaps something to lighten the mood is essential. And I don't think the band were ever more adept lyrically speaking than on this album; Hand of Doom, in particular, is an insightful and eloquent look at the end of the hippy era and the effect this disillusion had on many at the time.

On balance, it's hard to say which of the Sabbath albums from 1970 is the superior one. If I absolutely had to choose one, some days I'd probably go for the debut, simply because it chooses a particular mood and then nails it perfectly. Then again, other days I'd go for Paranoid, simply because it is more varied. Both, I'd say, are equally essential to any metal collection, unless you are absolutely averse to slow playing in your metal.
arcane-beautiful
I’ve had this album for a while now, and I only got around listening to it.

I’ve never been a massive fan of Sabbath, but I do like them enough, they do have some amazing songs. But aside from that, I have to be a little critical.

I respect what this album did, and it really is a stepping stone in the world of metal, and even the proto doom can be heard for bands like Cathedral & Candlemass to take influence from…and it can be heard.

But asides that, the album really isn’t perfect, well in my opinion it isn’t. At times Sabbath can annoy me, and I think this album had the most Sabbath songs that annoy me…

Besides my dislike to some songs, the rest are great and pretty good at times, so don’t take my word as Gospel, but as a guys opinion. It’s very unique as well to say the least, well for its time.

1. War Pigs – One of Sabbaths best songs in my opinion. Great riffs, and is it me, or does Ozzy’s vocals sound a wee bit like Captain Beefheart. The lyrics are pretty good for Sabbath as well. 10/10

2. Paranoid – I have a bad past with this song…I’m not going to get into it. 6/10

3. Planet Caravan – A wee bit too bluesy at times, and can be a wee bit repetitive, but the atmosphere makes up for it. Pantera do a good cover of this song. 9/10

4. Iron Man – I really don’t like this song, the riff is boring and repetitive. The only good thing about it is the middle section. The lyrics are just stupid as well 5/10

5. Electric Funeral – Great doomy riff, but the lyrics at times can be forced. 9/10

6. Hand Of Doom – The most experimental song. Odd changes in tone, but great riffs and atmospheres. 9/10

7. Rat Salad – Nice wee instrumental. 8/10

8. Fairies Wear Boots – One of their best riffs in my opinion. Great song, with some odd lyrics…about drugs. 10/10

CONCLUSION: Annoying at times, but it does make up for it…
The Block
I am Iron Man!

I was introduced to Black Sabbath at an early age, by my dad, even though I did not know it yet. I just dismissed it as my dad’s ‘oldies’ music, but since then I have grown to love them. One of the albums he played the most was Paranoid, so it was only fitting that this should be my first Black Sabbath review. It has great heavy bass lines that mix well with the guitar work of Tony Iommi. And of course you can’t say Black Sabbath without at least thinking about Ozzy Osbourne. It’s amazing how in real life he can’t talk for his life, but once he gets the microphone in front of his mouth he can actually pronounce syllables.

One of the most recognizable songs on the album is, of course, “Iron Man”. It has one of the most recognizable riffs in all of metal or even music, for that case. The choruses are also very good, blending in nicely with the heavy bass and guitar. The story is also very interesting, following the comic strip Iron Man, of course. Though it is the most popular song it is not necessarily the best on the album.

Talking of really good songs, the first track, “War Pigs”, is a great song. The riff is very catchy going from low notes, and then the last one is higher, which makes a cool approach to the song. The beginning of the song has great guitars by Tony Iommi, along with good drumming by Bill Ward. It then transfers smoothly in to vocals by Ozzy and he takes it away from there.

Paranoid is definitely one of, if not the best, Black Sabbath album in my opinion. It includes all around great performances by all musicians present on the album. I would like to specifically point out Ozzy, of course, and Tony Iommi for his great guitar work throughout. Besides “Iron Man” and “War Pigs” some honorable mentions include “Paranoid” which includes great vocals and great drumming by Bill Ward. Also there is Jack the Stripper/ Fairies wear Boots which includes some riffs that are kind of similar to those employed in “Iron Man”. The only song I don’t enjoy on the album is “Rat Salat”, and it is not because it is completely instrumental. I absolutely love instrumental songs, but I think that Black Sabbath should stick to songs with lyrics because their music goes better with them .For a great effort by Black Sabbath they get 4.5 stars.

The Angry Scotsman
Sabbath's debut may have been the first metal album, maybe not. Perhaps that distinction goes to Led Zeppelin or Vincebus Eruptum. Regardless, THIS is the album that really made metal.

The first true blue, heavy metal album.

Black Sabbath's eponymous album had the heaviness and dark, bleak atmosphere of metal, but was obviously still influenced by blues and psychedelic rock. The blues is stripped away here, and while the psychedelic remains, this album is about the heavy.

War Pigs. An 8 minute, progressing, psychedelic tinged song that is strongly anti-war. This song has it all, Butler's bass lines, Iommi's riffing and awesome guitar solos, Bill Ward's superb drumming, (this song is one of the best examples) and Ozzy's vocals really do fit perfectly.

Paranoid. Another Sabbath classic, this is a short, mid paced song with chuggy riffing, sustains, and lots of powerful chords. Proto thrash! Cool song, love Butler's rhythm bass under the solo.

Planet Caravan. Very different! This is a purely soft, mellow song showcasing a gentle Butler bass riff, a clean simple guitar tone in the background, sparse bongo drumming and Ozzy's distorted, chilling vocals. Later a very beautiful and melodic guitar solo comes in, and fades out with the song. Very trippy, mellow, and dreamlike.

Iron Man. Perhaps the most famous song in all of metal, hell perhaps one of the most famous in all of rock! Awesome song, and nothing really needs to be said about this one.

Electric Funeral. Awesome, trippy riff. One of the best on the album. Slow, dark song that peaks in the middle with an emotional fury, then quickly descends and closes it as it starts.

Hand of Doom. Very intriguing song. It alternates, quite abruptly between soft, groovy sections and loud, thundering ones. Also, an anti-heroin song inspired by Vietnam vets coming back with addictions to the drug.

Rat Salad. A short song that is more a showcase for Bill Ward's drumming, sprinkled with staccato riffing and mini solos. What's not to love about all that!?

Fairies Wear Boots. A bluesy type feel to it, (the leftover remnants of their debut album)another progressing song with a real feel of movement to it.

A classic and superb album. Features amazing output from every one of the members, something I wish I'd see more often today. Iommi's guitar work is just great, as is Butler's bass playing, Ward's drumming is some of the best in metal, and while Ozzy may be a bit of a joke today...his vocals were the best back then. There is no bad song, each one is well crafted, and unique. There is great variation on this album! Something we again, do not see today.

Masterpiece.

Five Stars
Stephen
Who would argue when people hailed "Paranoid" as Black Sabbath's magnum opus? After the magnificent debut, Sabbath continued to deliver an even mindblowing creation. This record wasn't only commercially successful, but also stroke hard in many young listeners' mind and gave them an inspiring idea that contributed a lot to the future development of heavy metal. The real strength of this album is the dynamic of the composition. Almost every thing that you never imagined were blended well into one big bucket and the band stirred 'em nice.

Three sensational classics are inside this album and that probably can be the big reason for you to buy this album. "War Pigs" had its paralyzing riffs and Ozzy's inviting vocal really shake people's emotion to sing along to the track. The title track, which is perhaps their most-recognized track, has a furious rhythm and superb hooks. "Iron Man" tried a slower tempo with heavy riffs, another strong tune to love. "Planet Caravan" showed their psychedelic attempt with a strange vocal effect, this one is a soothing and I praised this one big. "Electric Funeral" is a real doomy song, one of their greatest underrated tracks. "Rat Salad" is quite similar with Zeppelin's "Moby Dick", putting Bill Ward to the front. The closing track, "Fairies Wear Boots", is the most progressive track which is a blues-based, mostly fast, and heavy, I love this one.

"Paranoid" is truly a landmark release of the band, but personally, this isn't a record I can listen to everyday. The idealistic and variety value of the album forced me to have the right mood to fully spin this. If you're a big fan of metal, this is basically the starting point of most genres. Nothing short of great music inside, couple of decent tracks maybe, but Sabbath deserved a huge 4.5 stars.
AtomicCrimsonRush
Iommi’s Killer Riffs, Ozzy’s estranged vocals, welcome to Sabbath’s best album.

A definitive metal album in any sense of the word and quintessential Sabbath from start to finish with their best line up. This has no less that 3 of the classic metal songs in metal history; War Pigs, Paranoid and Iron Man. But the rest of the songs are excellent too namely Electric Funeral, and Hand of Doom. The lyrics, power riffs and vocal delivery are the blueprint of all things metal. Ozzy has a fantastic voice here and blasts a massive delivery on every track. Who can forget his powerful delivery on War Pigs? “Generals gathered in their masses, Just like witches at black masses, Evil minds that plot destruction, Sorcerers of death's construction, In the fields the bodies burning, As the war machine keeps turning, Death and hatred to mankind, Poisoning their brainwashed minds, Oh Lord yeah!” Then we are treated to the simplistic yet killer riff from Iommi which cranks seriously with a great bass and drum rhythm. It is simply brilliant. Paranoid of course is one of the greatest metal moments with Ozzy giving it everything as that riff blazes away. Every metal guitarist should know this and it is easy to play once you get the hang of it. I love the way it ends with Ozzy singing: “And so as you hear these words telling you now of my state, I tell you to enjoy life I wish I could but it's too late.” Many critics attacked the song believing it stated to ‘end your life’ but Ozzy was more optimistic than people gave him credit for. Planet Caravan is a psychedelic Sabbath track that feels out of place but it is the sheer audacity of the band to produce this among all the metal that makes it a true curio. I don’t mind this at all and it feels bizarre and ethereal. Ozzy's psyched up phased voice gives it a creepy trippy style.

Iron Man is certainly my favourite Sabbath song and the way it begins with distorted monster vocals users in a masterpiece of metal. The riff is doomy and unforgettable, and the lyrics are sung in time to the riff augmenting the atmosphere; “He was turned to steel, in the great magnetic field, When he travelled time, for the future of mankind, Nobody wants him, He just stares at the world, Planning his vengeance, that he will soon unfurl.” Easy to play once again but such a brilliant combination of chords that Iommi cemented his reputation as a master of the power riff. The guitars sound like an iron giant creeping forward with massive stomping feet. The way the time sig changes in the middle is masterful. The lead break is inspired with fretmelting finesse. The ending speeds up and changes time sigs again and it ends on a massive freakout of guitars. Absolutely essential listening.

Electric Funeral is doom metal in its earliest form and a great song with sleak guitars and innovative lyrics; “Robot minds of robot slaves lead them to atomic rage, plastic flowers, melting sun, fading moon falls upon, dying world of radiation, victims of mad frustration, Burning globe of oxy'n fire, like electric funeral pyre.”

There is an anti Heroin song, the guitar heavy Hand Of Doom , and this features Ozzy preaching aginst substance abuse; “Now you know the scene, your skin starts turning green, Your eyes no longer seeing life's reality, Push the needle in, face death's sickly grin, Holes are in your skin, caused by deadly pin”

Rat Salad is intriguing with a metal meets jazz vibe. The drums of Bill Ward are given the spotlight as he is allowed to bash out for a while solo. This instrumental chugs along nicely and the guitars shine once again. Geezer Butler's bassline here is terrific.

Fairies Wear Boots/Jack the Stripper ends the album and Ozzy has a memorable style on this with some driving guitars and lead solos that strip down wallpaper. The band were delightful in full flight and this album provides a massive spark for their fire. They were unsurpassed progenitors of metal and this may be one of the most influential albums along with Deep Purple’s “In Rock.”
Time Signature
Band of doom...

Genre: heavy rock / doom metal

"Paranoid" certainly is a great and important metal record, and what i like about it is its overall doom and gloom and heaviness and how Black Sabbath manage to successfully draw on blues, jazz and even funk influences.

It starts out with the insanely heavy "War Pigs" opening riff before the song changes into a more uptempo rock song containing some parts that even sound funky. The title track is, of course, a classic and, in all its simplicity, it is right in the closet. "Planet Caravan" is a melancholic and mellow song with a nice jazzy guitar solo towards the end. It is followed by the doom metal classic "Iron Man" with its iconic heavy guitar riff, which is followed by yet another doom metal classic - namely "Electric Funeral" - both songs contain some really nice jazzy uptempo bridges that create a nice sense of contrast with the main parts of the songs. another noteworthy song is the instrumental jazzy "Rat Sald" which is one of the few songs that contain a drum sole that I don't find boring (apologies to drummers everywhere). Actually, there are no weak tracks on this album.

As with their debut album, "Paranoid" belongs in any metal collection, and especially fans of doom metal and bluesy hard rock should appreciate it.

Members reviews

bassgeezer
Whereas Prog Archives rankings are, in my opinion, about right, I don’t think MMA’s rankings, which are in their relative infancy, are right yet. One thing that is spot on though is that Paranoid is the top proto-metal album. For me it was definitely the first metal album. This was the CD I took round the shops with me some years ago when I was choosing my current music system. I wanted to be sure Geezer’s bass was going to sound right. War Pigs is the perfect metal test for a set of speakers. Paranoid was part of the soundtrack to my youth.
SouthSideoftheSky
Rat Salad

On the totally groundbreaking self-titled debut, Black Sabbath took electric Blues, Jazz and Rock and created a brand new sound that was to become highly influential on all of Rock music and especially, of course, Metal music. But while the sound of the debut, fresh and groundbreaking though it was, still stuck relatively close to the influences. There were moments on that first album where the band played Blues Rock with some Jazz influences rather than the Heavy Metal they were in the middle of creating.

With Paranoid they ventured further away from their Blues background and injected more speed and precision into their playing while still retaining most of the heaviness of the debut. They also abandoned much of the dark and gothic subject matter of the debut and began singing about mental illness, drugs and politics. The opening number, War Pigs, is a good example of this development.

In some respects this is perhaps even better than the debut, but overall I think this is slightly less essential. I also find this album slightly less enjoyable than the debut and the follow up, but it's still a great album. And a Heavy Metal classic in its own right.

The title track speeds things up further and is definitely the fastest and shortest song the band had done up to that point. It is also the simplest song and is possibly my least favourite Black Sabbath song ever! It predated the emergence of Punk with many years but it is almost a Punk song! As is often the case with Metal and progressive bands, it is when they strip away all the complexities of their music that they have hits! Black Sabbath is hardly a band that have had any genuine hits, but Paranoid is probably as close as they ever came to having a hit song. Almost every person in the world has heard this song even if they are not into Heavy Metal at all.

Planet Caravan slows things down considerably and is very different from the rest of the songs. It is a wonderful song that reminds me somewhat of Camel and is one of the highlights of the album for me. Iron man is another song that many people recognize. It is not my favourite but it is much better than the title track and both these songs along with Electric Funeral and War Pigs soon became mainstays of the band's live set for the rest of their long career.

For me the second half of this album is by far the best half. It is also here that we find the most complex and progressive songs. The slow, heavy Electric Funeral is probably the closest they come here to the style of the debut album. But it is with the complex Hand Of Doom and the short instrumental Rat Salad that the album reaches new levels of brilliance. However, my very favourite track is the excellent closer, Fairies Wear Boots!

I have been a Black Sabbath fan for ten years now and I know the band's discography very well. Paranoid is not one of my favourites, but it represents a clear progression from their debut towards the masterpiece Master Of Reality and beyond. I see Paranoid as something of a transitional album between two even greater albums and as such slightly overrated in relation to those.

Still, an essential addition to any Metal collection.
Valarius
Whilst I'm not a big fan of Black Sabbath, I was able to tolerate their debut album, and at least give it two stars. Sadly, this album just doesn't work for me. And here's why:

For starters, the whole album seems very 'immature'. What I mean when I say this is that everything sounds like it was written by a bunch of twelve year olds who have only been playing their instruments for a month. The guitar riffs are dull and uninspired, the lyrics are tacky and not very well thought, and overall the songs are just boring, Ozzy's vocals are awful, and that has got to be one of the tackiest covers ever.

On top of the that, the version I have has a live version of ‘Wicked World’ on it, and it's about 20 minutes long, full of dull guitar solos with Tony Iommi playing the same legato licks over and over and Ozzy annoyingly shouting 'alright!' after every second line.

Overall, a rubbish album. Harsh, but true. I gave it a fair amount of listens, and while 'Black Sabbath' had its moments, 'Paranoid' just really doesn't work for me.
Sean Trane
As their debut album scored immediately on both side of the Atlantic, the world was now warned about BS and there would be no surprise effect this time around. Or so they thought! The Birmingham quartet had more trick up their sleeves and pulled a lot of trump cards from their games to confirm with HM's most definitive album. As much as Warning had done the job on the debut album, there was little to prepare the listener for the sonic assaults of their opening track, the eternal anti-war tune War Pigs with its air-raid siren howling in the opening riffs. Originally intended as War Pigs, this album title was vetoed by their US label fearing too much controversy with the Vietnam crisis and its political inflammatory contents, even though Butler's lyrics for the track came from the group playing US military installation in Germany and their lengthy conversation with the soldiers.

With the famous Sci-Fi warrior (rather cheap and missed, imho) of the outside gatefold and the very-white photo-shoot of its innerfold, Paranoid might have even not seen its title track included at first. The group had recorded this album almost as quickly as their debut album (one session) and when the Vertigo label assembled it, they deemed it too short, they asked the group to add another track, so the amphetamine-fuelled Paranoid was recorded as an afterthought, not knowing it would become their biggest and sole #1 hit on both side of the Atlantic. Originally the song had been casted-off because the group thought it too close to Zep's Communication Breakdown on their debut album. In terms of influences, Paranoid's riff is definitely one of the most inspiring for generations of metal group along with Zeppelin's Immigrant Song and from Judas Priest to the 80's thrash and speed metal groups and 90's progmetal, everyone owes a huge debt to it.

Again the group had all their songs well rehearsed well ahead of time as they played many gigs, including some Hamburg nights where they played up to six sets of 45 minutes, with War Pigs often lasting a full 40 minutes and here reduced to an 8 minutes version (you can hear its aborted ending as a cut-off). Sounding quite different is the superbly atmospheric Planet Caravan (where they sound like a very spacey Ten Yearts After) hinting at Sleeping Village on the previous album, where Bill Ward's bongos and Butler's gentle bass are absolutely gorgeous, Iommi's jazzy guitar and Ozzy's muffled vocals provide a genuine piece of jazzy psychedelia. The opening side finishes on another Sabbath monument, the awesome Iron Man, with its huge crunching power chord and its laughable opening announcement, and later Iommi's spine-chilling solemn solo. Again Geezer Butler's thumping bass lines (inspired by Cream's Jack Bruce) and Bill Ward's jazzy drumming bring a breath of fresh air to the general heaviness.

The flipside opens on another small but often overlooked Sabbath gem, Electric Funeral starting a bit like the gloomy BS track of the debut, but the middle section develops much more muscles and energy. The longest track of the album, Hand Of Doom, starts out appropriately gloomily and picks up again with Ozzy's inspired vocals and Ward's driving rhythm and then menacingly slowing down again.

After the short instrumental rifferama of Rat Salad, comes probably the most stunning Sabbath track (certainly my fave), Fairies Wear Boots, an anti-Skinhead anthem, which is really an Osbourne theme, since he was one of them prior to playing music. A lengthy intro including Butler's booming bass, Ward's incessant drum rolls and Iommi's distant guitar (at first) tells you that you're fantasyland, and until Ozzy's spine-chilling vocals enters some 90 seconds into the track, this is pure bliss? But Ozzy's vocals are particularly inspired as well and once the verse gone; Iommi, Ward and Butler take us to unsuspected proglands and looping it to the intro again for a second run. Even some 35 years after discovering this album, I can't help replaying this track a second time just for kicks and thrills. What an awesome way to finish an album.

After such a review, I don't really think closing comments are really necessary, right

Ratings only

  • Dougie
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  • Citizen
  • fabprog
  • kx1992
  • sepozzsla
  • Nightfly
  • Tychovski
  • justametalfan
  • pastorius85
  • wnavarrobr
  • Immortalis
  • VargTheViking
  • Invertigo
  • titmo71
  • Eria Tarka
  • Nonconformist
  • luanpedi
  • Amilisom
  • Amplifier Worship
  • oogie0
  • fisciletti
  • contempt80
  • Xaxaar
  • Jan
  • Pintos
  • Hazy7868
  • Gallifrey
  • GESM123
  • yair010390
  • artsagile
  • Paolini
  • albertobevi
  • Lampyridae94
  • IMPF2112
  • IndianaJones
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  • dev_lexthorm
  • ninjames
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  • LaineJ
  • Lynx33
  • 2112ORR
  • zorn1
  • Daniel de Oliveira
  • eduardofoxx13
  • progshine
  • Mr. Krinkle
  • SrEstaire
  • Woutjinho
  • trickster B
  • progpostman
  • F611
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  • barchios
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  • electrocute1031
  • GMS
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  • Lokus
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