Paranoid

Paranoid

4.7 23
by Black Sabbath
     
 

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They'd already shown the survivors of the summer of love just how easy it was to crush pastoral dreams under a slow-moving juggernaut of sludgy riffs and nightmarish visions, but with this 1970 disc, Black Sabbath put the icing on the cake -- or is that the lid on the coffin? Ozzy Osbourne's haunted, disaffected howl has never soundedSee more details below

Overview

They'd already shown the survivors of the summer of love just how easy it was to crush pastoral dreams under a slow-moving juggernaut of sludgy riffs and nightmarish visions, but with this 1970 disc, Black Sabbath put the icing on the cake -- or is that the lid on the coffin? Ozzy Osbourne's haunted, disaffected howl has never sounded more chilling than it does cutting through the thick layers of sonic cement his bandmates poured into classics like "Iron Man" and the still-creepy title track. Painted in shades that run the gamut from black to blacker to blackest -- fully imploding on the number-than-numb "Electric Funeral" -- Paranoid doesn't offer much in the way of variety. But if you're looking for sheer sonic sedation -- the old-fashioned kind, meted out by a sledgehammer-wielding stranger -- you can't do any better than this.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
Paranoid was not only Black Sabbath's most popular record (it was a number one smash in the U.K., and "Paranoid" and "Iron Man" both scraped the U.S. charts despite virtually nonexistent radio play), it also stands as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time. Paranoid refined Black Sabbath's signature sound -- crushingly loud, minor-key dirges loosely based on heavy blues-rock -- and applied it to a newly consistent set of songs with utterly memorable riffs, most of which now rank as all-time metal classics. Where the extended, multi-sectioned songs on the debut sometimes felt like aimless jams, their counterparts on Paranoid have been given focus and direction, lending an epic drama to now-standards like "War Pigs" and "Iron Man" (which sports one of the most immediately identifiable riffs in metal history). The subject matter is unrelentingly, obsessively dark, covering both supernatural/sci-fi horrors and the real-life traumas of death, war, nuclear annihilation, mental illness, drug hallucinations, and narcotic abuse. Yet Sabbath makes it totally convincing, thanks to the crawling, muddled bleakness and bad-trip depression evoked so frighteningly well by their music. Even the qualities that made critics deplore the album (and the group) for years increase the overall effect -- the technical simplicity of Ozzy Osbourne's vocals and Tony Iommi's lead guitar vocabulary; the spots when the lyrics sink into melodrama or awkwardness; the lack of subtlety and the infrequent dynamic contrast. Everything adds up to more than the sum of its parts, as though the anxieties behind the music simply demanded that the band achieve catharsis by steamrolling everything in its path, including its own limitations. Monolithic and primally powerful, Paranoid defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0075992732727
catalogNumber:
3104
Rank:
1669

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Black Sabbath   Primary Artist
Ozzy Osbourne   Harmonica,Vocals
Geezer Butler   Bass,Bass Guitar
Tony Iommi   Guitar
Billy Ward   Drums
Bill Ward   Drums,Vocals

Technical Credits

Ozzy Osbourne   Composer
Tom (Colonel) Allom   Engineer
Rodger Bain   Producer,Audio Production
Geezer Butler   Composer
Brian Humphries   Engineer
Tony Iommi   Composer
Bill Ward   Composer
Hugh Gilmour   Reissue Design,Original Sleeve Design,Sleeve Notes
Keef   Cover Design
Tony Allom   Engineer
Roger Bain   Producer

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