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4.7 22
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 sounded


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.

Product Details

Release Date:
Warner Bros / Wea


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

Customer Reviews

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Paranoid 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Analogkid60 More than 1 year ago
The blueprint all others would follow Out of the industrial sludge of Birmingham, England came the birth of a new monstrous musical genre.   Black Sabbath, the bands eponymous debut was just the tip of the iceberg.  It would prove to be a harbinger of the heavier things to come.  Sabbath’s sophomore effort, Paranoid, would become the break out record and put the original line-up on the map as well as pioneer a new flavor of rock music. To really appreciate Paranoid, one must consider the musical landscape at the time of its release.  Flower power pop, and psychedelic freak outs dominated the airwaves in the US.  Heavy rock music was still in an embryonic state.  Then from across the sea comes the gargantuan British goliath stomping its way along, demolishing cities in its wake, and converting fans to lifelong devotees.   Being a metal fan is like being made in the mafia, you’re in it for life.  True fans never outgrow it.  I first stumbled across my older brother’s beaten up vinyl copy of Paranoid in the spring of 1988 at the age of 14.  Even then, two decades after its release, it still managed to blow my tiny high school freshman mind long before I would experiment with alcohol or pot.  I was instantly hooked.  It was intense and heavier than most of the hard rock I’d heard at that point.  The lyrics weren’t all about partying and getting laid.  It was much deeper. War Pigs begins with all the subtlety of a fierce kick to the crotch.  The message of this song still resonates today as it did back when it was released at the height of the Vietnam War.  “Politicians hide themselves away.  They only started the war.  Why should they go out to fight?  They leave that up to the poor.”  Tony Iommi’s doom laden riffs give way to a stunning guitar solo with Geezer Butler’s fat bottom bass and Bill Ward’s percussion work making for a killer middle section.  War Pigs was supposed to be the title of the album, but executives at Warner Brothers shot down the idea as they felt it hit a little too close to home with the war and all going on.  That would explain the guy on the album cover in the pink suit with the sword and shield.  For a long time I used to think it was Iommi dressed as a “war pig”.    The cover art is the only weak point of the disc. Reportedly written while stoned on reefer in a matter of minutes to fill some space on the album, the title track, Paranoid, would become the band’s signature song.    Paranoid’s lyrics’ are all too familiar to anyone who has ever repeatedly indulged in the heathen devil weed. Fire up and dig the groovy bongos as you blast off for the stars and join the Planet Caravan.  This mellow (dare I say soft) atmospheric tune is about tripping through the galaxy with your lover.  Osbourne’s heavily flanged and reverbed voice sounds nothing like the Ozzy we know today.  Tony stretches out on the solo and shows off his jazz chops.   What can I write about Iron Man that hasn’t already been said?  The first riff every kid learns when he picks up an electric guitar is Smoke on the water…  The second is Iron Man.  Why?  The riff is simply legendary.  I used to think it was about the Marvel comics’ super hero going bad, but that is not the case.  Sabbath’s Iron Man isn’t wearing a suit of armor.  He’s transformed into an “iron bloke” by a magnetic field and decides he’s hungry for a cold dish of vengeance.  Tony Stark is too busy counting his money and getting loaded to harm innocent civilians. Remember the cold war?  Ever think of what would have happened if Russia or the US decided to push the button?  Bassist/Lyricist Geezer Butler believed it would all end in an Electric Funeral Pyre.  “Turns houses into sty.  Turns people into clay.  Radiation minds decay.”    These are some of the most haunting lyrics about nuclear Armageddon I’ve ever heard.  Iommi menacingly mocks you with his wicked wah wah pedal driven lead.  The players embark on a frantic race to the grave as Ozzy chants, “Electric Funeral.  Electric Funeral.”   What would rock music be without drug use?  It would be awfully boring.  Hand of Doom addresses what would become epidemic abuse of Heroin in the 1970s.  None of the members of Sabbath are known junkies.  We know they were big into marijuana, alcohol, and later, coke.  However, they had to have been around plenty of people that liked to “Push the needle in.”  A mellow Butler buttermilk bass line underscores this cautionary tale, and then the rest of the band comes crashing in like a wrecking ball. Rat Salad is a two minute and thirty second instrumental that features Bill Ward’s acrobatic drumming.  This guy is seriously underrated in the pantheon of great drummers.  Moon, Bonham, and Peart all get their props and recognition; but Bill Ward deserves some serious consideration to be on the Mount Rushmore of awesome rock drummers.   “Salad” serves as the entrée for the final dish of this masterpiece.  The title, Fairies Wear Boots, refers to a gang of Doc Martin wearing skinhead a-holes that the band and crew brawled with at a gig.  With the exception of the chorus, the lyrics have nothing to do with said title.  Did I mention that these guys liked to smoke a lot of dope back then?  I digress.  Iommi jams out the intro while Butler and Ward provide a cool swing beat.  “Fairies” concludes the album with a piercing arpeggio fade out. There it is folks.  War, insanity, space exploration, revenge, nuclear fallout, and drug abuse….that’s what Paranoid is all about.  If you want uplifting songs, go spin up some Abba.  This is music for real (mostly) men with problems that have a hard time seeing life through rose colored glasses.  I still love Paranoid all these years later because it is a timeless classic.   Paranoid is an absolute stone cold must have for any metal fan.  If you want to hear where it all started, then you need to add Paranoid to your collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one cd that i could play over and over again without skipping a minute. "Hand of Doom" and "Electric Funeral" are scary as hell, "Fairies Wear Boots" is awesome yet ridiculous, "War Pigs" is one-of-a-kind, "Rat Salad" is a great instrumental song, and "Paranoid" and Iron Man are just straight up classics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is without a doubt the best album I own. The first time I listened I was just dumbfounded by the great songs. I don't think there is a "best song" on this c.d. They're all excellent. From the title track to Iron Man to War Pigs to Electric Funeral, they all rock with passion. I loved it! A true metal fan would buy this album. Thanks for reading.
DarkLotusICP4life More than 1 year ago
amazing album by black sabbath!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this cd cuz I loved War Pigs and Iron Man, but there is more to it. Paranoid rocks like hell, Eletric Funeral is cool, and Fairies Wear Boots stomps. A defining early metal album. Ozzy's voice is great, and the guitar rocks, and the lyrics are cool. What more can you ask for? Buy it and you'll love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the album that got me into heavy metal/hard rock. In Paticular the song ''Ironman'' - this album is so consistant, every song is a classic, ''Paranoid'' ''War Pigs'' ''Faries Wear Boots'' - ''Hand of Doom'' is an awsome dynamic metal master piece. ''Rat Salad'' features a Bill Ward drum solo. Highly recommened.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the album that created jobs for thousands of aspiring musicians. The 3 anthems set the stage for Hard Rock as we know it today. The early 70's took us to a whole new world of darkness. Few people realize that Led Zeppelin almost never happened. It was actually a fluke that they ever existed. Imagine that. Sabbath entered realms of sound that literally left people stunned. Iommi's signature sound was totally different than anyone, even Jimmy Page, had ever imagined could be created by a guitar. He created distortion. Throw in the best rhythm section ever, and you had a very dark, gothic-like atmosphere. I was at Ozzfest several years ago, in the 3rd row. I was stunned to see the likes of Slash, Anthrax, Priest, Zombie, the list goes on. They were all standing at stage right watching the Master's at work. I know they were paying homage to the men that molded the future of music. I saw Heaven and Hell last month. With Ozzy or Dio, Iommi and Butler are without question, the two most influential musicians to hit the stage ever. "If you are not into Black Sabbath, you should be." ---Slash---- "I still get goosebumps when I hear Iron Man." ---Rob Halford----- "What the F#%& were they thinking when they wrote "Black Sabbath"? ---Alice Cooper---
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best albums ever made. Iron Man is my favorite song on it. Ozzy rules! I don't know why anyone wouldn't buy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best cd's you can find. It has everything you want, great guitar solos, great vocals, lyrics, drums, base. Many people call this the best Sabbath album, I have to say you cant really just pick one out and say its the best. The first 6 albums, Heaven and Hell, and The Mob Rules are all equally great musically. Parinoid is just the most popular. But it deserves to be because its the first full length Heavy Metal album ever released. War Pigs is one of the best songs ever, along with Iron Man. The song Parinoid is fast and cathchy. Planet Cavern is a slow Pink Floyd like song that takes a little getting used to, but it is good. Electric Funeral is a Doomy song about the dangers of Atomic weapens. Hand of Doom is a creepy song about what happens to you if you take heroin. Rat Salid's is a Drums solo sandwiched between two Iommi solos. And of course the album ends with a laugh, Fairys Wear Boots, good guitar on this track. All in all this is a classic album that you need to get.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Were to start, this is Black Sabbaths finest record ever made. The occult overtones of Electric Funeral and the lyracly profound War Pigs. A must have for any Ozzy solo or Sabbath fan. BUY THIS CD NOW
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this CD 2 weeks ago and i haven't stopped listening to it. I bought it for War Pigs, Paranoid, and IronMan, but there is sooo much more to the album. Ozzy's voice is amazing, and possibly the best it has ever been. While not technical, it still owns. This is possibly the best album by ozzy or sabbath, and easily the best album in Metal history
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a young listener who is getting into older music, and I have to say that this album rocks. This CD has three classic songs on it (Iron Man, War Pigs, Paranoid) but the other songs are great too. It starts off with the titantic War Pigs, a seriously rocking song with down to earth lyrics (stupid warmongers). Next is Paranoid, a haunting track that is short, but amazing. Planet caravan slows things down and is very relaxing, it's a very strange song with what sounds like African instruments in the backround. Iron man is a song that everyone should recognize and love. The fifth song is Electric Funeral, which is one of the best songs on the CD. It's about nuclear destruction and has chilling imagery to it. Hand of Doom is another track that is suprisingly great. Rat Salad is the next song, it's a short instrumental that showcases Iommi's soloing and Bill Ward's amazing drumming. Faeries where boots finishes off the album, and is very catchy after listening to it a few times. This CD probably shocked and amazed people in 1970 who, had never heard anything like it before. This is truly one of the greatest albums of all time and I recommend listening to it in the dark.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not really in a position to judge if this is the definitive heavy metal album, but coming in late 1970 it must have sounded rather astonishing. Tony Iommi's dark, sludgy riffs on 'War Pigs', 'Iron Man' and 'Electric Funeral' still rumble like thunder today, and Ozzy's shrill vocal delivery is suitably eerie. Probably better than any of the lame ''heavy'' bands plodding about today.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is by far the worst CD i have ever listened to the only good song on it, Iron Man doesn't even redeem itself in the end