Released in the U.S. in 1971, “Paranoid” was the immediate follow up record to Black Sabbath’s debut. This record is another highly regarded and influential record for musicians. This record also contains two anthems that are still being used today is our culture, the Vietnam anti-war song “War Pigs” and “Iron Man.”
As a teenager, I quickly mastered many of the riffs heard on this record. This record for me was another Black Sabbath record, that once I got my hands on it, I spent hours playing the guitar to it.
The music structures are arranged great. The sound is more defined. It has changed a tad from their first record, but still retains that dark, heavy, and haunting sound. However, this record introduces a more slowed and heavier tempo that is doomy, “Electric Funeral” and “Hand of Doom” are great examples. The record is a bit more polished but, still is heavy as any record being released at the time. Lyrically, this record is very dark. Life can’t be just about unicorns, happiness, sunshine and lollipops. This record deals with real-life issues such as nuclear war, drugs, and death.
The riffs are just fantastic. Tony Iommi rips the riffs and shreds the leads. Geezer Butler’s bass just compliments the music. Bill Ward’s Jazz orientated drum work is amazing. Ozzy Osbourne’s vocals are just as eerie. Together much of the music is very catchy. I love the harmony and melody of the vocals and music on tracks like “Iron Man” and “war Pigs.” I also love the harmony and the poetry of “Electric Funeral” and “Paranoid.”
Bottom line, this record proves to be an icon. It’s epic sound and style still influences musicians and students of Heavy Metal music. Yeah, this record looses some of the Blues influence but, the Jazz is still there. Proof that Black Sabbath has influenced so many of the Heavy Metal genres out there such as Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, Sludge Metal, Gothic Metal, and perhaps with the Jazz elements, Prog Metal.
1. “War Pigs” 7:57
2. “Paranoid” 2:48
3. “Planet Caravan” 4:32
4. “Iron Man” 5:56
5. “Electric Funeral” 4:53
6. “Hand of Doom” 7:08
7. “Rat Salad” 2:30
8. “Fairies Wear Boots” 6:15