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Black Sabbath - Paranoid (1970)



You’d be hard pushed to slip a cigarette paper between any of Black Sabbath’s first five albums: each can make a strong case as their most influential and important record from ‘Black Sabbath’s elemental blues metal, ‘Master Of Reality’s dark beauty, the psychedelic masterpiece ‘Vol 4’ and the more expansive ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’, yet ‘Paranoid’ perhaps just shaves it.

It’s easy now to forget the impact of its three most famous songs, ‘War Pigs’, ‘Iron Man’ and the title track because they have become so familiar over the years, yet at the time of their release they were freakish things. That sense of otherness is now more tangible in some of the lesser tunes, the druggy dirges ‘Hand Of Doom’ and ‘Electric Funeral’ and the trippy, more upbeat ‘Fairies Wear Boots’. The album coincided perfectly with the great post-60s comedown. All of the flipsides of free drugs and free love are here, reconstituted as gothic nightmares.

‘Paranoid’ is a classic that still carries the power to disturb.

TRACKLIST:
War Pigs / Paranoid / Planet Caravan / Iron Man / Electric Funeral / Hand of Doom / Rat Salad / Fairies Wear Boots

KEY FACTS:
  • The song 'Paranoid' was recorded very late in the sessions because the band simply hadn't got enough songs for the album. It apparently took around 25 minutes to write and record. It would later reach number 4 in the UK charts.
  • The album was ranked at number 130 on Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 greatest albums of all time



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