Saturday, May 15, 2010
Battle Hymns Classics: Paranoid
Regarded by many as the band's magnum opus, Paranoid is a true metal gem. Many of Sabbath's biggest hits are on this album. There is, of course, the title track, Paranoid which was actually added at the last minute because they didn't have enough material to flesh out the album. The story is that Iommi started playing the riff, and about thirty minutes later, they had the whole damn song written.
War Pigs is another of the big hits from the album, and is a great anit-war song, as well as a metal classic. Then, of course, is the Black Sabbath song everyone knows, Iron Man. Don't get me wrong, I do like this song, but I never feel the need or desire to listen to it. The reason is that it is just so popular and I hear it so often in other places, that I've reached the Iron Man saturation point. Plus there are far better songs on the album.
I actually prefer the lesser known "B" side tracks to the hit heavy "A" side. Eletric Funeral has a trudgey funeral dirge riff that hits you in your gut, and still sounds as heavy forty years later.
Hand of Doom is filled with musical changes and time signatures, which makes it a bit awkward at first, but Ozzy's wail is in full swing on this song, and Ozzy on top of his game is always a joy to hear.
Paranoid is an outstanding album. Most metal bands can only dream of creating an album as amazing from start to finish. What is crazy is that this is Sabbath's second album, and they had a bunch more great albums on the way after this. Paranoid is forty years old, yes, forty, and it is still amazing. Talk about standing up to the test of time. Metal bands are still very heavily influenced and inspired by Black Sabbath, and this album is one big reason why.
It is pretty much a given that every metal fan owns this album, but it is also one of those rare albums that has appeal to a larger fan base. There is so much good music to be had on this album, and is arguably one of the most influential albums of all time, that everyone should own a copy.
I love this live footage of Paranoid. Ozzy looks to be high as a bird and he's really fired up! The purple frills are hilarious! Not to mention the rainbow in the background. Very surreal.