Album #185 – Paranoid
This is the album that got me into the music of Black Sabbath. I can remember, years ago, an old friend of mine talking about Black Sabbath and how good they were. He loved this album in particular. I knew, of course, Paranoid and Iron Man from seeing video on T.V. of their performances of those songs on a German music show called, Beat-Club. But, I did not know about this album. So I decided to buy it. It was the summer of 2002. The Osbournes were on T.V and Ozzy and his family were household names. I went on a trip with the choir and band from my high school. We stopped into a mall to kill time. I saw Paranoid on the shelf of a music store, looking out at me. I knew at that moment that I had to buy this album. When I got home and showed my mother what I had purchased, the first thing she said to me was: “Is there any swearing on it?”. She knew Ozzy from The Osbournes and she figured that his music would be filled with curse words. I said that there were probably no swear words. I was right. For the next few months, I listened to this album all the time. I loved every minute of it and I still do. In my opinion, it is Black Sabbath’s best album. It was released in 1970 in the U.K. but for some reason, it was not released until 1971 in the U.S. This album is different from their debut album in many ways. First of all, there are no covers. Every song was written by the group’s members. Second, while the music may be dark many of the songs do not talk about the occult like their debut album. Instead, there are different subjects discussed including space (Planet Caravan, Iron Man), nuclear holocaust (Electric Funeral), psychology (Paranoid) and the war in Vietnam (War Pigs/Luke’s Wall, Hand of Doom). Black Sabbath actually wanted to name the album War Pigs but their record company refused because they figured the album would not sell if it had a political slant. So, as you can see, Black Sabbath wrote about things that were important and added their dark sound to them. This would be something they would continue to do on feature albums. They are not satanists or evil. They are actually pretty normal guys. The third and final thing that makes this album different from it’s predecessor is an instrumental (Rat Salad). It even features a drum solo. Rat Salad shows just how amazing Ward, Butler and Iommi were as musicians. This album is one of my favourite albums of all-time and it never gets old. I really enjoyed listening to it again. Overall, I give this album 5.5 out of 5.
Next: After The Gold Rush by Neil Young!!!!!