Paranoid

Track listing


Side one


1. "War Pigs" 7:57

2. "Paranoid" 2:48

3. "Planet Caravan" 4:32

4. "Iron Man" 5:56


Side two


5. "Electric Funeral" 4:53

6. "Hand of Doom" 7:08

7. "Rat Salad" (Instrumental) 2:30

8. "Fairies Wear Boots" 6:15


Paranoid is the second studio album by the English rock band Black Sabbath. Released in September 1970. Paranoid contains several of the band's signature songs, including "Iron Man", "War Pigs" and the title track, which was the band's only Top 20 hit, reaching number 4 in the UK charts. It is often cited as an influential album in the development of heavy metal music.


The album's opening track "War Pigs" was originally intended to be called "Walpurgis". It was then changed to "War Pigs", which the band intended to name the album until it was changed to Paranoid after the record company became convinced that the song of the same name had potential as a single. Butler explained his intentions to Classic Albums: "I wanted to write a song called 'Walpurgis' – you know, the Satanic version of Christmas – write it about that Satan isn't a spiritual thing, it's warmongers. That's who the real Satanists are, all these people who are running the banks and the world and trying to get the working class to fight the wars for them. We sent it off to the record company and they said, 'No, we're not going to call it that. Too Satanic!' So I changed it to 'War Pigs'." In his autobiography I Am Ozzy, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne recalls, "It was originally going to be called 'Walpurgis' ... which was a term for a black magic wedding or something. Then we changed it to 'War Pigs'


"Paranoid" was "about depression, because I didn't really know the difference between depression and paranoia. It's a drug thing; when you're smoking a joint you get totally paranoid about people, you can't relate to people. The song "Iron Man" was originally entitled "Iron Bloke"; upon hearing the main guitar riff for the first time, Osbourne remarked that it sounded "like a big iron bloke walking around". The title was later changed to "Iron Man" as bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler composed the lyrics. The riff to "Iron Man" is iconic among heavy metal guitarists, with Osbourne declaring in his memoir that "...Tony Iommi turned out to be one of the greatest heavy rock riff-makers of all time.


"Electric Funeral" also contains apocalyptic imagery dealing with nuclear warfare. In The Last Supper concert film, Iommi remembers that at the time with most bands "it was all the 'flowers in your hair' and we wanted to sing and play about the other side of life. "Planet Caravan" was an unusually quiet song which showcased that the band was capable of more than bone crushing guitar riffs.


"Hand of Doom" dealt with the problem of soldiers returning from the Vietnam War strung out on heroin, which the band witnessed first-hand when they played two American Army bases but, as Butler observed to Matthew Longfellow in 2010, there was "nothing on the news about this. "Rat Salad" resulted from the band having to play eight and three quarter hour spots a night in Europe early in their career. "Fairies Wear Boots", has a "hard-driving riff sweetened by a beautifully baleful melody" with a lyric written by Osbourne about a nasty encounter with a group of skinheads.


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