Paranoid is the second studio album by the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Released in September 1970, it was the band's only album to top the UK Albums Chart until the release of 13 in 2013. Paranoid contains several of the band's best-known signature songs, including "Iron Man", "War Pigs", and the title track. The album has sold over 12 million copies worldwide.
- 2 Background and recording
- 3 Album title and artwork
- 4 Release, reception and legacy
- 5 Track listing
- 6 Personnel
- 7 Charts
- 8 Release history
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
To capitalise on the chart success of their debut album in the US, the band returned to the studio in June 1970, just four months after Black Sabbath was released. The new album was initially set to be titled War Pigs, which was critical of the Vietnam War; however, Warner changed the title of the album to Paranoid when what would become the album's lead-off single, "Paranoid", was written in the studio at the last minute. As Bill Ward explains: "We didn't have enough songs for the album, and Tony just played the (Paranoid) guitar lick and that was it. It took twenty, twenty-five minutes from top to bottom." The single was released in September 1970 and reached number four on the UK charts, remaining Black Sabbath's only top ten hit.The album followed in the UK in October 1970, where, pushed by the success of the "Paranoid" single, it made number one in the charts.
The US release was held until January 1971, as the Black Sabbath album was still on the charts at the time of Paranoid's UK release. The album reached No. 12 in the US in March 1971,and would go on to sell four million copies in the US, with virtually no radio airplay. Like Black Sabbath, the album was panned by rock critics of the era, but modern-day reviewers such as Allmusic's Steve Huey cite Paranoid as "one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time", which "defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history". The album is currently ranked at No. 131 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Paranoid's chart success allowed the band to tour the US for the first time in October 1970, which spawned the release of the album's second single "Iron Man". Although the single failed to reach the top 40, "Iron Man" remains one of Black Sabbath's most popular songs, as well as the band's highest charting US single. Paranoid is Black Sabbath's best selling album, selling over 4 million copies in the U.S by 1995 and over 1.6 million copies in America since the beginning of the SoundScan era by 2011.
After the release of their debut album in February 1970, Black Sabbath returned to the studio in June that year, again with producer Rodger Bain, to record their second album. The album was recorded at Regent Sound Studios andIsland Studios in London, England. The album's eponymous single "Paranoid" was written in the studio at the last minute to fulfill the record label's request for a single.
The album was originally intended to be called Warpiggers which was a slang term for a black magic wedding. It was then shortened to War Pigs and eventually Paranoid after the record company became convinced that the song of the same name had potential as a single. As drummer Bill Ward explains: "We didn't have enough songs for the album, and Tony just played the "Paranoid" guitar lick and that was it. It took twenty, twenty-five minutes from top to bottom." The record company thought the album would fare better commercially if it were named after the first single.
The song "Iron Man" was originally entitled "Iron Bloke". Upon hearing the main guitar riff for the first time, Ozzy 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 album was originally titled War Pigs, but allegedly the record company changed it to Paranoid, fearing backlash from supporters of the ongoing Vietnam War. At the time, the band were surprised that the song they'd created in such a short period of time would become the album's title track, though they did concede that it had the potential to become a single. Additionally the band's label felt the title track was more marketable as a single. Ozzy Osbourne states in I Am Ozzy that the name change had nothing to do with the Vietnam war, and was entirely due to the record company deciding the album would be easier to sell if it was named after the single, which had already had significant success by the time the album was released, reaching number 4 on the UK Singles Chart.
The original UK vinyl release was in a gatefold sleeve. The inner of the gatefold had a black-and-white photo of the band, posed outdoors on a grassy hill, and was their first appearance on album artwork. To spread the original picture over the gatefold, Ozzy Osbourne was separated from the other members of the band and a section of the grass was copied and dropped into the gap. The album cover features a man in red with a sword.
In the early 1970s, an American nurse committed suicide and the Paranoid album was found on her turntable. The album's possible influence in her decision to commit suicide was mentioned in the inquest, but ultimately it was decided that Black Sabbath were not to blame for her death. "A lot of the words in the songs—a lot of the moods of the songs—are aggressive," Iommi acknowledged. "Especially in the early days—Satanic, if you like... That was the way it felt, so that was the way we played. But it got out of hand. With Paranoid in England, for instance. There was a girl found dead—a nurse she was: dead in her room with our album on the turntable going round. And it was taken to court saying that it was because of the album that she was depressed and killed herself, which was totally ridiculous, I think."
In the decades succeeding its initial distribution, Paranoid has been regarded by many as Black Sabbath's best album, and by some the best heavy metal album of all time. The "Paranoid" single, released before the album, reached number four in the UK. Pushed by its success, the album hit number one in the UK, and was the only Black Sabbath album to have done so until "13". The US release was held until January 1971, as the Black Sabbath album was still on the charts at the time of Paranoid's UK release. The album broke into the top twenty in the US in March 1971, Paranoid's chart success in the US allowed the band to tour there for the first time in October 1970. This spawned the release of the album's second single "Iron Man", and although it failed to reach the top 40, "Iron Man" remains one of Black Sabbath's most popular songs. In addition, it is considered to be Vertigo's breakthrough release.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Like its predecessor the album was panned by music critics of the era, with Robert Christgau grading it a C−, though admitting that the band took "heavy to undreamt-of extremes."However, modern-day music critics are much more favourable towards the album than those of the time. Allmusic's Steve Huey cites Paranoid as "one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time", which "defined the sound and style of metal, more than any other record in history" and Ben Mitchell of Blender calling it "the greatest metal album of all time".
- In 1989, Kerrang! magazine listed the album at No. 39 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time".
- In 1999, Q magazine (12/99, p. 170) included it in their list of The Best Gothic Albums of All Time, writing that, "[Black Sabbath] stamped their bombastic and doom-laden imprint on British rock forever."
- In 1999, Vibe (12/99, p. 162) included it on their list of 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century.
- In 2003, the album was ranked number 130 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
- In 2006, the album was ranked number 6 on Guitar World magazine's list of The Greatest 100 Guitar Albums of All Time.
- In 2010, Paranoid was covered as part of the Classic Albums documentary series, which examines albums "considered the best or most distinctive of a well known band or musician or that exemplify a stage in the history of music".
|3.||"Planet Caravan" (Osbourne/Butler)||4:32|
|6.||"Hand of Doom"||7:08|
|8.||"Fairies Wear Boots" (Butler/Osbourne)||6:15|
|2009 Deluxe Edition disc two|
|6.||"Hand of Doom"||7:07|
|8.||"Fairies Wear Boots"||6:13|
- Disc two features the 1974 quadraphonic mix on DVD.
|2009 Deluxe Edition disc three|
|1.||"War Pigs" (instrumental)||8:00|
|2.||"Paranoid" (alternate lyrics version)||2:50|
|3.||"Planet Caravan" (alternate lyrics version)||6:01|
|4.||"Iron Man" (instrumental)||5:57|
|5.||"Electric Funeral" (instrumental)||4:52|
|6.||"Hand of Doom" (instrumental)||7:14|
|7.||"Rat Salad" (alternate mix)||2:29|
|8.||"Fairies Wear Boots" (instrumental)||6:16|
- Disc three features original, alternate and demo takes from Regent Sound Studios.
- On the North American edition of the album, the songs "War Pigs" and "Fairies Wear Boots" were entitled "War Pigs/Luke's Wall" and "Jack the Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots", respectively.
- The Castle Communication edition (1986) featured a live version of "Wicked World". This later appeared on Past Lives.
- Black Sabbath
- Geezer Butler – bass guitar
- Tony Iommi – guitar, flute
- Ozzy Osbourne – vocals
- Bill Ward – drums, congas
- Additional personnel
- Tom Allom – engineering, piano on "Planet Caravan"
- Rodger Bain – production
- Brian Humphries – engineering
- Marcus Keef – graphic design, photography
|United Kingdom||18 September 1970||Vertigo Records||LP album||6360 011|
|Europe||September 1970||Vertigo Records||LP album||6360 011|
|United States||7 January 1971||Warner Bros. Records||LP album||WS 1887|
|United Kingdom (reissue)||December 1973||WWA||LP album||WWA 007|
|United States (reissue)||1975||Warner Bros. Records||LP album||WS4|
|United Kingdom (reissue)||January 1976||NEMS||LP album||NEL 6003|
|United Kingdom (reissue)||28 February 1996||Castle Communications||Compact Disc||ESMCD302|
|United Kingdom (reissue)||2004||Sanctuary Records||Compact Disc||SMRCD032|
|United Kingdom (deluxe)||30 March 2009||Sanctuary Records||Double CD+DVD||1782444|
|Japan||25 August 2010||Universal Music||SHM-SACD||UIGY-9034|
|Japan||24 November 2010||Universal Music||SHM-CD||UICY-20039|