Paranoid – Black Sabbath (1970)

Album no. 185/1001

Ozzy Osbourne and his dark and brooding mates return with their most successful – arguably their best – album.

This album includes a fair whack of big hits – ‘War Pigs’, ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Paranoid’ (funnily enough), which was their only track to crack the UK top 10, peaking at number 4.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: YES I MOST DEFINITELY HAVE. I’m excited to talk about it.

NK: YEAH BABY.

Standout track

CL: It’s too hard to name just one. It’s important to point out that there isn’t a bad song on this album. That’s not up for discussion. It’s also more than can be said for their first one which, in comparison to this, mostly seems to be an exploration of how spooky they could get their guitars.

NK: I can name one: IIIIIIIIIII AM IIIIIRON MAAAAAAAAN! Shout out The Bad Plus! That said, I agree with you that there aren’t really any bad songs on this.

CL: My personal favourite is ‘Fairies Wear Boots’, but I like all of the other songs as well. ‘Planet Caravan’ is a real departure from any of their music. There’s even piano! I actually love that song. That’s a tie for standout track. But see, then I hear  and I’m torn again! TOO MANY GOOD SONGS. Oh, and ‘War Pigs’ appears in a Girl Talk song too. Just FYI.

NK: Shout out Girl Talk. I am disappointed to be agreeing with you, but sometimes that’s how it goes. Another special mention to the title track, which is such a good riff I’m surprised Jimmy Page didn’t steal it.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: Oh any time. Now. In a little bit of time. Later. Put it on again. Treat yourself. They’ve really toned down the mystical, graveyard vibes on this record, so you don’t have to wait for a rainy evening or anything.

NK: Yeah this is just a balls to the wall rocker. I actually think this is house party music. A uni house party where you’re pretty sure they’re not getting the bond back.

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Check out the package.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: Aside from being packed with stone-cold bangers that attack your eardrums left, right and centre, it’s a real development since their self-titled record. It’s really balanced! There are the darker, rockier tracks like ‘Iron Man’ but then there’s plenty of guitar explorations on ‘Planet Caravan’ and ‘Rat Salad’. I feel like they really tightened their songwriting and got a lot more disciplined in producing  quality tracks.

NK: It’s crazy that both albums came out in the same year. Both prolific and consistent. I haven’t listened to much later Black Sabbath, but I can’t imagine they topped this album. Especially given what I know about our mate Ozzy. But this is pretty much perfect. Hard rock/proto heavy metal is already in full swing here.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: Absolutely. This is a phenomenal album.

NK: I don’t know when I’ll find the time, but yes.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Paranoid on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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