NEL 6003 Paranoid
Produced by Rodger Bain
Released on September 1970
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . UK RE-CHART POSITION #54 (1980)
. . . US CHART POSITION #12
Find it at GEMM
NEL 6003 cover  

N o bells this time, but a wailing siren to warn you that the battle has begun in earnest. Black Sabbath’s debut had seemed a little uncertain at times, looking over its shoulder on occasion as if to see if anyone was actually following. The band knew they were onto the right path with Paranoid, and that confidence resulted in an album unashamed to be as dark, as deep, as depraved as it wanted. Butler’s defiantly bleak lyrics, Ozzy's deadpanned reading, Iommi’s dexterous guitar work, Ward’s explosive drumming are all pushing personal envelopes, allowing the band to sound as though they’d grown by leaps and bounds in the span of months (and perhaps they had). The record starts off with a pair of classics, “War Pigs” and “Paranoid,” that serve as the squeaking, creaking, battle-worn juggernaut of the apocalypse. But the album’s real triumph follows, using the soporific sound of “Planet Caravan” to lull listeners to sleep, only to shake them awake with the nightmarish “Iron Man.” It’s a hard act to follow, and side two pales by comparison, despite some excellent blues rock on “Electric Funeral,” “Rat Salad” and “Hand of Doom” that invites comparison to Cream. It’s good music, but the songs aren’t polished into the antisocial anthems found on the first side. Paranoid ends with “Fairies Wear Boots,” featuring some Entwistle-ing bass work from Butler and lyrics that loosely suggest Ozzy’s hallucinogenic state of mind. There’s no doubt that this is a tighter, better conceived record than their first. Without the killer combination of “Planet Caravan” and “Iron Man,” it’s probably no better than their next few albums; with them, Paranoid reigns supreme in the Sabbath canon.

NEL 6003 inner gatefold NEL 6003 back cover
NEL 6003 inner gatefold NEL 6003 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. WAR PIGS    8:49
  2. PARANOID    2:45
  3. PLANET CARAVAN    4:26
  4. IRON MAN    5:47
  5. ELECTRIC FUNERAL    4:46
  6. HAND OF DOOM    7:06
  7. RAT SALAD    2:27
  8. FAIRIES WEAR BOOTS    6:07
  9. *TOMORROW'S WORLD (LIVE)

    All songs written by Tony Iommi/Bill Ward/Terry "Geezer" Butler/Ozzy Osbourne

CREDITS

TERRY "GEEZER" BUTLER -- bass guitar
TONY IOMMI -- lead guitar
OZZY OSBOURNE -- vocals
BILL WARD -- drums
Tony Allom -- engineer
Brian Humphries -- engineer

return to BLACK SABBATH discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/GER/ITA September 1970 Vertigo LP/CS 6360 011 gatefold cover, spiral label
US/CAN January 1971 Warner Bros. LP/CS WS 1887 gatefold cover
UK/NET February 1976 NEMS LP NEL 6003 gatefold cover
UK June 1980 Vertigo LP/CS    
US 1980 Warner Bros. 2LP/2CS   repackaged w. HEAVEN AND HELL
UK November 1985 NEMS LP/LPPIC/CS NEP 6003B avail. as picture elpee
US 1987 Warner Bros. LP/CD/CS BSK 3104 gatefold cover
  June 1989 Castle CD   incl. bonus track (*)
EEC July 1992 Castle CD CLACD 197  
JPN   Victor CD VICP-61278 digitally remastered
UK/GER February 1996 Essential CD/CS ESMCD/ESMMC 302 digitally remastered
JPN   Victor CDLE VICP-61711 digitally remastered limited edition
UK 2000 Castle CD CMTCD 004  

 

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