70 FROM ’70 — THE TOP TEN — #10

10 — BLACK SABBATH — Paranoid

 

Rolling out of the speakers like sullen thunder, the second Black Sabbath album—also their second in 1970—provides both prototype and benchmark for heavy rock. Part of the wonder and richness of this LP is the contrast. After the opening fusillade of “War Pigs” and “Paranoid” we have the delicate, stoned beauty of “Planet Caravan” with Bill Ward substituting bongos for his drum kit. Then, grinding your bones to bloody mulch, is “Iron Man”, one of Tommy Iommi’s greatest riffs; so good Ozzy Osbourne simply sings in unison with the power chords before the beast lumbers into a trot and unleashes a scorching guitar solo for the finale. And that’s side one.

*

I imagine there is some love (or at least respect) for this one. Stories welcome.

More on Paranoid in an earlier post entitled Cimmerian Classic

 

 

31 comments

  1. Despite Black Sabbath’s long career and continued success, from my perspective (taste), this album is their one hit and a huge one at that. It’s the only album of theirs that I enjoy and have ever owned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Can understand that, Yahooey. This one and Vol.4 for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pinklightsabre · · Reply

        And glad you and Yahooey connected here. We met up for a night once in Amsterdam in 2015!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So it can happen? Excellent. (If anyone ever travels again).

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I love all the Ozzie albums from the 1st to Sabotage. My favourites are Vol 4 and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. The latter to me is very progressive as the term was understood back then. I agree though, Paranoid s a killer set.
    Cheers, Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dave. Wouldn’t quarrel with any of that! 🙂
      Is it SBS that has that superb little instrumental, ‘Fluff’ it may have been called? I was smitten with that at the time. Such contrast.

      Like

      1. Yes, Fluff is on SBS. It seems to be a forgotten album but it’s overflowing with ideas and, like all their early albums, has a lot of light and shade. Sabbath are almost thought of as cartoons, but I think they were great, creative musicians

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Agreed. And as an old bastard, I can confirm that there were few comparable artists at the time… though many followed.

          Like

  3. This record is filled with Sabbath classics. My favorites are “War Pigs” and “Fairies Wear Boots”. Sure the legendary “Paranoid” must be mentioned, whose striking riff was copied from “Dazed And Confused” by Led Zeppelin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Careful, Herr Hotfox, you may attract a law suite!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Usually it’s said that Led Zeppelin are music thieves, but here they were stolen. But the rip-off is not that bad either. “Paranoid” is an ingenious, classic rock song with musical-historical significance.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve only really started listening to this recently – always so much music out there and it’s taken me a long time to get to them. Lots of iconic songs on this one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep. Pretty iconic album, really. Have you enjoyed it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup, lots of memorable songs on that one.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My appreciation of this one is higher than my enjoyment – or more respect than love at the moment. I do like the bongo substitution though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great band name, eh? -*-Bongo Substitution-*-

      Liked by 2 people

  6. This is one for the a couple that I am actually missing on vinyl. It will be remedied when I find a decent copy at a decent price.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My first experience with “heavy music” and the only time the “Satanic” concern was ever raised by my parents (and then based more on a bad dream than the music itself). ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ is the one that most appears during my one-man a capella shower shows, ya gotta believe me…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL-thing. Get a lot of bookings?

      Like

  8. pinklightsabre · · Reply

    Yeah, that’s good Bruce. Planet Caravan is the one for me that made me rethink them. It’s a real good run. I came to them kind of backwards a bit, with the record Sabbotage which I still adore through and through, for the odd keyboard/synth thing that oddly works for me. But I’ll go back, because why not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bit of love for Sabbotage in the comments, which is excellent. I think I’ll pull it out again meself. As you say, why not?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pinklightsabre · · Reply

        Some good male testosterone-slash-venom in that one.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think that gets outsourced these days.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. pinklightsabre · · Reply

            Ha ha, right. It’s all time and place. I have a good memory of first hearing that and that’s what sticks.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Admittedly, when it comes to hard rock, I’ve always been much more into Deep Purple (to me, Machine Head still is the ultimate hard rock album) and also Led Zeppelin. But undoubtedly, this is a compelling album. I agree “Iron Man” has a great guitar riff.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I worked with all these guys on the railroad. They used their given names.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So they weren’t paranoid, CB?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, they were extremely paranoid. They were supervisors.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “That’s MISTER Iomi to you, kid.”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Wasnt Ozzie the engineer on some sort of “crazy train”?

            Liked by 1 person

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