Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)

Generals gathered in their masses

The second album from Sabbath was released just a few months after the first. It follows the lead by the debut album with a stellar first side with three great songs and a filler. The second side this is where this album differs to the debut album. Let’s review!

There is something with a song that starts with sirens wailing in the distance. I love it. Pink Floyd used a siren during “Eclipse” at early performances of “The Dark Side of the Moon”, more than a year before the album proper was released. It is fantastic, and I for one think they should have used it on the studio album. But I digress…

“War pigs” is brutal and magnificent with an angry anti-war statement by the lyrics. “Paranoid” is great but one of those songs you almost have heard too much, you know? No? Yeah, it’s great too, just kidding.

“Planet caravan” is a funny change of pace, sure it is a filler but it is quite enjoyable nevertheless. “Iron Man” is nowadays forever connected with Robert Downey Jr’s character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as we love Tony Stark we love this song.

The second side of this album is also strong. “Electrical funeral” reinforces the heavy atmosphere. “Hand of doom” is a flowing heavy rock song with some great singing by Ozzy. It’s full of pleasure. 

“Rat salad”, the instrumental track, is boring as fuck. What is it with all these drum solos in the seventies? It’s not quality of life to have to listen to! “Fairies wear boots” is not only a hilarious name, it’s also a great ending to the album. It is groovy and dynamic and one of the best tracks on the album.

My rating: 7/10

Side A:

  1. War pigs
  2. Paranoid
  3. Planet caravan
  4. Iron man

Side B:

  1. Electric funeral
  2. Hand of doom
  3. Rat salad
  4. Fairies wear boots 

Best songs: “War pigs”, “Paranoid”, “Iron Man” and “Fairies wears boots”

Released on September 18, 1970

Media: Reissued, gatefold, 2015

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