Monday, August 19, 2013
Black Sabbath's 1970 album Paranoid is as perfect a collection of genre defining, old school metal as you could possibly hope for. Signature hard driving, bend-the-strings guitar work by Tony Iommi and desperate vocals by Ozzy Osbourne. I recently reacquainted myself with its darkly powerful tunes after many years.
There is so much more on this album beyond the radio hits "Iron Man" and the title track. "War Pigs" was written about Vietnam but is as timeless as ever. "Hand of Doom" and "Fairies Wear Boots" address addiction. The latter tune has a lyric where a doctor tells the narrator to lay off the intoxicants. If you've read the autobiography " I Am Ozzy", you'll find that such advice wouldn't be heeded for some time.
Among the assaultive tunes is a real curiosity, "Planet Caravan", a mellow, near cosmic four minutes of bliss that doesn't require controlled substances for enjoyment. But check out Ozzy's eerie, filtered vocal and Bill Ward's nice conga thumping. It's my favorite track on this no filler album.