Review by Saxy S for Black Sabbath - Paranoid (1970) Review by Saxy S for Black Sabbath - Paranoid (1970)

Saxy S Saxy S / December 10, 2018 / 0

Well, here we are, the album that started it all. The album that began a new revolution in music. A revolution, which without, this website would never exist... at least if you believe the mainstream. Paranoid is actually Black Sabbath's second record, also released in the same year as the self titled debut.

Fifty years ladies and gentlemen. It has been half a century since Ozzy Osbourne formed Black Sabbath and changed the landscape of rock music forever. And I have very little to add to the discussion about this record that has not been said countless times across countless websites like Metal Academy, RateYourMusic, and other critic sources. So allow me to add some very short, but much needed dissent in relation to this album: it is not as good as the self titled debut.

Oh it starts excellent: the opening track "War Pigs/Luke's Wall" has a great opening riff and the siren before the opening is the perfect, ominous opening that an album of this magnitude needs. The album has songs that are sacred among the metal community: "Paranoid", "Iron Man", and "Electric Funeral", although "Hand of Doom" is my personal favourite and the one song that gets slept on by far too many.

The production on this record is quite solid even for its time. Lots of bass presence and the distortion of the guitars gives it the crunch without compromising the lower end. The vocals are iconic at this point and Ozzy's vocal timbre is still heard attempting to be replicated to this day.

But here is where my major gripe takes place. Paranoid is too commercialized. Now I will admit that accessibility is not always a bad thing, but it is quite clear to anyone who listens to the first record that this group doesn't want to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or some other music publication magazine; Long songs to go along with its doom like content. Paranoid meanwhile chooses shorter songs, more groovy tunes and clearly plays into a Led Zeppelin/Deep Purple vibe. For lack of a better term, this album falls by the wayside in comparison to the following bands that it influenced. S/T meanwhile was one of a kind.

I feel like Paranoid is remembered more fondly because of its singles rather than its influence. And I don't think that any of the singles on this record are bad; quite the contrary actually. But like with all styles of music, a root is not necessarily the prettiest thing to look at. It's not until you've watered it and let it grow that you witness your plants true beauty.

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