Friday, January 30, 2009

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Black Sabbath – Paranoid

Warner Brothers, 1971

Acquired: Love Garden, Used, Shotgun Room, 2008

Price: $2

One day when I was a kid, my dad stopped listening to Oldies 95 and started exclusively listening to 99.7 KY and 101.1 the Fox. This is the second chapter in my musical history, as it opened my eyes to a world of sick riffs and hard rock. I remember stealing money from my dad to go buy a new Led Zeppelin best of CD and I remember listening to “Stairway to Heaven” exclusively (as “Stairway to Heaven” had become my new favorite song (usurping Dion’s “Runaround Sue”) and I would patiently wait for them to play it at night on the radio, holed up in my room). I started taking guitar lessons and one of the first songs my instructor Lonnie taught me was “Iron Man.” I’m not, nor have I ever been, a metal guy, but I’m glad that it exists and I’m glad Black Sabbath pretty much opened the eyes of future metal dudes across the world. “War Pigs” stands as one of the greatest opening tracks of all time, like a thesis statement for a new movement. The grungy guitars, Bill Ward’s drums, and Ozzy babbling some crazy shit into the microphone. It just rules. “Rules.” I don’t know, that’s the only word I can use to describe it. Anyway, listening to this now is bringing back the old memories and reminding me how much I fucking love a SICK ASS GUITAR SOLO now and then, and how I will always throw up the horns whenever someone breaks one out.


  1. Yeah Sabbath had (and still has) that effect on me too. Just something about them that stands out more than other Heavy bands, even other Heavy METAL bands. Black Sabbath was considered "Heavy" back then when paranoid came out - but not "Metal". Weird how they've been forced into the title of "Fathers of Heavy Metal", when most of their stuff just sounds like dark, wickedly electric Blues. I think Bill Ward's drumming and Geezze Butler's bass hammering did just as much to catapult the band out of hum-drum-ness just as much as Toni Iommi's riffs did, and none of them were thinking "Metal" when they envisioned their band. I gather. But they DID want to sound mystical and powerful, rebellious and anti-war, AND anti flower-power. They didn't know peace & love in their industrial town of Birmingham, just hard knocks - and that's what they played - what they knew. Don't think they were trying to play Metal, just think they were trying to put their own hard-knock spin on the current movement to electrify Blues, such as Zep was doing at the time. Tony's riffs work good for Metal though, so maybe the dark sound found in Metal cn be attributed to him - but nothing else in my opinion. If anything, I think maybe Ozzy did more for the Metal movement with his solo career guitarist Randy Rhoads with his technical proficiency and Classical infusions, which is a staple of many MANY Metal bands back then and today.......Not saying you're saying Sabbath started Metal, but you did mention they opened the eyes of future Metal dudes. And so did Deep Purple with "Machine Head" and The Who believe it or not, and of course, Zeppelin.

  2. I should be SHOT for misspelling TonY Iommi's and GeezeR Butler's names, by the way.