The second full-length album by the legendary British Hard Rock/Heavy/Doom Metal band.
"Paranoid" was not only Black Sabbath's most popular record (it was a number one smash in the U.K., and "Paranoid" and "Iron Man" both scraped the U.S. charts despite virtually nonexistent radio play), it also stands as one of the greatest and most influential Heavy Metal albums of all time.
"Paranoid" refined Black Sabbath's signature sound - crushingly loud, minor-key dirges loosely based on heavy Blues Rock - and applied it to a newly consistent set of songs with utterly memorable riffs, most of which now rank as all-time Metal classics. Where the extended, multi-sectioned songs on the debut sometimes felt like aimless jams, their counterparts on "Paranoid" have been given focus and direction, lending an epic drama to now-standards like "War Pigs" and "Iron Man" (which sports one of the most immediately identifiable riffs in Metal history). The subject matter is unrelentingly, obsessively dark, covering both supernatural/sci-fi horrors and the real-life traumas of death, war, nuclear annihilation, mental illness, drug hallucinations, and narcotic abuse. Yet Sabbath makes it totally convincing, thanks to the crawling, muddled bleakness and bad-trip depression evoked so frighteningly well by their music. Even the qualities that made critics deplore the album (and the band) for years increase the overall effect, the technical simplicity of Ozzy Osbourne's vocals and Tony Iommi's lead guitar vocabulary; the spots when the lyrics sink into melodrama or awkwardness; the lack of subtlety and the infrequent dynamic contrast. Everything adds up to more than the sum of its parts, as though the anxieties behind the music simply demanded that the band achieve catharsis by steamrolling everything in its path, including its own limitations. Monolithic and primally powerful, "Paranoid" defined the sound and style of Heavy Metal more than any other record in Rock history!
It was the band's only LP to top the UK Albums Chart until the release of "13" in 2013. "Paranoid" contains several of the band's signature songs, including "Iron Man", "War Pigs" and the title track, which was the band's only Top 20 hit, reaching number 4 in the UK charts. It is often regarded as one of the most quintessential and influential albums in Heavy Metal history.
In 1989, Kerrang! magazine listed the album at No. 39 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time".
In 1994, "Paranoid" was ranked number 3 in Colin Larkin's Top 50 Heavy Metal Albums.
In 1999, Q magazine included it in their list of The Best Gothic Albums of All Time.
In 1999, Vibe included it on their list of 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 130 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
In 2006, the album was ranked number 6 on Guitar World magazine's list of The Greatest 100 Guitar Albums of All Time.
In 2010, "Paranoid" was covered as part of the Classic Albums documentary series, which examines albums "considered the best or most distinctive of a well known band or musician or that exemplify a stage in the history of music".
Warner Bros. Records Inc., 1970/1986 (3104-2). Made in USA.
1. War Pigs / Luke's Wall 7:55
2. Paranoid 2:50
3. Planet Caravan 4:30
4. Iron Man 6:00
5. Electric Funeral 4:50
6. Hand Of Doom 7:10
7. Rat Salad 2:30
8. Jack The Stripper / Fairies Wear Boots 6:15
Total playing time: 42:00