Time for some heavier stuff in my favourite 50 songs list, with 1970’s “Paranoid” from metal alchemists Black Sabbath.
Probably Black Sabbath’s most renowned song, and this album orientated act’s only UK top 10 single (reaching number 4 in 1970), “Paranoid” didn’t take long to become a rock standard, and is arguably the first proper mainstream heavy metal hit. And it’s easy to see why: Tony Iommi’s amazing riff propelled by the chugging rhythms of Geezer Butler and Bill Ward topped off by Ozzy Osbourne’s yearning vocals all combine to make this an irresistible record for metal fans and pop kids alike.
Although far from a Black Sabbath obsessive myself, “Paranoid”’s parent second album, which also featured two other heavy hitters in “War Pigs” and “Iron Man”, is my favourite collection of their no-nonsense metallic groove. Black Sabbath and Ozzy would obviously have a fairly chequered later history (and from watching early Sabbath clips, it’s quite to hard to believe that Ozzy is the same person familiar to 90s TV reality watchers) but listening to their formative material, it’s easy to hear why the sludgy heaviness of early Black Sabbath remains so magnetic and influential.
VIDEOS AND OTHER STUFF
- “Paranoid” from TOTP in 1970 on YouTube
- “Paranoid” video on YouTube
- Other great Black Sabbath songs that just missed out include: War Pigs, Iron Man.
- “Paranoid” is featured on my 379 to 50: 26 to 50 Spotify playlist
- Also featured on my 379: Rock Spotify playlist
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