50 years ago today, Sept. 18, 1970, Black Sabbath released “Paranoid”!
“Paranoid” was the second studio LP for Black Sabbath and released just months after their debut album. It took only 6 days to record. The title track “Paranoid” was written after the album was finished. The record company wanted one more song to be the first single. Guitarist Tommi Iommi said “I sat there during the lunch break and came up with the main riff for ‘Paranoid'...And then when the other guys came back I played it to them and they thought it was good, so we recorded that just as a filler...then later the record company said, ‘Hey guys, this is the best song on the album. Let’s call the record Paranoid.'" Originally the album was going to be called “War Pigs” which explains the album cover.
“Paranoid” is considered an influential album in the development of a new genre of music - Heavy Metal. It features many of Black Sabbath’s signature songs, “War Pigs”, “Iron Man”, and the title track “Paranoid”. The album is ranked at No. 131 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It is included in the book “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die” at #177. The song “Iron Man” is #310 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time”.
Although “Paranoid” is a classic album, it took time for people to realize just how great it is. It was almost 8 months before the album went Gold, 15 years to go platinum, and 25 years for it to be certified 4x Platinum. Celebrate one of the greatest albums of all time and a major influence on Heavy Metal. “Paranoid” from Black Sabbath is 50 today!
-- Doug O’Brien