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Black Sabbath - Paranoid CD (album) cover


Black Sabbath


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4.30 | 898 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album belongs to my youth. I am almost born with it. And from time to time (like this evening, ooups, night already) I spin it with lots of nostalgia.

In December 1970, I purchased four singles that will have an enormous influence on my musical taste for some years : "Whole Lotta Love" / "Livin', Lovin' Maid", "Black Night / Speed King", "See Me, Feel Me / Overture" and "Parano´d / Rat Salad". I spent days listening to both sides of these discs endlessly. Until I got "Abraxas" (my first album) in January 1971. I was not yet twelve.

When you listen (or will listen maybe after "Sabbath" 's inclusion on PA which I won't discuss in any review but if have time I will post my point of view on the forum about it) to the first part (side at the time) of this incredible album, there is only one word available : briliant. The strenght of the tracks is phenomenal. Three magnificent and super powerful pieces of music of which "Parano´d" will ALWAYS a special place in my heart. Bearing in mind that it was almost regarded as a leftover and written in less than half an hour it is even more impressive. I have always been nuts about it (and I still very much enjoy it).

But what to say about "War Pigs" and "Iron Man" ? The absolute heavy metal songs. And believe me, the versions available on this studio recording are edulcorated. they are featured in a rawer, more destructive version on some live "non-official" album like their Olympia appearance on December 20 or the Fillmore West on November 27th (both 1970 of course). The best experience is to have a listen. But be prepared. Heavy-metal to the bones. But great one (if ever this concept can be admitted on PA).

Actually the only number I didn't like from that side was the psychedelic "Planet Caravan". Once in a while, I did listen to it but most of the time I just skipped it. I was really in the heavy stuff while listening to "Sabbath" in those very remote days. I have another opinion about it now but still, it is my least fave of the whole.

The B-side was almost on par as well with two fabulous songs like "Electric Funeral" and the fantastic "Fairies Wear Boots". The later being a bit more melodic than the rest of the album (but in terms of melody, this was not difficult). "Rat Salad" is Ward's showcase but not only. Great riff (Ó la Page).

"Hand Of Doom" is also a song combining soft (almost acoustic) passages with heavy ones (maybe a "Led Zep" influence - remember "What Is and What Should Never Be" or "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" (even if the latter was a cover of a ...Joan Baez song). Very effective as well.

Sentimentally, I will give the maximum rating to this album. It is superior to their debut one and actually it won't be equalled neither by "Sabbath" nor by any heavy metal band after this release IMHHO.

Prog-relation is of course very scarce here (if you exclude the spacey "Caravan" stuff, there is actually nothing related to prog).

It will peak at the top of the UK chart and will reach number 12 in the US.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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