This month, we are looking at the era that spawned Glam Rock and Heavy Metal, and everything in-between
This week we are looking at the band that brought Metal to the masses, Black Sabbath, and their second album, ‘Paranoid’
Amongst the many things that the 70’s spawned, Black Sabbath are probably one of the biggest successes of this wonderful era. From the massive riffs that came from Tony Iommi, to the first-class vocals of Ozzy Osbourne, this Brummie 4 piece created something truly special throughout a truly amazing career.
This album contained some of the best, and most well known songs that came out of Sabbaths lengthy career. And amid controversy, this album was a huge success considering that it was only their second album, and that Metal was only just being brought into mainstream music. The album spent 18 weeks in the UK charts, reaching 4th at it’s highest point. Its success wasn’t so good in the US, as it only managed to reach 12th over their, due to it’s release being delayed by a year, as Sabbath’s self titled debut release was still in the charts at the time of the UK release. The main controversy that this album cause was when a girl was found hanged, with this album on her turntable. From this people believed that the albums ‘satanic’ themes caused the girl to commit suicide, however, guitarist Iommi issued a statement saying that the album causing her death was ‘totally ridiculous’.
Not only does this album feature some of Sabbath’s best songs, it also features some of the best guitar riffs in history, by one of the best guitarists in history, (whose success was nearly hindered during his early days working in a factory, where he took the tips of his fingers off whilst cutting sheet metal. Iommi then decided to create some false finger tips, so that he could still play). From the long, drawn out notes of ‘War Pigs, to the quick riffs of ‘Iron Man’, this album has two of the most instantly recognisable riffs in the world. These are the songs that made so many people pick a guitar up, and this music spoke to the masses, with anti-war songs, to the style of music that they played, this band had something for everyone, and although it is metal, it’s more Led Zep than it is Slayer for example, and I think that is what made the band so successful, and for so long as well.
Butler, Ozzy, Iommi and Ward came at the right time for the music that they were making, as it wasn’t long after the war, some people were still campaigning to band the bomb, and in Birmingham especially, people were just unhappy with the way things were, and for a band to be able to rise up, and tackle all of these issues in their first few albums took some real talent, but Sabbath had talent pouring out of them, and this album in particular shows it.