Day 9/10 Album Challenge: Black Sabbath – “Paranoid” (1970) is not paranoid about our 9th pick in our 10-day album challenge, Black Sabbath’s sophomore album, Paranoid (1970). Paranoid altered rock and roll’s musical landscape and condemned it a life of eternal damnation. It also influenced us too.

I know, I know! Why pick the most obvious of the Black Sabbath albums? It’s true it lacks the doomy gloominess of the first album, their debut self-titled “Black Sabbath” (1969) or the prog-iness of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973). Indeed, if you were going to pick the Sabbath album with the “best” songs that are less popular for lack of radio play, it would probably be Masters of Reality (1971). However, Paranoid shouldn’t be overlooked just because it’s good and the most popular album, that would be weird. Awesome riffs abound, simplistic and hypnotic, that influenced a whole new generation of players, including myself.

It was one of the first cassettes I ever owned and was my first indoctrination into world of Sabbath and Heavy Metal music in general. However, Paranoid crosses over seamlessly into the Classic Rock canon. Whether its the hard breaks of “War Pigs” (in Ozzy’s unwavering use of “masses” to rhyme with “masses”) or even the title track, “Paranoid”, which was willed into existence (conjured) during a 20 minute jam, as a last minute addition and eventually became the album-defining title track.

“Paranoid” is featured on Cottage Country Vol. 10:

Here is the BBC’s Classic Albums for Paranoid. Worth a watch!

The album also includes one of the more unusual but fascinating Sabbath offerings, “Planet Caravan“. It is Black Sabbath at their most psychedelic, dripping with echo but not without some blues-y elements as well in Tony Iommi’s guitar solo. Reminiscent of Stooges’ “We Will Fall” drone jam on Stooges’ debut release that year in 1969, as well. It is also the third track on the album. See, it was a prerequisite at the time to a have a cool “come down” song for the 3rd track.

“Planet Caravan” is featured on Cottage Country Mix Vol. 22:

Ending the album is “Fairies Wear Boots”, a playful but epic song with winding instrumentals, stellar drum fills with great changes and heavy blues riffs. Hallucinatory lyrics and insight into the demented mind of a young Ozzy Osbourne. The song begins with “…going home late last night” so I thought it would be a natural fit for Cottage Country 4 (the first “party night” in series).

“Fairies Wear Boots” is featured on Cottage Country Mix Vol. 4:

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