For our Day 9 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 self-titled debut, “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 aren’t as 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.
Get “Paranoid” and listen to Sabbath on Cottage Country Vol. 10:
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, that eventually became the album-defining title and track.
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 for legendary late 60’s albums to a have a cool “come down” song for the 3rd track.
“Planet Caravan” is featured on Cottage Country Mix Vol. 22:
Rounding off the album is “Fairies Wear Boots“, a playful but epicly heavy song with a winding instrumental, stellar drum fills and tempo changes and, of course, heavy blues riffs. Also, the hallucinatory inspired lyrics of Ozzy Osbourne that offer an insight into his imaginative and demented mind. The song begins with “…going home late last night” so we thought it would be a natural fit for Cottage Country Mix Vol. 4 (the first “party night” in our series).
“Fairies Wear Boots” is featured on Cottage Country Mix Vol. 4: