One thing I love about the 1st Black Sabbath album was the fact that it sounds nothing like what they did later on in their career. If anything, it sounded like distorted blues with a few songs having dissonant riffs. Paranoid starts the 'classic' phase of Black Sabbath, and while every song on this is good, there are a few things that bother me.
1)Whoever did the remastering needs to be slapped in the face. The album really needs to be turned up in order to hear it, and the drums are so...distant. It's annoying. The production is almost as bad as Metallica's And Justice For All.
2)Since this is the popular album, I guess I have to talk about Iron Man. I am fine with this song, but it seems that you can't talk about Black Sabbath seriously without some punk middle schooler with a backwards cap and a Limp Bizkit shirt saying "Iron Man! Ozzy rules!" So, that pisses me off.
All problems aside, this isn't a bad album. The lyrics are better than any of the pretensious lyrics off the 1st album. Some songs are about Vietnam, heroin, and hoodlums. Some are just as dumb as the 1st album. However, there is a little more variety. Planet Caravan is a nice acoustic trippy song, and Rat Salad shows off the awesome drumming of Bill Ward.
If you want to start your Black Sabbath collection, than be my guest, get Paranoid. Just don't say it's their best.