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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Amazing
I too have owned this album multiple times. As much as I love this album I always found the sound quality really poor unless being played through a really good sound system. I was waiting for them to reissue this for years but gave up after a while. I was excited to hear about the black box remasters but had no interest in all the recordings. Finally they released the...
Published on Dec 12 2011 by BoBo

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit overrated, but the songs are good.
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...
Published on Aug. 19 2003 by Nick Bobraton

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5.0 out of 5 stars a call of the dark, March 15 2003
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
I am 49 now, so I was 17 when this album went out, and when I heard it first time. I still remember the thrill and the thought "it's the fullest energy and expression rock music can achieve". While I always was rather into prog and experiments and loved Moody Blues, ELP, Wishbone Ash but also Can or Captain Beefheart I remember I also loved all these early heavy rock masterpieces like Zep, Purple or Budgie. But over time (with some exceptions) I found most of them rather irritating and hard to go through as a whole. Paranoid is an exception, and it is one of these very few hard rock/metal albums I still listen to quite often and almost with the same thrill. Of course, it is hard to clearly explain why you feel this way or another (you simply can't describe emotions, true?), but let us bring some arguments in favour of this album:
- it's very experimental and ahead of it's time. Dark and ominous, not only it is a blueprint for all later heavy metal (which I personally do not care so much for), but also for gothic and hard electro sound, all music dealing with dark, sinister themes. If not directly musically, then at least spiritually, Paranoid set the new boundaries for all these experiments. I am pretty sure, every musician on the dark side had to listen to this masterpiece and appreciate it.
- The greatest riffs ever. If rock music IS riffs, there are plenty of these here. And all so cool, so memorable. And often one song is based on many cool riffs! Paranoid (song) or War Pigs are the coolest riffs in rock history, no Zep or Purple album can match THESE riffs.
- Relentless, driving rhythm section of Butler/Ward. While critics argue Jones/Bonham or Glover/Paice were more profound technically and it might be even true, Butler and Ward with Iommi's guitar are the most CONSISTENT here. There is no moment of [bad performance]! Some complain about Rad Salad and drum solo! But it's short and very cool, never leads to excess!
All in all the best hard rock/metal album ever, and maybe the only you really need :-)
Let's rate the individual songs:
War Pigs - maybe the best here. Complex, multipart dark rocker with bouncy rhythms and countless great riffs. Everybody's got to love it. Maybe the lyrics are too straightforward sometimes (and the rhymes like masses ....masses sound a bit funny), but, man, it's an anti-war hymn. It must impress and do it straight! Are Bob Dylan's anti-war hymns so complex?
So I actually like these lyrics. Enough said 10/10
Paranoid - THAT's riff. Even hard radio overplay did not destroy this song. A classic 10/10
Planet Caravan - another great, great song. I love the eerie, cosmic feel here. The lyrics are great, reflecting the feelings we all experience while watching the stars and the moon under the cloudless sky, everything so quiet as we and the Earth travel through the endless universe... I love the strange, distorted vocals, and fine, soft, masterful jazz guitar solo near the end. 10/10
Iron Man - another radio classic. It's another complex, multipart song, but not the favourite of mine. Maybe it's overplay, maybe the stupid, cartoonish story reminds me too much of cheap science fiction (I hate cheap science fiction while I love GOOD SF). Maybe the main melody and rhythmic pattern sound all a bit [silly] to me...Still a classic, so can't be less than 9/10
Electric Funeral - the most ominous song here. Slow, sludgy, gloomy. A warning against nuclear disaster, very suggestive, impressing picture of final extermination of mankind.
Not a classic, but good song nevertheless 8/10
Hand of Doom - a song against heroin abuse. I like the first, slow part, but the song becomes a little bit overlong in the middle. Good, impressive lyrics. Another good song 9/10
Rat Salad - mostly, a drum solo. A short one, don't be afraid... And a good one 7/10
Fairies Wear Boots - another favourite. Great bluesy intro, funny, tongue-in -cheek story, great riff." ...So I went to the doctor, see what he could give me. He said, "Son, son you've gone too far 'Cos smokin' an trippin' is all that you do". Yeah" Oh, Yeah 10/10
A desert island album, must own. Go buy it now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You're so Paranoid if you don't have this album, Jan. 25 2003
Darian Dennison (Walla Walla, WA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
Of all the Black Sabbath albums I like, Paranoid is my #1 favorite, it has all the immortal classic anthems and I'm going to rate it by one song at a time.
War Pigs (7:55)
A real badass song about the Vietnam and the intro part is startling. A+
Paranoid (2:50)
Black Sabbath's hard rock/metal anthem and it became the band's only U.K. Top 20 single hitting #4 on the U.K. Billboard Singles Chart and it was originally intended as the filler track. A+
Planet Caravan (4:30)
A slow moving song which doesn't sound like Ozzy at all, if you first heard of this song and didn't know who it was, don't be fooled, not a bad track and alot better than their 1980's/90's stuff) B+
Iron Man (6:00)
My all time favorite Black Sabbath song and their other hard rock/metal anthem, it's got wicked guitar solos and drum beats, I've been a huge fan of this song since I was 12 years old. A+
Electric Funeral (4:50)
One of Sabbath's most underrated anthems of the early 70's, and it has the vein of 'Iron Man'. A+
Hand of Doom (7:10)
At first, I didn't really care for this song but it'll grow on you after a while, it's a tale about drug abuse. A+
Rat Salad (2:30)
Not a bad instrumental, which really sounds like the intro to 'Fairies Wear Boots'. B
Fairies Wear Boots (6:15)
Another tale about drug abuse and one of Black Sabbath's well known anthems, too bad that it couldn't be on the box set 'Under Wheels of Confusion'. A
If you're a rock/metal fan and want just one album, get this album cause it really kicks [behind], as a matter of fact, this album is worth it for 'Paranoid'/'Iron Man' alone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE seminal metal album., Jan. 25 2003
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
In the beginning i.e. 1970-71, there were three rock legends out of England breaking out onto the scene--Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath. The early 70's were a great era for rock fans, and Paranoid is one of its best recordings.
Black Sabbath was by far the darkest, most controversial, and most metallic of this new British invasion. With Iommi's sludgy riffs, Ozzy's dark vocals, and lyrics about the evils of war, nuclear devastation, and drugs, Black Sabbath made critics of its time scratch their heads and say, "What is THIS stuff?!?"
The answer: Revolutionary. Black Sabbath was the original heavy metal band, and to this day few other bands are able to craft anything like the dark and oppressive mood of this album--Black Sabbath's second release.
There is no filler here. Every song is strong, from the antiwar epic War Pigs/Luke's Wall to the fast riffing and cool fuzzbox solo of Paranoid, from Planet Caravan's blues/jazz influence to the world-famous chords of Iron Man and the final acid-inspired freakout of Jack The Ripper/Fairies Wear Boots--all of it is classic. I personally rate Paranoid as Sabbath's best effort, with Masters Of Reality a close second.
If you're a fan of classic rock or heavy metal, your collection is not complete without this timeless release. Period.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still Sounds Pretty Cool To Me..., Nov. 13 2002
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
While better musicians, lyrics and production techniques have revolutionized rock in the 3 decades since "Paranoid", the simple fact is that rock music keeps returning to it's roots over and over again. This LP, with it's rudimentary riffs, slow sludgy pacing and cryptic lyrics has been copied a million times and with good reason, nothing else in rock/metal sounded it like in the early 70's and it inspired thousands of teens to pick up guitars, start bands and talk openly about their feelings of alienation. "Iron Man" is the first song I learned on guitar and Geezer Butler's melodic bass sound on the title track made me want to learn bass. "Planet Caravan" is downright ambient with Butler's bass right up front, and it's languid arrangement is actually quite relaxing. The playing, singing and lyrics here are far from virtuostic, but they still sound awfully cool to me. Every genre' has to start somewhere, and "Paranoid" is a great starting place for metal and all it's admirers. A Classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Work From Original Heavy Metal Royalty, Oct. 1 2002
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
Before the original kings of heavy metal, Black Sabbath, suffered a Ramones-like fate (obscured by the bands who ripped them off), they were stunning the late sixties-early seventies musical wasteland of Beatles bubblegum pop with their industrial guitar-driven swirl of reality. As if their self-titled debut wasn't enough to establish Black Sabbath as an innovative act, 1970's "Paranoid" confirms this with a vengeance.
It may be true that, if "Paranoid" had been recorded twenty years later by one of today's less-redeeming metal acts, it would be nothing special. And maybe that's one of the reasons this eight-song album is so fresh--Black Sabbath displays their raw yet tightly arranged wall of hard sound, setting the stage for the metal acts to come (how unfortunate the acts that followed were so bland). Although tracks like 'Hand Of Doom,' 'Rat Salad' and the brilliantly chilling 'Electric Funeral' may appear quite tame by today's standards, they are actually conceptually original and very redeeming musically--when compared to today's offerings, but especially to the radio-friendly pop of Sabbath's day. Tunes about war ('Luke's Wall'), madness (the title track) and the descent into delusion of a dope fiend ('Fairies Wear Boots') are made perfect with burgeoning madman Ozzy Osbourne's maniacal voice, guitar hero Tony Iommi's skill, and the dark rhythms of Geezer Butler and Bill Ward. And of course, there's also the tranquil journey of 'Planet Caravan,' balanced by the infamous guitar riffs of 'Iron Man.'
Maybe it is for the better that Black Sabbath was overshadowed by the countless unredeeming metal acts that followed their example--after all, at least it's made us appreciate the brave originality of "Paranoid" even more than we would had it been released today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Let there be Metal!, Sept. 27 2002
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
Paranoid is propably Black Sabbath's ultimate achievement. Maybe it is the ultimate achievement of metal the past 30 years. If you just started to listen to metal, this album is a must. If you are an old dog, then you already know what I am talking about.
Black Sabbath was at the time, years ahead of their time. They delivered a very different look on the world, than was usualy present in the musical releases of the day.
Where most musicians sung about "Picking flowers in the rain", Black Sabbath sung:"Finished with my woman 'cause she couldn't help me with my mind". Sabbath had an entirely different, much darker(more realistic?) view on the world around them.
I think most metal fans will agree with me that Sabbath are the godfathers of heavy metal, and that their contribution to heavy metal is beyond measure.
The albums includes immortal classics like War Pigs, Paranoid and Iron Man. But the fact remains that all the tracks on Paranoid is of very high quality. The jazzy and trippy Planet Caravan, and the evil Electric Funeral and Fairies Wear boots are all top notch.
Honestly it is one of the few albums without any fillers. Everything on this album is relevant, there is not too much or too little.
If you only buy one heavy metal album ever, this should be it. But after hearing it I don't think you will be able to stop yourself from buying more...but do yourself the favour of at least getting this one
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5.0 out of 5 stars in the beginning., Sept. 18 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
it would be hard to deny the fact that black sabbath invented heavy metal. paranoid is evidence enough for me.
not to take anything away from their self-titled debut, but this is the first black sabbath album i ever heard. i was probably 7 or 8 the first time i remember hearing it. my dad was playing a tape of it in the car. i still have not gotten over the feeling that this album gave me. i imagine thats what sets this album apart for me. all i ever remembered hearing in the house growing up was progressive rock such as yes, ELP, styx, etc. needless to say, paranoid was a shock to my young ears. paranoid inspired me to pick up the guitar. i guess it inspired everyone to pick up a guitar, come to think of it. its really hard for me to put this album into perspective (since i was born in 1979). there was absolutely nothing of this sort out at the time. as much as it has affected my life, its hard to imagine what this felt like in the early 70's. everything else is secondary to this album, as far as heavy metal goes. dont deny your roots.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I AM NOT A HEAVY METAL FAN- STILL LOVE THIS ONE!, Aug. 15 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
1. War Pigs/Luke's Wall
2. Paranoid
3. Planet Caravan
4. Iron Man
I was drivng to Atlanta about ten years ago and for some reason a radio station played side one of the "album" PARANOID. My first reaction was "Black Sabbath- bid deal." I wasn't sure at the time, but I "thought" I liked some Ozzy Osborne tunes. Anyway, I listened, not expecting to be impressed but hoping
"War Pigs" is a little pretentious and overblown, but the strong playing puts you in the mood for what follows: "Paranoid." This is a fine, rocking song that still moves me, even though it has been played often on the radio. "Planet Caravan" is a real treat!
It has a strange 60s sound to it with the hippy-like singing (is that really Ozzy?) and funky drums. I LOVE IT! Finally, the climax song that more than made my day when I first heard this on the highway: "Ironman" Nuff Said!
There are four more songs on the CD, but honestly I have been listening to this CD for a month and everytime I play it, I hit the buttons to repeat the first four songs again. Ozzy Rules!
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5.0 out of 5 stars It Was Harder Then, Aug. 9 2002
Lonnie E. Holder "The Review's the Thing" (Columbus, Indiana, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
30+ years ago "Paranoid" was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world, the second album for Black Sabbath after their debut album "Black Sabbath". The late 60s and early 70s were a great time for experimentation, and rock was heading all over the place as various groups pushed the limits of what rock could be and where it could lead.
Paranoid remains a good album after 30+ years, a remarkable feat. "War Pigs" and "Iron Man" are considered primers for metal music, which we called hard rock in those ancient days, with a very basic bass, lead guitar, and drums sound, and the gritty, earthy voice of the Oz-man.
Of course some parents and many religious leaders pounced on the group's name and some of their lyrics. On the other hand, the current-day version of these same people complain that Harry Potter promotes witchcraft.
The lyrics in this album are mild, almost mainstream by today's standards. Furthermore, the lyrics are not all that breakthrough or novel, but when the lyrics are coupled with the music and Ozzy's voice, you have what was in 1971 a breakthrough album that sold very well, in spite of nearly zero radio play (except on the infamous, but not really, underground FM stations).
What else is on this album? "Planet Caravan" is a spacey tune that is a holdover from the psychedelic rock of the late 60s. I enjoy this song with its synthesized voice and mellow mood. "Electric Funeral" is another hard rocker in the vein of "War Pigs" and "Iron Man". The transition in this song is solid hard rock, bridging a relatively slow beginning to a brief lead guitar solo that takes off into a screamer...and then back to the slow beat of the intro. Ozzy is nearly singing a dirge at the beginning and end of the song, but that's also the point of the song.
"Hand of Doom" starts with the bass, adding drums and then Ozzy's voice. After the intro the lead guitar thrusts into the song and Ozzy start putting himself into the song. The song switches back and forth between the bass/drums/mellow Oz to heavy bass, lead guitar, drums and Ozzy's full voice. Then the song suddenly changes so that it's almost like a completely different song, another hard rocker that may be the most metal song on the CD. Then about two minutes from the end of the song the speed slows down in a reprise of the beginning. By the way, this song is about drugs, but the images are not positive.
Next you've got "Rat Salad". This song is an instrumental, excellent drum work (turn up the bass!), setting you up for the last song.
I love "Fairies Wear Boots". I realize the lyrics are borderline corny, but on the other hand here's Ozzy singing about somebody who's clearly having a trip (chemically induced). Fortunately for many of us, the song is all the trip we need and the chemistry set is not required. This song is fun and good and has excellent riffs and bass.
Music has changed a lot in 30 years. But some things remain the same. This album is one of them. I hope I enjoy it 30 years from now as much as I enjoy it today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD by One of My Favorite Bands, June 18 2002
This review is from: Paranoid (Audio CD)
I am a big fan of "Black Sabbath" and believe it or not, this is the first compact disc (CD) that I've bought by the great group. When I listen to music I look for great tunes, awesome instrumentals, and great voices. With this "Black Sabbath" CD I got everything that I was looking for. All of the songs on this marvelous album are wonderful and will be listened to over and over again.
Ozzy Osbourne does a great job with the singing part of the songs but all of the instrumentals really make this album stand out from the albums of other bands. I enjoy most of the songs on this album and they are a true pleasure to listen to. My favorite songs on this great album are "Iron Man," "War Pigs (Luke's Wall)," "Paranoid," and "Electric Funeral."
The actual recordings of the songs are done very well but I had to blast my radio to really here the songs, which isn't really a big problem as you will really feel the songs. If you listen to the lyrics of the songs you will find out that all of the songs have a true meaning. "Black Sabbath's Paranoid" is a truly great CD that should definitely belong in everybody's music library. I look forward to buying more of "Black Sabbath's" recordings in the future.
Happy Listening!
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Paranoid by Black Sabbath (Audio CD - 1987)
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