Paranoid – Black Sabbath – 1970

Consistently ranked as one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time, Black Sabbath’s 1970 release Paranoid is still performed in concert by both Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath.

an evolving project?

The core members of Black Sabbath are Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler but 27 other musicians can lay claim to have been part of the band since its formation in 1969. And that doesn’t include the many musicians who have guested with the band who include; Brian May and Rick Wakeman.

The foundation of the band, however, has always been the eccentric personality of Ozzy. Ozzy was with the band until April 1979 when, because of his heavy and disruptive drug and alchohol use, he was fired. That’s when Sharon Arden (soon to become Sharon Osbourne) took over the management of his career. It took off and he eventually sold over 55 million albums.

heavy metal pioneers

Black Sabbath are often credited with being the band that helped define heavy metal music. MTV ranked them as the Greatest Metal Band of all time. VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock placed them second behind Led Zeppelin. Rolling Stone bestowed on the band the title of heavy-metal kings of the ’70s.

Black Sabbath have sold over 70 million records worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Rolling Stone ranks them at #85 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time saying,

Black Sabbath are The Beatles of heavy metal music.


I remember distinctly when my brother brought home the album Paranoid – it must have driven our folks mad!

Released in 1970, it was the band’s only album to reach #1 on the UK charts. It contained three of their best known songs; Iron Man, War Pigs and Paranoid.

paranoid fax

  • Paranoid was the first single from Black Sabbath’s second album, Paranoid.
  • Paranoid was released in August 1970. It peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart, #61 on the US Singles Chart – but reached #1 in Germany.
  • Q magazine listed Paranoid at #11 on its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks of all time. VH1 placed it at #34 on their 40 Greatest Metal Songs, while Rolling Stone ranked it #250 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • A number of bands have covered Paranoid, including: Megadeth, Green Day, Queens of the Stone and Metallica.
  • In Finland, Paranoid has legendary status. Audiences find it funny request during concerts. No matter who the band or the style of music being played, the crowd will call out, “Soittakaa Paranoid!” (“Play Paranoid!”).
  • Paranoid lyrics.

paranoid – black Sabbath – 1970 – video

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