Yo Ho, WeRCatz here!
Coming up on September 18, 2020, Black Sabbath’s second album Paranoid will turn 50 years old. This album is well known as the album that cemented the emergence and existence of the genre now known as Heavy Metal. It was recorded in one week between June 16 and June 21 in 1970.
What else can be said about this album? Some of Sabbath’s memorable songs are in this album: “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and the title track “Paranoid.” They are still performed today!
Leaning away from the counterculture lyrics typical of the time, Sabbath sang songs about how the grass is not always greener on the other side. While performing at two US Army bases, the band witnessed the horrors of what the war in Vietnam DID to US soldiers that made them want to escape reality by using drugs, hence the song “Hand of Doom.” “Paranoid” is a song about depression. “Planet Caravan” is not a love song but rather exploring a romantic moment in a spaceship with your loved one.
Controversy is always present when new music emerges. For instance, a US nurse committed suicide and Paranoid was present on her turntable; Sabbath was not to blame according to the end of an inquest. Even though there are satanic lyrics and drug references, the band explained that, although there are drugs and satan in the songs, the message was to avoid drugs and beware of doing evil.
Paranoid is still popular today as it was 50 years ago. Heavy Metal would not have existed if it weren’t for the popular success of Black Sabbath’s first two albums.