September 18, 1970. Less than a year after releasing their groundbreaking debut album, Black Sabbath drops a follow-up that breaks even more ground.
Actually, let’s dig into that timeline a bit. Black Sabbath was released on February 13, 1970…in the U.K. The album didn’t see a U.S. release until June 1 of that year. So U.S. fans got the first two Black Sabbath albums in less than a 4-month span. It’s insane when you break it down like that; bands just don’t release albums that way anymore.
And if you’re open to hearing a “perfect album side” argument, I’d like to put forth side one of Paranoid for your consideration. “War Pigs” into “Paranoid” into “Planet Caravan” into “Iron Man.” Four perfect rock compositions. Four heavy metal templates. All on side one of Black Sabbath’s sophomore release. Again, it’s insane when you break it down like that.
Let’s celebrate 50 years of Paranoid with those four tracks back-to-back-to-back-to-back below. And while we’re at it, let’s dig into this ranking of the 30 best Ozzy-era Black Sabbath songs.