8 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

All eight of the original Black Sabbath albums featuring Ozzy Osbourne as singer have something special about them. It’s no coincidence, though, that the hardest-core fans center on the earliest ones, and many who find Paranoid too familiar or obvious prefer either the self-titled first album or Sabbath's third studio album, Master of Reality. In retrospect, this album is said to have inspired every stoner rock band worth talking about. On a few key songs (“Children of the Grave,” “Lord of This World,” and “Into the Void”), guitarist Tony Iommi downtuned his guitar by several tones to achieve a heavier sound, a practice now extremely common among guitarists in extreme metal subgenres. “Sweet Leaf,” starting with the sound of Iommi coughing, is a paean to marijuana. “After Forever” issues a pro-God message from group lyricist Butler, who was tired of defending Sabbath from "satanist" charges. “Children of the Grave” is anti-war. Most surprising is the heartfelt ballad “Solitude,” which includes Iommi on flute, piano, and fingerpicked guitar under a medieval-influenced melody line.

EDITORS’ NOTES

All eight of the original Black Sabbath albums featuring Ozzy Osbourne as singer have something special about them. It’s no coincidence, though, that the hardest-core fans center on the earliest ones, and many who find Paranoid too familiar or obvious prefer either the self-titled first album or Sabbath's third studio album, Master of Reality. In retrospect, this album is said to have inspired every stoner rock band worth talking about. On a few key songs (“Children of the Grave,” “Lord of This World,” and “Into the Void”), guitarist Tony Iommi downtuned his guitar by several tones to achieve a heavier sound, a practice now extremely common among guitarists in extreme metal subgenres. “Sweet Leaf,” starting with the sound of Iommi coughing, is a paean to marijuana. “After Forever” issues a pro-God message from group lyricist Butler, who was tired of defending Sabbath from "satanist" charges. “Children of the Grave” is anti-war. Most surprising is the heartfelt ballad “Solitude,” which includes Iommi on flute, piano, and fingerpicked guitar under a medieval-influenced melody line.

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