Black Sabbath is over but nostalgia never! The group’s rights holders unveil the 50th anniversary edition of Paranoidpivotal record of their discography
We are not going to tell you a story, nor repeat it indefinitely: Paranoid is the album that allowed Black Sabbath to sit – definitely here! – their throne as one of the most influential bands in metal history. Because the “War Pigs”, “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” were going to hook and win the ultimate jackpot, this so randomly accessible star called eternity.
What can we learn about it today via a box set designed to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary in style – 5 LPs or 4 CDs and a few well-intentioned “goodies”? Nothing fundamentally new, just confirmations, starting with this absolute osmosis between the riffs of Tiny Iommi, the “from beyond the grave” rhythms of the Geezer Butler-Bill Ward pair and the vocal incantations of Ozzy Osbourne. We will just have fun thinking while diving back into the twists and turns of these “Planet Caravan” or “Rat Salad” that, due to a misunderstanding, the adventure could have turned into more or less free jazz rather than heavy metal. We will still be surprised by the clarity that this rare quadraphonic mix from 1974 offers to the album, even without benefiting from the “gear” to take full advantage of it.
As for the two live archives from 1970 in Montreux and Brussels which complete the picture – and of quite astonishing audio quality despite a voice too forward for the Swiss recording at the famous casino of the seaside resort of Lake Geneva, it is their drought that we will remember above all, symbols of a desire to fight in “alone against the whole world” mode…
Paranoid, 50th Anniversary Edition by Black Sabbath, available here.