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Black Sabbath

Classic Albums: Paranoid DVD

Review by Gary Hill

If you think you know everything you could know about the Paranoid album by Black Sabbath, I challenge you to watch this and test it. Frankly, this DVD is fascinating. It’s packed full of demonstrations of how the songs are constructed and also explanations from the members of the band of how the disc was created. It’s not restricted entirely to Sabbath’s second disc, either. In fact, they talk about the formation of the band and how some of the material on the first album came together.

As far as the Paranoid album itself, there were two things I found particularly interesting. First, Sabbath wanted to call the album “War Pigs,” and that’s what the picture on the cover is all about. Warner Brothers, though, felt that, with the Vietnam war raging, there was no way they were going to release an album called “War Pigs” and they renamed it “Paranoid.”

Secondly, the song “Paranoid” itself, arguably Sabbath’s best known piece, was an afterthought. The producer told them they needed one more song, three to four minutes in length, to finish things out, and they wrote it in twenty minutes to meet that obligation.

In addition I found that listening to the original vocal run throughs on some of the tracks, complete with the original, basically improvised, lyrics was interesting. All in all, this is quite a cool DVD and highly recommended.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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