Black Sabbath: Paranoid (2012 Remaster)


Released September 18, 1970 (UK) – Released January 7, 1971 (US)

Paranoid is the second studio album by the English rock band Black Sabbath. Released in September 1970, it was the band’s only LP to top the UK Albums Chart until the release of 13 in 2013. Paranoid contains several of the band’s signature songs, including “Iron Man”, “War Pigs” and the title track, which was the band’s only Top 20 hit, reaching number 4 in the UK charts. It is often cited as an influential album in the development of heavy metal music.

Paranoid was originally titled War Pigs, but the record company allegedly changed it out of fear of a backlash from supporters of the ongoing Vietnam War. Additionally, the band’s label felt the title track was more marketable as a single. Ozzy Osbourne states in I Am Ozzy that the name change had nothing to do with the Vietnam War, and was entirely due to the record company deciding the album would be easier to sell if it was named after the single, which had already had significant success by the time the album was released, reaching number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. It was too late, however, to alter the artwork. Joe Smith, who was executive vice-president at Warner Bros. from 1970 to 1972, told Classic Albums that the rest of Warner Bros. didn’t want anything to do with them: “We were in the midst of the war ourselves in this country and what their reasoning was not that important to me. I knew we weren’t going to call it ‘War Pigs’.” Regarding the song “Paranoid”, Smith recalls, “It was on an acetate. I remember playing it and turning the sound way up and shaking the whole building … I said ‘I think that’s the breakthrough album. I don’t understand it but that ‘Paranoid’ sounds like a great title for an album and a great title for a single.'” “That album title had nothing to do with the sleeve,” Osbourne explained to Phil Alexander in 1998. “What the fuck does a bloke dressed as a pig with a sword in his hand got to do with being paranoid, I don’t know, but they decided to change the album title without changing the artwork.”

The original UK vinyl release was in a gatefold sleeve featuring a black-and-white photo of the band, posed outdoors on a grassy hill, and was their first appearance on album artwork. To spread the original picture over the gatefold, Ozzy Osbourne was separated from the other members of the band and a section of the grass was copied and dropped into the gap.

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Cover photo courtesy Rhino Records

Track Listing

  1. Luke’s Wall / War Pigs
  2. Paranoid
  3. Planet Caravan
  4. Iron Man
  5. Electric Funeral
  6. Hand of Doom
  7. Rat Salad
  8. Fairies Wear Boots / Jack the Stripper

Writing Credits
All selections written by Iommi/Osborne/Butler/Ward, except Evil Woman by Wiegard/Wiegard/Waggenor Warning by Aynsley Dunbar

Other Credits

  • Tony Iommi – Lead Guitar & Keyboards
  • Geezer Butler – Bass
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals (Spelled Ossie Osbourne on the original print)
  • Bill Ward – Drums
  • Produced by Roger Bain (for Tony Hall Enterprises)
  • Engineered by Tony Allom & Brian Humphries
  • Recorded at Regent Sound & Island Studios
  • Original design & photography by “Keef”
  • 1996 Remaster by Ray Staff @ Whitfield St Studios
  • 1996 Design, booklet notes, & sleeves by Hugh Gilmour
  • 2009 Remaster by Andy Pearce @ Masterpiece
  • 2009 Reissue Coordination: Steve Hammonds & Jon Richards
  • 2009 Sleeve Notes by David Wells
  • 2009 Digital Tape transfer by Marc Beard
  • 2012 Digital Remaster by Andy Pearce & Matt Wortham
  • 2012 Vinyl Mastering by Greg Moore @ Masterpiece


  • The original name of this album was to be War Pigs, but it was changed due to perceived hostility the album might have gotten due to the Vietnamese War.
  • The original name of the song War Pigs was Walpurgis, and had totally different lyrics.
  • There were music videos for the songs “Iron Man” & “Paranoid” culled from the Beat Club footage.
  • The song Paranoid appeared in a slightly altered format in the arcade videogame “Rock & Roll Racing” along with the songs Born to Be Wild & Bad to the Bone.
  • Yes, it’s Ozzy singing Planet Caravan.
  • Geezer Butler had this to say to a fan via email when asked what bass guitars he played on the first two Black Sabbath records:  “Hello Steve, on the first two albums I used a P-bass. On the first album i used a Laney 70 watt guitar amp through a Park 4×12 cabinet [it only had three speakers in it- couldn’t afford to buy a 4th speaker]. Strings were probably old Rotosound, as I think that was the only choice in those days. They were roundwound but were so old they probably sounded like flatwounds. I’m not sure what amplification I used on Paranoid, but it was probably Laney, and newer Rotosounds. Thank you for your interest, Geezer.”
  • The song “Paranoid” was the last one written for the album, and was intended as a filler song.  Only took about 25 minutes to write the whole thing.
  • The album’s first recording session was June 1970.
  • The original working title for the song “Iron Man” was “Iron Bloke”.


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