“Classic Albums: Paranoid” by Black Sabbath

Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: “Classic Albums: Paranoid”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 6/29/2010
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.75/5

Continuing to deliver the often outstanding VH1 series “Classic Albums”, Eagle Vision delivers the goods on one of Heavy Metal’s most influential albums of all time – Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”. I could end my thoughts about this release right here because it is unlikely that any Metal heads exist that don’t want to know the thought and creative processes that went into making such a legendary album. Sabbath as a band had debuted the year before with their self-titled album and yes this was a killer but it was not until the release of the second LP “Paranoid” that the larger part of the world was made aware that something heavy this way comes. I’m sure that when the Sabs were composing this eventually classic release that they were simply trying to come up with a solid follow-up to their debut and as many a heavy music fan will attest, “Paranoid” is one of the greatest of all time when it comes down to it. If you disagree with me, take a look at your friends music collections whether they be LP, CD, pre-recorded tape and even those that might still have a working 8 Track. You will probably find the album “Paranoid” in more than 75% of the observed sample. That being said, it is amazing to listen and learn from this documentary as it presents views from the full lineup of Sabbath and each offers up their insight as to where their creative head was at the time they did it.

For the show we find both Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler in the studio and Iommi is seldom without his guitar slung around his neck. Off course the Ozzman speaketh and while he does offer some gems from his recollection, you have to really pay attention as Ozzy is not entirely easy to understand when he is not singing. I admit that while it was great to hear from those three chaps, a treat was hearing from the often quiet Bill Ward because we so seldom get his side of the story. The DVD takes the album apart track by track and this makes the individual parts a lot easier to learn about. In the end it makes sense as a whole body of work after you learn where the band was coming from for each tune. There is also vintage studio and live performance footage to enjoy which I think will make the home audience anxious for full on presentations like this in some fashion being released. It’s certainly not boring and should keep even the antsiest of Metal heads in one place as it runs. Trust me, I would know about that. What also makes this an interesting viewing experience is the almost 45 minutes of extra footage we get that was not presented in the original program. There are a bevy of features and among them is a mini-guitar lesson from Tony Iommi. If you think you know how to play Sabbath already, then see how you feel after the master lays it down on your screen. They discuss the first US tour at some length and talk about how the song “Paranoid” came to pass in the first place. It’s illuminating to say the least and what makes that all the more appealing is hearing Ozzy riff vocally off the guitar parts as he tries to come up with words that will eventually become a Metal tune of iconic stature. Wrapping it all up I had to say that one of the best parts about this release is that it reminds you of the relevance of the album and how strongly it still resonates some forty years after it was originally released. That’s an accomplishment without a doubt. At worst this video will make sure that you go out and purchase a copy of the Black Sabbath “Paranoid” album if you don’t already own one. Of course if this case scenario applies to you then you should strongly consider submitting your resignation paperwork to let you leave the Metal community before your peers get word of this affront.

Track Listing:
1. Black Sabbath
2. War Pigs
3. Iron Man
4. Planet Caravan
5. Electric Funeral
6. Hand Of Doom
7. Fairies Wear Boots
8. Paranoid

Official Website: http://www.blacksabbath.com
Official Website: http://www.ozzy.com

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