Series looking at the creation of classic albums goes behind Black Sabbath's 1970 album Paranoid, which came to define the sound and style of heavy metal.
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THIS PROGRAMME CONTAINS SOME STRONG LANGUAGE
The first record to turn me on was She Loves You,
and I then I wanted to be a Beatle,
but I ended up being in Black Sabbath.
# Finished with my woman
# Cos she could not help me with my mind
# People think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time... #
The music is very honest, and what you see is what you get,
with our music, and it was a very basic,
# Politicians hide themselves away
# They only started the war... #
'The stuff that we were writing was valid,
'and was in the right direction.'
Because it was done live without any trendy effects or anything,
and there wasn't any back then, it still stands up, because it's like listening to a live band.
It was just like, put it down there, play your hearts out,
play everything you've got and put it onto a piece of tape.
# Having a good time, baby
# But that won't last
# Your mind's all full of things... #
It's this tough resilient music and you can dip it underwater and, like an AK-47, it still works.
They are one of the original great British bands.
You know, the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.
Five bands that totally shape
British rock and roll in America.
You have songs like Paranoid and War Pigs and Iron Man,
these songs, if you look back, this was like the blueprint for what this band was and what they would be.
# Has he lost his mind?
# Can he see or is he blind?
# Is he alive or dead?
# Has he thoughts within his head? #
The fans turn up in their tens of thousands to see metal still,
and Paranoid is an album that doesn't date.
Paranoid is a defining moment in metal and rock.
The first song we ever played with the four of us,
I can't remember, it must have been Henry's Blues House,
which was run by our manager at the time, Jim Simpson.
We had all this energy banging around.
We had this band that all five of us believed in.
We knew it was a good band, we knew it was better than most,
we knew we had something special, but we hadn't got a direction.
It was all 12 bar blues. Every Tuesday night we'd go to this place
and just dry our hair on
and have a couple of pints and just to do 12 bar blues, you know?
So every song was either...
so they were all fairly straightforward.
The first time I came across them, they were a band called Earth
and it was just booked in...
into the studio as a demo session and they came in
in their sort of scruffy way.
And Ozzy didn't have any shoes.
And we'd show up for a gig, and most of the time people
would turn us away because they wouldn't let us in the door.
I've got no shoes on my feet, my arse is hanging out my pants,
and I'm pissed and smoking Woodbines, you know?
We'd been worrying, pontificating, draining our brains for weeks trying to get a new name.
We knew Earth wasn't right, and we had to get a new name, and we
always found a good reason for not accepting any of the proposed names.
At the time I was heavily into the occult, and stuff.
Not Satan or anything, just
learning about astral planing and all that cobblers.
I suggested, among other things, Black Sabbath, and everyone went, "Good name."
Suddenly when the Black Sabbath name came and the songs that backed up
the Black Sabbath name, we suddenly had a package that made sense.
The first song we wrote was actually Wicked World,
and then the second song was Black Sabbath.
All the songs were written the same.
We are going to a rehearsal room with nothing, and then just start jamming about,
and it's peculiar how it happened, because they came up one after another
without having the "I don't know, I can't think of anything."
They were just coming out and it was almost like a magical force
pushing these things out that we didn't understand.
I was a medium-sized fan of Holst's Planets Suite, particularly Mars
in those days, and one of the days we were rehearsing
and I was going...
trying to play Mars, and then the next day, Tony went in and went...
And that's how Black Sabbath came about.
It was so different to anything else we'd heard, and we just knew it was something.
It was one of those when I started playing it, the hairs on your arms stand up.
It was really different, and everybody said, that's really different.
And then when the other guys started playing, it made it into what is.
When Oz sang "What is this that stands before me?", it became completely different.
# What is this that stands before me? #
Because it hadn't been quite said like that
and this was a different lyric now, this was a different feel.
'I was playing drums to the words.'
# Figure in black
# Which points at me... #
And we were wondering what to call it, because it
doesn't actually say the lyrics, Black Sabbath, in the song.
We said the band was called Black Sabbath, just call it Black Sabbath.
-That was it.
-It almost defines heavy metal, doesn't it?
How many people have used that kind of...
that kind of tonality within other songs?
Sabbath did an awful lot of road work in the early days,
when they weren't playing up north they went across
to Hamburg and played the Star Club, and like a lot of British bands from
the generation that really was the place where they got their chops down and really developed
-a way of kind of playing together.
-The Star Club was
famous because of the Beatles, so when we got the opportunity
to play at the Star Club, we were like, yeah, Star Club, fantastic!
Of course, the reality was a lot different.
We got there and there was only about three people in the audience.
One of them being a nutcase, and one a prostitute,
and we started at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
There were eight different 45-minute sets, and we only had
eight songs at the time, so we would stretch each song out for 45 minutes
and because we were jamming so much that is where we wrote
practically all the first album and some of the second album.
# Oh, yeah!
# Some people say my love cannot be true... #
I think you can hear a lot of the blues, which was typical of the day,
especially with some of the drumming, and the way that Terry's playing some of his bass notes,
but Tone's off the hook. Tone is just like...
He's already off the edge of the world somewhere.
When you play like that, rigorously, you know, all the time it is going
to get tighter and tighter and tighter.
And Jim Simpson eventually got them a deal with Vertigo records,
and an album produced by Rodger Bain.
There is this kind of received myth that they turn up,
make their first album and it's a 12-hour session
for 800 quid, but by then they were a really well-drilled machine.
We drove down to get on the ferry, and the manager said,
go and record those songs you've been messing around with, because I've got you a deal on Vertigo.
And just to have a deal was like, wow!
two days, 10am until 10pm
for recording, and two days, 10 till 6 for mixing.
It was literally live in the studio.
I think he's a genius the way he captured the band in such a short time.
He was very easy-going, but he knew exactly what he wanted to do,
because he'd seen them live. He wanted it to sound like that.
We weren't really involved in it.
All we did was go in and play it, because we didn't know anything.
We didn't know what was what in the studio at all.
We didn't know what mixing was, so we weren't allowed on the mix anyway.
It was left all up to him and Tom Allen.
And we literally just went in,
played live, Tony did a couple of overdubs, guitar overdubs.
We had to do it quick anyway, because not only from their point of view, but we'd got a gig in Germany,
so we had to get on the boat and all that rubbish straight after the recording session.
We didn't really think anything of it once we'd recorded it.
To us, that was it, that was as far as we wanted to go.
None of us had any idea what was laying before us.
Because everybody told us that we'd never do anything and we
were wasting our time and we should get a proper job.
All we wanted was to have this record that we could go,
"There you go, Mum and Dad, we've done it, we made an album."
It wasn't until we got back from Europe that we realised the album was in the charts.
Listening to the countdown, and the guy said, Black Sabbath!
I went, what?
We thought, is there two Black Sabbaths or something?
I got my first royalty advance of 105 quid
and I thought I would never see that in my life.
I was like, what?
I gave my mum a fiver, and got pissed on the rest.
I bought a pair of shoes and some Brut smelly stuff which I hated, I thought it stank.
We had slogged and slogged away and got nowhere, and suddenly the world had taken notice.
And here they were wanting another album.
What we were doing was writing and doing them live.
We would put a new song in on the road.
We had road-tested them and stage tested them,
although we were singing different lyrics, probably.
Paranoid was developed on the road.
Rehearsals before gigs, sound checks.
We used to write songs in the van, going to the gig, get to the gig
and I would sing any old shit as long as there was a melody with it.
Whatever Sabbath did, I think it was 99 per cent from the gut.
And maybe some one per cent was thought about,
but not for long.
My ideas would just seem to come out the blue.
It would be like, we could
make this a medium tempo song and I would come up with a riff for that.
He had the guitar, and an incredible knack
of just coming out with riff after riff after riff.
I don't know why, but that was the magic of the band.
He would come out with a riff, and we would play the same thing at
the same time together as if we all knew exactly what was coming next.
There's something about it, you know. It's a chemistry.
Everybody would wait until I'd start coming up with something, or Bill might start something, or Geezer,
and whoever started something that we thought, that's good.
It was still jamming,
but it was becoming more
as a team writing.
And then Ozzy would start singing something about his aunt or whatever it might be, just a load of anything,
just making words up to get some kind of melody line.
And then once that was sorted,
Geezer would write all the lyrics, generally.
He'd add some of Ozzy's lyrics, sometimes, depending on what they were.
And without any one of us it wouldn't have been the same, so we all
got credits for it.
It was more like writing
heavy rock musical pieces.
War Pigs, in fact, came from
one of those jams in one the clubs.
During the song, Warning,
we used to jam that out
and that particular night, we were jamming it out and Tony just went DA-DAM!
And we were, "That's good."
Originally, that was going to be called War Piggies.
Somebody said it would be black magic because we all started reading Dennis Wheatley books.
# Generals gathered in their masses
# Just like witches at black masses
# Evil minds that plot destruction
# Sorcerer of death's construction
# In the fields are bodies burning
# As the war machine keeps turning
# Death and hatred to mankind
# Poisoning their brainwashed minds, Oh, Lord, yeah! #
Basically, War Pigs is a Hieronymus Bosch painting
brought to life.
It's significant that in America there was
a very, very political label called Broadside Records.
This is where Dylan tested his lyrics out under another name.
This is where the great civil rights protesters like Joan Baez,
Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs all cut their teeth and issued recordings on Broadside.
They were very, very sniffy about when American bands started to talk protest about war.
Very, very sniffy. What's the one song that they rate? War Pigs.
Lester Bangs was absolutely on the money when he called them
the Milton of rock and roll.
Milton was this hyper moralist also, and concerned with good and evil.
# Politicians hide themselves away
# They only started the war
# Why should they go out to fight
# They leave that role to the poor... #
I wanted to write a song called War Piggies, the satanic version
of Christmas, write it about the Satanism and spiritual thing.
It's warmongers, that's who the real Satanists are, all these people who are running the banks and the
world and trying to get the working class to fight the wars for them.
We sent it off to the record company.
"No, we're not going to call it that. Too satanic."
So I changed it to War Pigs.
# Wait till their judgement day comes
No one has ever
been able to really duplicate that organic thing that they did.
The way that Tony would approach a solo...
When it gets to the solo, I tried to always keep the bottom, like as
the beginning, keep the bottom string ringing so it fills it out.
And in the final
mix we added a second guitar, which you'll hear now.
Geezer is really thundering away underneath. Listen.
GEEZER PLAYS HEAVY BASS
Again, bass players don't seem to exist like that, that actually play instead of playing one note.
He'd be playing all over the place, bending the strings, and that's what we got into.
On the riffs and stuff, I'd play and bend the string, and Geezer would bend the string, so we'd play that
to make it bigger, to make it a wider sound.
# Now in darkness, world stops turning
# Ashes where the bodies burning
# No more war pigs have the power
# Hand of God has struck the hour
# Day of judgment, God is calling
# Underneath, the war pigs crawling
# Begging mercies for their sins
# Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
# Oh, Lord, yeah! #
Tony's riffs were so, so much feeling in those riffs, and so much menace and everything else.
He wanted to capture what he was doing musically, lyrically.
There's this thing in what he does that's really - it's not just him, it's the band as
a whole, the dynamic in the band - but the riffs that drive it are just like no other guitar player.
Iron Man, you know...
It's just, the guitar isn't trying to do anything tasteful.
He's using it because he can bend it, because he can effect feedback
and make this droning sound which is a killer hook.
What started the whole thing off with that was I'd done
something that's like a monster, real plodding and real evil,
and I came up with this by hitting the two strings...
And that causes the vibing.
And I wanted a riff to go with that.
'I remember me and Ozzy were walking down the road one day.'
Tony had just come up with the Iron Man riff, and Ozzy was going,
"What am I going to call it?" And I think he just came out with like, "Sounds like a big iron bloke
And I just said, "Oh, yeah, that's a good title - Iron Bloke",
-which developed into Iron Man.
-# I am Iron Man...
I say "I am Iron Man"
but that's about as far as I did.
What I'd do, if I couldn't come up with a melody
over the top of what Tony was doing, riff wise, I'd sing the riff.
# Has he lost his mind
# Can he see or is he blind?
# Is he alive or dead
# Has he thoughts in his head? #
Geezer wrote it about a guy that travels through time,
and he sees what's going to happen in the future. He's like, "Oh, it's sci-fi".
Geezer was always into that sci-fi shit. I didn't even know what the word meant.
It was all about the future of the world.
I was really into pollution and all that
cobblers back then. Hippy.
You could just see there were a lot of things going wrong in the world,
and nobody was saying anything about it.
Bob Dylan had long since faded from the present memory
and there was nobody talking about the stuff that I wanted to talk about.
Political stuff, that's what inspired me.
Iron Man is a great story.
You know, revenge. And when I heard that story, I'm like, "Yeah.
"Those jocks... Boy, if I came back as Iron Man, they'd respect me then.
"I've got to find a magnetic field."
# Now the time is here
# For Iron Man to spread fear
# Vengeance from the grave
# Kill the people he once saved... #
I think there were only two days in Regent doing the basic tracks.
They'd got all the material written except I don't think they'd
really written all the melodies and the lyrics.
It was just come in, probably another two sessions,
10 till 10, and out we came with the basic tracks for the album.
We didn't bother to do any overdubs because we knew we were taking them to Island Studios
where they had a brand spanking new 16-track machine.
Got the solo coming up here, with the nice speed change.
Let's listen to a bit of Tony on his own.
Geezer in here.
That rhythm section...
I can't over emphasise how important that rhythm section is to the music and to the way those albums sounded.
If you listen to Paranoid the first time if you're
not an experienced listener, not a musician, whatever, it's all about that guitar and that crazy singer.
But you don't have any foundation to build upon for
a guitar player or anything unless you've got this rhythm section that can really hold that pocket.
There's a great moment on Iron Man,
they do this descending bridge that shifts into an ascending bridge
on a dime.
Listen to that one over and over again and then go in the band room
and try and do that yourself and you'll sprain your mind.
That is a great rhythm section that can just turn that time around.
I've played that moment many times over, going, "Man, what a band."
Everybody thinks to be a heavy rock band you've got to have a loud guitar.
That's not the case.
It's the rhythm section.
You've got to have a good drummer and a good bass player working together.
It gives the other band members room to move.
And then how they repeat the riff, the intro riff, as the band is galloping...
It changes the context of the riff, so they actually reinvent the riff on the way out.
That's really cool songwriting.
That's doing a lot with a little, because it's a fairly simple song.
We always liked variation.
I think that's another Beatles influence, if you like,
because every album the Beatles did, none of the songs were the same.
They're all different feels to each song.
We always tried to get that.
We didn't do a heavy metal album from track one to track 10 or whatever.
Planet Caravan was very different to anything
we'd done before,
and it was almost one of those, "Hm, should we do this?"
I must admit, when I first bought Paranoid, I was
really disappointed that it had this mellow track three tracks in.
I just wanted a bit more intense heavy metal.
I just started playing this riff, and then we thought it was so quiet,
and Bill liked it, everybody liked it, and so Bill just started joining in on the little congas he had.
So I just play...
And that was basically the main part of the song, and we just
played it through with Bill playing congas on and Ozzy singing.
We liked that, it was nice and relaxing, good to get stoned to, so that's where it came in.
We've got a guide vocal from...
from Ozzy, which is again pretty much the final melody but totally different lyrics.
# The sky
# Was clear that night
# We were alone
# And so much in love... #
We'd literally be jamming away and he'd be jamming as well, singing along to everything,
and I don't think he gets enough credit for
what a talent he had for just coming out with this incredible vocal lines just out of the air.
It was almost always what he first came up with, that's what we'd go with.
# The moon like a big red bun
# Stood in the sky
# And I wondered why... #
He was quite good at coming up with melodies, and I found
certainly with him he was good at coming up with ballads as well.
A good melody for a ballad.
A lot of the times he'd come out with like one word and I'd go, "yeah, that's good",
and write the rest of the song around it.
# We sailed through endless skies
# Stars shine like eyes
# The black night sighs... #
We just came up with that in the studio, and it was really laid-back,
so I didn't want to come out with the usual love crap,
so it was about floating through the universe with your loved one,
instead of "let's go down the pub and have some chips" or whatever.
That's what it was about, just taking a spaceship out into the stars
and having the ultimate romantic weekend.
# The earth, a purple blaze
# Of sapphire haze
# In orbital ways... #
Tony used to love Django Reinhardt and Joe Pass,
and he used to play that a lot,
which didn't really fit in with the heavier stuff,
but it gave him a chance to show what his roots were.
We just went into like a little jazzy solo at the end...
Whatever it was.
When he first left school, he had a job in a factory, and he...
He's left-handed so....
He cut the ends of his fingers off on a metal shearing machine.
The manager of the factory came to see me
and he brought me an EP at that time and he said,
"Play this." I said, "I don't want to listen to anything, no, I'm not interested".
He said, "No, just put it on, play it".
And so I did, and it was Django Reinhart.
I didn't know, I'd never heard of him at that point.
I thought his playing was great, and then this guy said,
"oh, he's had an accident in another form and lost two fingers."
And it really got me going then. It really started me off.
Wow, you know, somebody has done this and managed to work with it.
Planet Caravan is not a riff-driven track, but that showcases
his dexterity and his versatility, as far as I'm concerned.
It's got this ambient quality,
which often does get overlooked in what Sabbath do,
because everyone remembers all those huge riffs and those are the characteristic tracks.
But there's a lot of subtlety in what he does.
These guys were still incredibly young kids trying to
find their way in the music scene,
trying to refine their approach.
I think we all felt the anger.
There was riots going off everywhere, Paris and America.
There were students being shot in America,
We all realised in '67 and '68,
revolution was never going to happen.
It was just like a dream,
and it was like back to reality time.
Electric Funeral is a track that really has that sense of
an apocalyptic view of the world, if you will.
I think that aspect stems from the fact that Sabbath were aware of the world around them.
In the 1950s and '60s there was paranoia about being nuked,
and you would see propaganda films about what to do,
particularly from America.
First, you duck, and then you cover.
Here they are on the way to school on a beautiful spring day,
but no matter where they go or what they do,
they always try to remember what to do if the atom bomb explodes right then.
It's a bomb! Duck and cover!
# Reflex in the sky
# Warn you you're gonna die
# Storm coming, you better hide
# From the atomic tide
# Flashes in the sky
# Turns houses into sties
# Turns people into clay
# Radiation minds decay... #
Ozzy was always great at interpreting...
If he wrote them or I wrote the lyrics, it always
sounded like it was coming from deep down in the Ozzy's soul.
He's just got such a great voice for putting over stuff like that, you know, menacing stuff.
# Robot minds of robot slaves... #
Here's a good example of the vocal and the guitar and the bass
all basically doing the same melody
and riffing together, which is to great effect.
# Maybe moon falls upon dying world... #
All the verses are like this.
None of the Sabbath songs off of Paranoid
really followed a traditional songwriting format.
There was never a verse, chorus, verse, bridge, solo, out.
They never did that.
The other thing that they did was jump into these tempo changes.
I think the tempo changes came from, as we were progressing on a song,
sometimes we'd come up with a riff and wouldn't know where to take it afterwards
so we'd go away and think about it and we might come up
and write a completely different song in the meantime
and then go back to that particular song,
and just keep working and working and working on it
until we were all satisfied with where the main riff should go next.
Some days we would come out with loads of ideas
so we'd try and tack everything on,
and whatever worked, that's what we'd keep.
That's what would end up as the final song.
Now we go into a completely different track, basically.
Let's check out what Bill's doing here on his own.
And the riff.
The sound was very rooted in where we came from, like an industrial town.
And I think it had a lot to do with the actual creation of the things
that we were seeing, being involved with.
There was a lot of gangs around where we lived
and we didn't want to be a part of that, we wanted to be...
into the music,
but I think it all slips in when you write, it's all part of this,
subconsciously there when you create songs and riffs.
It's that industrial down-ness of the rock, if you like.
The press's attitude to Black Sabbath was almost uniformly negative.
I don't think anybody really understood at that particular time
what the band were creating, this kind of dark force of metal.
They described them on one occasion as
"spending a day on the end of runway number one at Heathrow."
"Four brickies on acid inviting you to eat rat salads."
I suppose when you stack them up against their peers,
such as Zeppelin or Deep Purple, Sabbath were the ugly sisters.
they were some sort of bastard children from deepest Aston in Birmingham.
Nobody ever gave us a good review, nobody ever gave the album a good review.
We liked it that way, because the more they hated us, the more the kids liked us.
They all slagged us to death and they're the ones that looked silly when the album sold so many,
because they looked totally out of tune with everything, with what the kids wanted.
So it made them look really stupid.
And a lot of them didn't ever forgive us for that.
You just had to ignore that, you know, because they just panned it.
Because it was something they didn't understand, what we were doing.
Critics like hope.
The critics tend to be upper-middle-class kids who are...
liberals, for want of a nastier term, and they want hope,
and Sabbath was not giving them hope.
# What you gonna do?
# Time's caught up with you... #
I always remember we did these two American army bases,
and it was where all the guys, once they'd finished their tour of Vietnam,
instead of going straight back to America, they'd have to have like a halfway house.
There was one in Germany and one in England.
# Take your empty rules... #
We got talking to the soldiers and everything, and they were in terrible states
and telling me that there were a lot of them doing heroin.
Nothing on the news about this, there was no programmes telling you
that the US troops in Vietnam, to get through that horrible war,
were fixing up and all this kind of thing.
It just stuck in my head and when we did Hand Of Doom, that's what I wrote it about.
# Vietnam napalm
# You push the needle in
# From life you escape
# Reality's that way... #
On the Paranoid record, there's some real downer themes,
but find the part of it that's not true.
It was an awful war, and these young men did come home awfully twisted,
and heroin use and drug abuse and alcoholism
ran rampant with these young men who came home having seen stuff
that no person should see or do. And Sabbath addressed it.
# You're having a good time, baby
# But that won't last
# Your mind's all full of things
# You're living too fast
# Go out, enjoy yourself
# Don't go in dead
# You need someone to help you
# Stick the needle in, yeah... #
Sabbath are not ones to preach. They're ones to maybe observe,
and they will say, you know, on a song like Hand Of Doom they can allude to the fact
that if you go down a certain path, drug-wise, you will lose yourself.
But they also know that they are in grave danger of doing that at any given moment.
Hand Of Doom is one of my favourite songs to go with Terry's bass-playing.
I'm just playing rim shots...
And it literally is something like out of how we played when we were kids.
And I like the way that again with the lyrics
we are supporting it lyrically.
# Now you know the scene
# Your skin starts turning green... #
It's about listening,
it's about listening to each other, not just ploughing through.
# Life's reality
# Push the needle in
# Face the sickly grin... #
The vocal on the Hand Of Doom for me is really classic Ozzy.
It's really well delivered, it's got the menace in it,
it's brilliantly phrased and it just sounds spot-on to me.
Hand of Doom, he just got it, he captured that one particularly well, I think. I like it, a classy vocal.
He has his own sound, and there isn't anybody in the fucking world that sounds anything like him.
I don't think he was conscious of his vocal style at that point,
he was kind of fitting into the rhythms,
fitting into the way Geezer wrote the lyrics.
It was very unconventional, I think, but ultimately very successful.
But I think it was a formula he stumbled upon in typical Ozzy style
rather than finessed over the years.
I mean, I can't hardly read English, never mind music.
I don't know what key I sing in, I don't know...
I've said to people, "I must learn to play an instrument"
and people have gone to me, "You know what, you'd be probably making the biggest mistake...
"If you learned what it was all about, you'd probably lose what you already have."
It was like a long instrumental part at the beginning, we sort of got carried away with it, you know?
But we liked it. I mean, it doesn't sort of happen so much these days,
when people do, like, long intros, but that was what we tended to do on the songs.
I think Tony Iommi, by the second album,
has really developed this thing that is completely unique.
And to this day, no-one sounds like Tony Iommi.
Another key for the solo.
Have a little bit of Bill on his own, I think, yeah.
Here he goes.
Nice triplets, but keeping the beat going.
Changing the time there.
SWITCHES ON OTHER INSTRUMENTS
Geezer Butler and Bill Ward swing.
They really are incredible.
The more you listen to the Paranoid album, the more music comes out of it.
# Goin' home late last night
# Yeah, all of a sudden I got a fright
# Yeah, I looked through a window and surprised what I saw
# A fairy with boots dancin' with a dwarf... #
Fairies Wear Boots, it wasn't really about those creatures
at the end of Ozzy's garden that he kind of keeps out one way.
It was a result of an encounter with a skinhead gang.
# Yeah, fairies wear boots and you've got to believe me
# Yeah, I saw it, I saw it I tell you no lies
# Yeah, fairies wear boots and you gotta believe me... #
So Ozzy wrote the song Fairies Wear Boots about these skinheads,
calling them fairies because they had the big Doc Marten boots on
they were kicking all of us with, and that's where it came from.
Just a silly little lyric, you know?
It's fun, you know?
That's what Ozzy's lyrics were, though.
He'd think of a thing and then one would say something about
skinheads are like fairies in boots,
and then, like, "How else am I going to finish it?"
So it goes off on a totally different tangent about being stoned or something.
It's about LSD, I think.
Because we started messing around with that kind of stuff.
# So I went to the doctor See what he could give me, yeah
# He said, "Son, son You've gone too far
# "Cos smokin' and trippin' is all that you do,"
# Yeah. #
In some sense, what they did was brought the hippy culture to the working class.
Things like smoking dope
became really widespread.
If you drove up to a house party on a winter night
when it's too cold to stand outside,
they are the four guys standing outside the house on the front porch
drinking cold beer, cos either they can't get into the party
or they don't wanna be inside the party.
Those are your Black Sabbath fans, the lonely stoners,
the ones who congregate and party in the woods, not at the dance.
That's a Black Sabbath fan.
Cos lyrically it's...
potentially some down-and-out stuff,
not, "Hey, let's all get together and dance to this!" Nah.
We sort of covered the side that nobody else was...
it was all love and peace when we started, you know?
All the hippy stuff and flower power and whatnot, and we'd just
come out with something that was really happening, you know?
The Vietnam war and all the side of life that no-one was sort of mentioning.
The rest of Warner Brothers
didn't want to have anything to do with them.
"Hey, what kind of music are we putting out here?
"We're James Taylor, that's where we're going."
So Black Sabbath was my band.
Paranoid album was going to be called War Pigs, and...
so we had this cover done of a guy
with a shield and a sword to go with War Pigs,
and they wouldn't let us use it, it was banned, they banned it.
I think they were offended by War Pigs, you know?
And in America at the time it's no wonder they were offended by it.
We did not want to do it. We were in the midst of a war ourselves in this country
and what their reasoning was was not that important to me,
I knew we weren't going to call it War Pigs.
We didn't have any say whatsoever in album stuff.
It was on an acetate, and I remember playing it
and turning the sound way up and shaking the whole building,
and people in our building came and said, "What's that? What's that?"
And 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.
The one thing that stands out in my mind
with that was Rodger Bain saying to us, "Look, we need four and a half minutes,
"four, five minutes, just go and jam something."
We knew we had to fill three or four minutes, and that was all we were concerned...
We didn't go, "Oh, we've got to have a single."
It was an afterthought, Paranoid.
So they just wanted a short song, and we'd never done short songs.
It was always long, you know? So I thought, "Oh, God."
So we came back from the pub and we came back into the Regent Sound Studio
and Tony straps his guitar on and starts playing the opening to what is now Paranoid.
We were all looking around and everybody's like scrambling, I'm looking for my sticks...
I think it was about 20 minutes,
20 minutes to cook it up and basically have it ready.
We laid the track,
Oz already had some ideas going on with melodies.
Ozzy's singing the final melody, but you'll hear the lyrics
have actually got nothing to do with Paranoid at all.
# People say my mind's all things
# With things that you can't see me now
# Why are you on my mind all day long
# I can't think straight no more... #
Pretty obviously he's just riffing it,
just to get an idea for the melody in his head.
I don't think he's even singing off a lyric sheet,
I think he's just making them up as he goes along.
# Everyone is sayin' I'm mad
# Because you're the only girl that I've ever had
# I love you but you don't wanna know me
# But I think you're great and I wanna see
# I wanna see you
# Smile into my face
# Oh, yeah... #
Even though Paranoid is a fairly pop-orientated song, it's still a really heavy song.
The subject matter's heavy, you know?
The notion of paranoia that afflicts this guy.
I used to go through a lot of depression when I was a teenager,
so that's where the lyrics from Paranoid came from.
Cos I couldn't relate to anybody when I was getting in my depressions.
# Finished with my woman cos
# She couldn't help me with my mind
# People think I'm insane because
# I am frowning all the time... #
The song Paranoid, when it was released as a single,
it went flying up the charts.
It was on every jukebox, it was like...
We're on Top of the Pops, you know?
The album Paranoid went to number one when it was released.
Took us to America and opened up...
Just fulfilled everything we'd ever dreamt of and all our ambitions.
# Can you help me
# Occupy my brain?
# Oh, yeah... #
They are completely the antithesis to, you know, the mainstream.
Simon and Garfunkel are number one.
Paranoid comes out, displaces Simon and Garfunkel.
I mean, that really is like chalk and cheese.
They came to the States. Immediately the word started to spread,
as they were playing in New York and some other places
back there in the eastern part,
and then they came out here and they were an instant success.
This just went off, and it never stopped.
# Make a joke and I will sigh
# And you will laugh and I will cry
# Happiness I cannot feel and love to me is so unreal... #
They achieved something that was their own,
and I think in 1969 through to 1978,
they forged a career that is utterly unique.
History is always written by the winners, and Sabbath won.
They created a genre.
We love you all!
And a genre is never created at the time,
it's only created when people follow you.
Any heavy rock band that I worked with after Sabbath
all were influenced by them.
It's timeless, you can put it on now and go, "Wow, War Pigs, sure makes a lot of sense.
"When did they write that?! Oh! Huh! Still works."
If you knew the key to the success of Paranoid and its longevity,
I think we'd all have our Rolls-Royces parked outside.
There's some fifth element in there, something that just hooks you in.
It's real. And I think anything from the heart,
if anybody tells you the truth or if anything comes from the heart
and you know it's heartfelt, it's real.
It's a very basic, honest album, you know?
It's how we felt and people can relate to it.
Since that album came out,
metal has just outlasted everything else, it seems to be.
And a lot of new bands always refer back to that album.
We're just a lucky bunch of guys who got together and something magical happened. Which is...
There's no mystique about it, we didn't all get round our fiery cauldron
and throw dead mice in a pot, you know?
We did try it, but it didn't work.
# Generals gathered in their masses
# Just like witches at black masses
# Evil minds that plot destruction
# Sorcerer of death's construction
# In the fields the bodies burning
# As the war machine keeps turning
# Death and hatred to mankind
# Poisoning their brainwashed minds
# Oh, Lord, yeah... #
The second album by Black Sabbath, released in 1970, has long attained classic status. Paranoid not only changed the face of rock music, but also defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history. The result of a magic chemistry which had been discovered between four English musicians, it put Black Sabbath firmly on the road to world domination.
This programme tells the story behind the writing, recording and success of the album. Despite vilification from the Christian and moral right and all the harsh criticism that the music press could hurl at them, Paranoid catapulted Sabbath into the rock stratosphere.
Using exclusive interviews, musical demonstration, archive footage and a return to the multi-tracks with engineer Tom Allom, the film reveals how Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward created their frighteningly dark, heavy and ear-shatteringly loud sound.
Additional comments from Phil Alexander (MOJO & Kerrang! editor), Geoff Barton (Classic Rock editor), Henry Rollins (writer/musician) and Jim Simpson (original manager) add insight to the creation of this all-time classic.