Blog Roddus

Blog Roddus
My Favorite Place

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Black Sabbath - Paranoid UK 1971

Well, it's been a while since my last album review as I have been busy with work, gardning and tramping etc...  Although I have been listning to plenty of very cool music as well, inbetween times, I just haven't found the time to sit down and get really stuck in to any albums to give them a proper review.
The other day my one and only follower of this blog, Leo, asked me what was my all time fave group/musician and I wasn't sure I really had one that stood head and sholders above all else, but as I was writing to him a list of several contenders to that crown, including these guys, my eyes keept coming back to the Sabs' and my mind keep remembering just how utterly mindblowing their early music is. Then tonight I had the stereo room to myself for a couple of hours and after hearing Led Zepplin's "Over the Hills and far Away" come on during random play while clearing up after tea, I was inspired to get out some Sabbath and play at neighbour annoying volume(how else do you play Sabbath) and "Paranoid" was the first one that came out of the Black Box.
What a wounderfully mindcrunching, ear bludgeoning, truly awesome experience this album really is. this was Sabbath's second album and includes their biggest hit, "Paranoid", which was No.1 in the UK and is now played all over classic rock radio. Again my limited vocabulary fails me to describe what a completly joyful experience listining to this album still is. One of the greatest heavy rock/metal albums of all time, I only have two small complaints, one is "War Pigs" should have closed the album instead of opening it and "Paranoid", for me, is actually their worst song of this period, and sounds terrible on my Cyrus, very distorted.
Apart from that this is all killer and no filler.

"War Pigs" - This is right up there, as one of the greatest songs ever written. truly outstanding, with Geezers dirty sounding bass at the start amongst the sirens and Tony Iommi's slow burning guitar leading us into Ozzy's exellent anti war lyrics. Bill Ward's drumming in this is also exellent and the song changes time signitures throughout. Tony's brilliant guitar solo sounds like a twin guitar attack(maybe double tracked). As I said, this epic should have closed the album. Undoubtably their best song. 5+/5

"Paranoid" - This is the track they should have actually opened the album with. Although I do like this song, it isa the weakest on the album. Pretty straight ahead song short and to the point, proberbly why it got to number one, but I think it is badly recorded, very distorted and after hearing "Warpigs" as the opener this sounds quite lame in comparasion. 3.5/5

"Planet Caravan" - To show that not all the Sabs' music will bludgeon your ears to pulp and your brain to mush, they give us this etheral peice which starts with bass , bongos, lightly strummed guitar and Ozzy's treated vocals. Once Ozzy has finished, the song improves with a lovely guitar solo from Tony, which sees the track out. Great late night mood music. 4.5/5

"Ironman" - Ok, back to the bludgeoning again with this awesome monster riff which is a classic, great drumming, all over the place as seems to be the thing with this album. Another wicked guitar break in the middle then back to THAT riff. The last part of the song lifts the tempo again while Tony lets rip with some more of his subliminal guitar. 4.5/5

"Electric Funeral" -  Another slow burning but heavy start to this one, slow motion heavey guitaring as Ozzy chimes in with his classic vocals. this is another one that lifts the tempo to rock out in the middle before taking us back to the original refrain. 4/5

"Hands of Doom" - A song about heroin, with references to needles and holes in the arm and how it will kill you. Songs starts with an awesome creepy bass line leading into a light drum beat before Ozzy chimes in with his late night vocal, next verse is much louder and full on and then drops back again to the first verse tempo for the third. We then experience a dramatic change of structure and its like we're in a diffrent song, then another change with a wicked rhythm envolopes the ears, before Tony lets rip again with his cool guitar solo, and then back to the starting refrain.4.5/5

"Rat Salad" - The instrumental track of the album, a great uptempo rocker with drum solo and Tony really getting up there on the fretboard. 4/5

Fairies Wear Boots" - A great song title about the effects of too much indulgence of mind altering substances, (and Ozzy should know all about that) starts off with an exellent echo drenched guitar intro, before we get into some great drumming and mini guitar solos, then Ozzy gets to tell us about his visions and what his doctor has got to say about it. Some classic blissful guitaring assults us throughout and we have just been presented with another brilliant song. This should have been the second track on the album. 5/5

This is an absolute Classic heavy Rock/Metal album which really gets My adrenlin pumping. it is amazing how music this heavy can move my soul.4.5/5


Anonymous said...

Hi, Awesome blog! Was looking up Sun Ra and poked around. I was struck by all the familiar names with some knowledge behind it. Fela Sun Ra Buttholes Beefheart Gram Jimmy Smith etc

Love the Sabbath and love your reviews. Obviously a labour of love. Your review made me think of The Stooges Fun House and Raw Power for ferocious git tone. Would love to know your thoughts on that.

Listening to music through iphone. Plus vinyl via a buddy's Custom Russco Turntable/? Tube preamp/ McIntosh 60 Monoblocks/ and most intersting is a vintage Altec Lansing studio Dual 8 Horn Speakers rebuilt and refreshed by a former studio engineer. We have a box full of mostly vintage NOS tubes that we play mix and match with. There is ALOT of variability. Great setup for Jazz.

Thanks for your considerable work on the blog. Very much appreciated especially for the Sun Ra!!
Andy in Escondido, CA

Roddus said...

Hi Andy, Glad you enjoyed the blog. Haven't reviewed anything for quite a while, just too busy and my scanner broke as well and just spending time with the new soundsystem. Tube amps are certainly good for jazz although I haven't heard a McIntosh yet but they have a very good name.
Yes, the Horn speakers are very interesting, I have only just discovered they exist, not many available here and probably way too expensive for me, but they sound like a good match up for low wattage SET's and would have been interesting to hear the Almarro with some.
I am a tube convert now and will be adding a better turntable to my system later on but for now just enjoy blowing all my friends minds with the Doge.
Yeah, I dig Iggy and the Stooges and I have "Raw Power on CD somewhere, although haven't listened to it for quite some time
I'm more of a Sex Pistols Man, and Nevermind The Bollocks got a good blasting just the other day, a volumes never before experienced.

If you want to read some far more knowledgeable reviews of Sun Ra's music I suggest checking out Nuvoid Blog.