nightsblood wrote:I'm not a huge fan of 'Paranoid'. I've heard the 'hits' so many times over the years that I just don't want to listen to that album very often, and the other songs on there don't really compel me to dust it off either. It also just sounds so thin/plain production-wise compared to the 900-lb pitch black hulking behemoth that is 'Masters of Reality'. That album is so damned heavy I'm pretty sure it generates it's own gravitational anomaly (an odd symptom of the universe you might say).
I don't mean to derail the thread from it's intended purpose, but i feel compelled to say a few words in defence of 'Paranoid', and encourage you to revisit it. Whilst I get completely that there is no earthly reason why anyone ever needs to hear the title track ever again, (and just due to sheer familiarity, War Pigs & Iron Man), but everything else on there is pure gold, particularly 'side 2', which is an absolute masterclass in the art of the swing.
Butler & Ward are utterly incredible throughout, tight as a duck's arse but somehow perfectly loose at the same time, like an elastic anchor. Hands down the funkiest rhythm section in Metal, all that earlier jazz & blues playing paid off beautifully.
Iommi was always an incredible & really individual talent, and this album is where he really starts to find his own voice. Every riff, melody & solo is perfect. He's even a class apart when it comes to choosing where not to play. The spaces he leaves to let the atmosphere build, or to provide some light & shade are exemplary & remarkably ego-free for a 'guitar hero'.
Ozzy's still mainly just following the riffs throughout, but as simple as that seems, it's rarely been done so effectively as on the first 3 or 4 Sabs albums. He's mainly still using his lower vocal register here, which i always found to be more emotive & expressive than when he goes for the high one, (even when he could actually hit those notes).
I've no idea which version you own, but i remember being amazed by the remastered CDs which came out on Castle/Essential in the mid-90s. Compared to the NEMS vinyl i used to have it sounded like a completely different record, particularly on headphones. Previously unheard mid-tones appeared from nowhere!
Granted, it's pretty frills-free production-wise, but when cranked up loud or heard through cans, the separation between the instruments is incredible. It's like you're sat right there in the room whilst they play. Close your eyes and you can smell the patchouli oil, cheap beer, cheaper dope & the faint whiff of damp frayed bell-bottoms.
For me, it's every bit the equal of 'Master...', so i'm a little baffled that you feel kinda ambivalent towards it.
I realize i'm unlikely to sway your opinion as personal taste is such a deep-rooted and individual thing, but i had
Be a 'cleverclogs' and reevaluate.
I cannot, I shall not, I will not obey.