Paranoid was not only Black Sabbath’s most popular record (it was a number one smash in the U.K., and “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” both scraped the U.S. charts despite virtually nonexistent radio play), it also stands as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time. Paranoid refined Black Sabbath’s signature sound — crushingly loud, minor-key dirges loosely based on heavy blues-rock — and applied it to a newly consistent set of songs with utterly memorable riffs, most of which now rank as all-time metal classics. Where the extended, multi-sectioned songs on the debut sometimes felt like aimless jams, their counterparts on Paranoid have been given focus and direction, lending an epic drama to now-standards like “War Pigs” and “Iron Man” (which sports one of the most immediately identifiable riffs in metal history).
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music
This was my favourite SABBATH album when I was young. I suppose that was because it was so heavy and straightforward. I guess that's why it's not rated nearly as high as I think it should be on this site, because this is a Prog site. I still rate it as a masterpiece just like "Paranoid". I remember a number of years ago my brother in law (who has played lead guitar in some local bands, and is a huge IRON MAIDEN fan) being at a family Christmas get-together with at that time his new girl friend who was a Metal fan herself. He out of the blue says to me "Johnny ! What's SABBATH's best album ?" I said "Master Of Reality". He turns to his girfriend and says "See ! Everyone who knows SABBATH knows "Master Of Reality" is their best."
When Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Terry “Geezer” Butler and Bill Ward formed Black Sabbath in 1969, they created a signature sound that set the blueprint for heavy music and influenced generations of disciples for years to come. Black Sabbath - Complete Studio Albums: 1970-1978, features the band’s collected studio works for Warner Bros. Records from the 1970’s, including their iconic eponymous debut, Black Sabbath (1970), the multi-platinum landmark Paranoid (1970), the platinum albums Master Of Reality (1971), Vol. 4 (1972), and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973), and the gold-certified Sabotage (1975), Technical Ecstasy (1976), and Never Say Die! (1978).