Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)
The best metal album of all time? Many would agree.
I would not.
I would strongly support this statement however: Paranoid is the most influential metal album of all time and its influence extends well beyond the genre.
Generally speaking, any album that was critically panned upon release but later celebrated is worth a listen. No exception here.
Kudos to the group for leading off the record with an 8-minute Vietnam War critique, not a safe choice. The title track’s riff has also inspired a generation or two of guitarists to write songs around the E5 power chord. He has since descended into caricature but in 1970, Ozzy Osbourne was what marketers would call a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Instantly identifiable vocals, The Prince of Darkness indeed.
Though the album can sound a bit rudimentary or thin at times, that’s what the great influential albums are for: define the genre & set the bar, to be raised by those who follow.