This HAS to be done at some point. But which album? Black Sabbath had five albums in three years that were better than most bands whole catalogue. Their self-titled debut has the creepiest intro you’ve ever heard, to this day. It also created the genre of Heavy Metal. It’s just not quite enough to make my Top 5 from 1963 – 1973. Master of Reality was the first record I bought when I decided to start collecting vinyl. Not in my Top 5. Metal got boring to me at the turn of the century. When a lot of bands coming out were trying to be either Pantera or Korn, I stayed in my high school years, listening to my favourite CDs, rather than seeking out anything new. One day while listening to one of my favourite albums, The Real Thing by Faith No More, I noticed one of the songs wasn’t written by them. War Pigs was one of the most epic songs (any Faith No More fans see what I did there?) I’d ever heard. I grew up sheltered and Baptist. But now that I knew I liked a Black Sabbath song, it was time to find more of their music. And I had some, right under my nose.
How hard is it to check a box and throw something in the mail? I could never do it. That’s how lazy I was/am. I had Cracked Rear View, Gordon, Under the Table and Dreaming all sent to me as the “Alternative Pick Of The Month”. The guy at Columbia House had no idea what “Alternative” music was to us in high school. So I had a rather large stack of CDs I’d never touched, I always assumed they sucked, which was my bad. One of the picks had been Nativity In Black: A Tribute To Black Sabbath. I played it. Loved it. Went down to the Beat Goes On, bought the sequel. This Pantera cover is amazing, and I just had to buy Sabbath‘s greatest hits, We Sold Our Souls For Rock N Roll.
I really start getting into Sabbath until I got into collecting vinyl. Here’s the list I have now:
- Black Sabbath (1970)
- Paranoid (1970)
- Master of Reality (1971)
- Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (1972)
- Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)
- Sabotage (1975)
- We Sold Our Souls For Rock N Roll (1976)
- Never Say Die! (1978)
- Heaven and Hell (1980)
- Mob Rules (1981)
- Born Again (1983) (Ian Gillan, vocalist for Deep Purple sings on this one Pat!)
Not too shabby if I do say so myself! I’ve got most for between $4 and $10 at record shows over the last 6 years or so. You just have to know where to look.
So after all of this, I am choosing Paranoid as my second of five. The cover songs posted above are originally featured on the album, plus the title track and a little song called IRONMAN! There has been some controversy surrounding Paranoid that I want to help clear up. The lyrics near the end of the song, are NOT, “I tell you to end your life. I wish I could but it’s too late.” I want you to actually think about the words for a second. IF those are in fact the lyrics, it means the narrator is singing from beyond the grave. A theme that wouldn’t be a stretch for Sabbath. The narrator can’t “end his life” because he’s already dead. That’s why, “it’s too late”. But we know he’s alive, “I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find,” he says so. The other line that, if thought about, support the “enjoy life” over “end your life” claim are, “Finished with my woman ’cause she couldn’t help me with my mind.” If our narrator is already dead, why is he worried about breaking up with his girlfriend?