A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
This Warner Bros. pressing has TWO EXCELLENT SIDES. It’s tough to find great copies of Paranoid and even tougher to find good sound on the original Green Label — most are awful, if even playable. Drop the needle on either side of this copy and you’ll quickly hear how correct this one sounds. It’s got a HUGE bottom end, excellent presence, a good amount of tubey magic and TONS of energy. The very best copies we’ve played take the music a bit further, but you’ll have a hard time finding one that sounds much better and plays any quieter than this one!
It’s taken us ages to find good pressings of this album, probably because just about every copy we see has been beat to death by the crazy muthas who originally bought ’em! Let’s face it — this wasn’t an album bought and treasured by people who know how to take care of their records, this was a record bought by kids who probably played it after getting wasted with their buddies. (No shame in that, of course!)
The music is freakin’ great, by the way. Since Ozzy has basically become a cartoon version of himself (as charming as that is) it’s easy to forget that these guys were a serious classic rock band that were duking it out with Zep for the hearts and minds of young hard rock fans in the late ’60s and early ’70s. This album set the foundation for heavy metal, and I’m not sure anyone ever topped it. Play this album back to back with Zep II and it’s pretty clear the two bands were fueling each other, pushing both bands into creating bigger, bolder, better riff-based rockers.
Allmusic calls this “one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time” and when it sounds this good, I’m guessing you’ll agree! War Pigs, Fairies Wear Boots, Electric Funeral, Rat Salad (drummer Bill Ward’s answer to Bonham’s Moby Dick) and the title track are some of the classic tracks on this album. Not too shabby. (more…)