Black Sabbath’s performance of Paranoid at Jazz Bilzen festival in August 1970 is a sweet snapshot of metal history.
Black Sabbath’s Paranoid is indisputably one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time, but it wasn’t always an instantly recognisable rock anthem. When Sabbath played the Jazz Bilzen festival in Belgium on August 21, 1970, their signature song had yet to break into the UK charts, or trouble European radio airwaves, so it’s easy to imagine how confusing it was for an audience of stoned hippies gathered to see the likes of Cat Stevens, The Kinks and Dizzie Gillespie, to hear Ozzy Osbourne wailing about insanity, depression and suicidal thoughts over *that Tony Iommi riff.
Actually, you don’t have to imagine, because there’s priceless footage of Sabbath’s performance on the band’s official YouTube channel. It’s a wonderful snapshot of heavy metal history.
Famously, Sabbath knocked out Paranoid in 30 minutes purely to add another three minutes of music to their second album. Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler initially didn’t want to jam on Tony Iommi’s ‘throwaway’ riff at all because they considered it a Led Zeppelin rip-off.
“Ozzy and I thought it was too close to Communication Breakdown by Led Zeppelin,” Butler recalled. “We always loved Zeppelin in them days, sitting round on the floor smoking dope and listening to that first album. So when Tony came up with the riff to Paranoid me and Ozzy spotted it immediately and went, ‘Naw, we can’t do that!’ In fact we ended up having quite a big argument about it. Guess who was wrong?”
“I remember going home and I said to my then-wife, ’I think we’ve written a single’,” Ozzy recalled. “She said, ‘But you don’t write singles.’ I said, ‘I know, but this has been driving me nuts on the train all the way back’.”
Paranoid reached number 4 on the UK singles chart on August 29, 1970. Its parent album, Paranoid, became Sabbath’s only number 1 album of the decade one month later.
EIL.COM Favourite Music Update Rare CDs, CD Singles, Rare Records, Vinyl Records, Albums and Music
- Black Sabbath - Paranoid - Blue Label - Textured Insert - Japanese - 7" vinyl - £95.00, $105.45, €108.30 (New Item) (arrived 30-Sep-2022 16:29)on October 3, 2022 at 2:09 am
BLACK SABBATH Paranoid (Rare original 1970 Japanese blue Philips label issue 7" single pressed on Translucent Vinyl, visable when held to the light, with an intact tri-centre & manufactured by Nippon Phonogram, also including The Wizard, complete with the unique textured group picture insert with Japanese text biography and lyrics printed on the reverse. The insert has only minimal wear whilst the vinyl remains Excellent with just a few light cosmetic surface marks, a really nice example SFL-1300)
- Black Sabbath - The Collection - UK - 2-LP vinyl set - £30.00, $33.30, €34.20 (New Item) (arrived 23-Sep-2022 14:56)on October 3, 2022 at 2:09 am
BLACK SABBATH The Collection (1985 UK 18-track double vinyl compilation LP featuring classic tracks including Warpigs, Electric Funeral, Wheels Of Confusion, Snowblind, Killing Yourself To Live and more. The glossy gatefold picture sleeve displays some ringwear while the two vinyl discs look barely played CCSLP109)
- Black Sabbath - Turn Up The Night - P/S - UK - 7" vinyl - £15.00, $16.65, €17.10 (New Item) (arrived 20-Sep-2022 12:45)on October 3, 2022 at 2:09 am
BLACK SABBATH Turn Up The Night (1981 UK injection moulded 7"single, also includes Lonely Is The Word. The picture sleeve shows some ringwear and wear along the opening edge and the vinyl is in excellent condition with only light signs of play SAB6)
- Black Sabbath - Neon Knights + Sleeve - UK - 7" vinyl - £15.00, $16.65, €17.10 (New Item) (arrived 20-Sep-2022 12:56)on October 3, 2022 at 2:09 am
BLACK SABBATH Neon Knights (1980 UK injection moulded 7" vinyl single, also including a live recording of Children Of The Sea. The paper picture sleeve displays some light wear and the vinyl is Excellent with only light signs of play SAB3)
- Black Sabbath - Tomorrow's Dream - 1st - Wide - EX - UK - 7" vinyl - £18.00, $19.98, €20.52 (New Item) (arrived 20-Sep-2022 16:36)on October 3, 2022 at 2:09 am
BLACK SABBATH Tomorrow's Dream (Classic original 1972 UK wide centred 7" vinyl single on the Vertigo 'swirl' label, also including Laguna Sunrise. The vinyl comes issued within the wavy-cut Vertigo 'swirl' company die-cut paper sleeve. The vinyl remains Excellent with a few cosmetic surface marks)