Hailed and regaled as the album that created Heavy Metal, Sabbath’s second album release confidently climbed up the album charts chased by their best-known 45rpm song of the album’s title, Paranoid, in the 1970 singles Top 40, establishing this Brummie band at the blast furnace of this newly created thunderous musical movement.
With Iron Man, as well as the title track, considered as one of the greatest metal riffs ever, and rubbing metal shoulders with one of the momentous of album openers in War Pigs, there’s no filler as a dreamy Planet Caravan provides a guileful respite to the otherwise onslaught of Hand Of Doom and Fairies Wear Boots (a song about bovver boy booted skinheads) to name a few of the detonating audio delights forever waiting for old and new fans.
What is of most worthwhile and lasting interest, though, is that this is the first time that Paranoid has been released across five vinyl records, including a Quad mix, with two contemporaneous live concerts debuting on vinyl for the very first time. Both Live in Montreux and Live in Brussels concerts, from 1970, place Sabbath in their live context playing a hard and heavy set of shows in support of their Paranoid release.
The sound quality is superb and greatly adds to the debate about the efficacy of vinyl over other formats. Accompanying the vinyl box set is a cornucopia of satisfying Sabbath contents with a hardcover book revealing extensive and highly informative liner notes, including interviews with all four original band members, rare photos and memorabilia, a poster, and a fine replica of the tour programme sold at the Paranoid tour concerts.
There is, of course, a deluxe CD version of this 50th-anniversary celebration of Paranoid, but it’s the vinyl version which oozes class and will be highly collectable in years to come.
The artful fact to this sumptuous vinyl artefact being that this adds even more heavy-weight ballast to this milestone and momentous recording.