Black Sabbath - Paranoid - 1970


Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" from 1970: A Milestone in Heavy Metal Music

Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," released in 1970, is a landmark album in the history of heavy metal music. It not only solidified the genre but also influenced countless bands and musicians. This aiMOOC explores the album's impact, its songs, and the band's history.

The Album "Paranoid"

Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" is their second studio album. It was released in September 1970 and quickly became a critical and commercial success. The album's heavy guitar riffs, combined with thematic elements of darkness and despair, helped define the sound of heavy metal.

  1. Black Sabbath's History: Explore the band's formation and early years.
  2. The Birth of Heavy Metal: Understand how "Paranoid" contributed to the emergence of heavy metal.
  3. Production Details: Learn about the recording and production process of "Paranoid."

Songs and Lyrics

The album features some of the most iconic songs in the metal genre, including "War Pigs," "Iron Man," and the title track "Paranoid."

  1. Song Analysis: War Pigs: Delve into the lyrical themes and musical composition.
  2. Song Analysis: Iron Man: Explore the story behind one of the band's most famous songs.
  3. Song Analysis: Paranoid: Understand the creation and impact of the album's title track.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What was the original title of the song "Paranoid"? (“Walpurgis”) (!“Black Sabbath”) (!“Iron Man”) (!“Electric Funeral”)

Which song from the "Paranoid" album is known for its anti-war themes? (“War Pigs”) (!“Electric Funeral”) (!“Planet Caravan”) (!“Fairies Wear Boots”)

What is the main riff of "Iron Man" notable for? (Its heavy, distinctive sound) (!Its fast tempo) (!Its use of synthesizers) (!Its acoustic style)

How did the song "Paranoid" perform in the UK charts? (It reached number 4) (!It was not a hit) (!It reached number 1) (!It did not chart)

Which instrument is prominently featured in the intro of “Planet Caravan”? (A tambourine) (!A guitar) (!A synthesizer) (!A piano)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

Who was the lead singer of Black Sabbath during the "Paranoid" era? (Ozzy Osbourne) (!Ronnie James Dio) (!Ian Gillan) (!Glenn Hughes)

Before settling on the name Black Sabbath, what was the band originally called? (Earth) (!Wicked World) (!The Polka Tulk Blues Band) (!Heaven and Hell)

Which member of Black Sabbath is known for losing the tips of his fingers, which influenced his guitar playing style? (Tony Iommi) (!Geezer Butler) (!Bill Ward) (!Ozzy Osbourne)

In what year did Black Sabbath form? (1968) (!1965) (!1970) (!1972)

Which Black Sabbath member was primarily responsible for writing the lyrics in the early years? (Geezer Butler) (!Ozzy Osbourne) (!Tony Iommi) (!Bill Ward)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

In "Iron Man," what causes the protagonist to become iron? (A magnetic field) (!A curse) (!A laboratory accident) (!An alien encounter)

The song "Paranoid" is primarily about what emotion? (Alienation and despair) (!Anger and revenge) (!Joy and happiness) (!Love and romance)

In "War Pigs," who are the "war pigs" a reference to? (Politicians and warmongers) (!Soldiers) (!Actual pigs) (!Peace activists)

What does the song "Fairies Wear Boots" suggest about its subject matter? (Hallucinations from drug use) (!Children’s fairy tales) (!A fantasy world) (!Fashion trends)

In "Planet Caravan," what is the main theme of the lyrics? (A journey through space) (!A medieval battle) (!A love story) (!Environmental destruction)


Album Release Year 1970
"Paranoid" Genre Heavy Metal
Ozzy Osbourne Lead Singer
"War Pigs" Theme Anti-War
Tony Iommi Guitarist

Open Tasks


  1. Draw the Album Cover: Create your own version of the "Paranoid" album cover.
  2. Write a Short Essay: Describe how "Paranoid" influenced the heavy metal genre.
  3. Create a Playlist: Compile a playlist of songs influenced by Black Sabbath.


  1. Research the Era: Explore other music and cultural events from 1970.
  2. Compare and Contrast: Compare "Paranoid" to another Black Sabbath album.
  3. Interview Fans: Interview people who became fans during the original release of "Paranoid."


  1. Analyze the Lyrics: Deep dive into the lyrics of one song from "Paranoid."
  2. Study Tony Iommi's Guitar Techniques: Learn and demonstrate some of Tony Iommi's signature guitar riffs.
  3. Create a Documentary: Make a short documentary about the impact of "Paranoid" on music.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Cultural Impact: How did "Paranoid" influence the music and culture of the 1970s?
  2. Compare Genres: How does "Paranoid" differ from contemporary music in other genres of its time?
  3. Album's Reception: Discuss the initial and long-term reception of "Paranoid" in the music industry.
  4. Band Dynamics: Explore the dynamics within Black Sabbath during the creation of "Paranoid."
  5. Evolution of Heavy Metal: How did "Paranoid" contribute to the evolution of heavy metal?

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