Black Sabbath - Classic Albums - Paranoid (DVD)
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Heavy Metal
19 songs (97'00)
Release year: 2010
Black Sabbath, Eagle Rock Entertainment
Reviewed by Marty
This one is the latest release from Eagle Rock Entertainment in a long line of the "Classic Albums" series seen on VH-1, MTV and Much Music in Canada. This DVD release chronicles the recording of one of the most influential heavy metal albums of all time - Black Sabbath's second album Paranoid. It also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the release of the ground-breaking album back in 1970.

I'm not going to review the actual album as I have already done that many years back for our "Classics" section. What this DVD offers the fans is a behind the scenes look at the recording of the Paranoid album and where the band was at in their career during that time. The Vietnam War was in full swing back in 1970 and was a major source of inspiration for the band's main lyricist Geezer Butler. Tracks like War Pigs tackle the war head on while others like Hand of Doom take a look at the effects of the post war syndrome on many Vietnam vets who turned to hard drugs in order to escape the recurring horrors of their experiences. Ozzy and Bill Ward really only play a small role in this documentary with just a few comments about the making of the album and in fact, most of Bill Ward's contributions are found within the extra 40 minutes of bonus material. The real stars of the show are Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler who both strap on their axes and play along; giving the viewers some great close-ups of both of their playing styles and just how to properly play some of the classic songs on the album. I really liked how special attention was given to Planet Caravan, a very weird and often overlooked track. Tony shows us how to play the main riff and talks about the origins of the song. I would've liked to have seen a little more coverage of the recording for Electric Funeral, Hand Of Doom and Fairies Wear Boots. Most of the focus musically is on Iron Main, War Pigs and Paranoid. In fact, the instrumental Rat Salad isn't even mentioned until the extra bonus material.

Producer Tom Allom "dissects" a few tracks from the master recording and in doing so, really points out just how important the rhythm section of Geezer Butler and Bill Ward was to the overall classic Sabbath sound. Ozzy's rough guide vocal tracks where he basically spouts jibberish to what would eventually be the final version of the vocal melodies are quite funny. As well, we get input from several veteran British music journalists, former Warner Brothers record execs and also some input from Henry Rollins. I'm not sure why he was chosen but it would've been nice to see other musician's thoughts on the band and the album.

Surprisingly, this documentary also chronicles quite a bit of the early years of Black Sabbath in and around the recording of their debut album as well. We get quite a bit of info from Tony and Geezer about their very first U.S. tour and how much of the first album and Paranoid were written as a result of onstage jams that they band would launch into to try to fill up their timeslots when doing 4 or 5 sets a night in some of the pubs they frequently played. Much like the first album, much of Paranoid was already written before heading into the studio. The result is that in just a week's time, they laid down the tracks for what would become one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time. This DVD documents the making of this album and is a real treat for die-hard Sabbath fans.

Killing Songs :
Marty quoted no quote
Other albums by Black Sabbath that we have reviewed:
Black Sabbath - 13 reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Black Sabbath - Headless Cross reviewed by Adam and quoted 81 / 100
Black Sabbath - Forbidden reviewed by Khelek and quoted 65 / 100
Black Sabbath - Mob Rules reviewed by Khelek and quoted CLASSIC
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath reviewed by Adam and quoted CLASSIC
To see all 22 reviews click here
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