Released: 2010, Eagle Rock Entertainment
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Eagle Rock Entertainment has just released the latest addition to their outstanding "Classic Album" DVD series in BLACK SABBATH:PARANOID. This 97 minute DVD, also available in Blu-Ray format features anecdotal remedies of the earliest days of Black Sabbath, on to the making of the now historic "Paranoid" album, from journalists who were there at the time, longtime supporters of the group such as Henry Rollins and of course the four original members of Black Sabbath themselves.
It's fascinating hearing Geezer recall his science fiction and occult leanings making their way into the band's lyrics. For instance, "War Pigs" was originally entitled "Walpurgis" a reference to a more pagan orientated tradition, though pressure from Warner Brothers back in America thought different, hence the name change! Black Sabbath had also wanted to title the "Paranoid" album "War Pigs" but Warner Brothers again sidestepped the band as America was currently in the midst of the Vietnam war and the title seemed distasteful. Both Butler and Osbourne also recollect somewhat different accounts of how the lyrics for "Fairies Wear Boots" came to be. Was it a middle finger to skinhead gangs or gibberish ramblings about drug culture? Depends on who you ask. The band recall the influence the Vietnam war had on their psyche at that time, seeping into songs like "Hand of Doom" recalling British halfway houses where heroin addicted U.S. soldiers stayed before being re-introduced to American society.
"Paranoid" producer Rodger Bain takes us into the 16 track studio where the album was recorded and strips away the effect on Ozzy's vocal track in Planet Caravan and for the first time you can hear the original takes unaffected. Little things like that help you better appreciate the influence Bain had stepping in as the role of producer on "Paranoid". Similar before and after segments are paralleled with tracks by guitarist Tony Iommi, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler.
This DVD is a must have for Black Sabbath fans. Who better to document this period in the band's lengthy career than the original four Black Sabbath members and their producer? It would have been cool to include promotional music videos and additional concert footage as bonus features, but overall this really is a classy DVD.