Readers' Poll: The Ten Best Black Sabbath AlbumsPicks include 'Heaven and Hell,' 'Master of Reality' and 'Paranoid'
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The track listing of Paranoid looks like a greatest hits collection. The band's three most famous works, "War Pigs," "Iron Man" and "Paranoid," are all from this one record. Many of the songs were born during jams on the road during their first tour. They also started smoking weed around this time, resulting in wild songs like "Iron Man" and "Fairies Wear Boots." After cutting nine songs, they felt they were done. They called the album War Pigs and even commissioned a cover showing a soldier with a sword and shield. But their producer Rodger Bain felt they needed one more song, and during a lunch break Tony Iommi came up with the "Paranoid" riff. Geezer Butler scribbled down some lyrics, and the band's biggest hit came together very quickly. The album was quickly renamed Paranoid and the song reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Forty-three years later, the album remains a staggering achievement. They've cut some amazing albums since this, but nothing has been quite this flawless.