Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath

Last week, Black Sabbath's home page ( was changed to feature the band's old logo and the date 11.11.11.

If rumours are to be believed (and they seem likely), the original four members (Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward) will be announcing some kind of reunion on Friday.

We'll do another Black Sabbath-focused Classic Cuts next week if this proves true, but why not celebrate early with a look back at Paranoid, their second studio album?

From the epic, drawn-out introduction of 'War Pigs', conjuring up an haunting atmosphere with air raid sirens, building up to Ozzy Osborne's underrated, soaring vocal line, it's a perfect album opener.

Ozzy has become somewhat of a joke in recent years, but this record proves that - for a time - he was one of metal's best vocalists.

An admirable point of interest for the album is that it was just a few months after their much-hailed debut, managing to quickly build on their already influential sound to create what would become one of the greatest metal albums of all time.

The band's original line-up (without discrediting the Dio years) was Black Sabbath at its best, as they combined to be much more than a sum of their parts.

From the album's lyrical content, to the tightness of the quartet, smattered with bluesy riffs and solos with a heavier sound, this was a brilliant sophomore release.

Taking influence from everything from jazz ('Planet Caravan') to bluesy rock n' roll ('Fairies Wear Boots'), the album managed to be as diverse as it was consistent.

This is even if we disregard the title track, which is a near-perfect song recorded written and recorded in one afternoon as "filler" to complete the album.

At its heart, 'Paranoid' is a three-minute pop song, albeit a dark one that captured Ozzy's state of mind well through the lyrics and tone of the music.

Despite only having eights tracks, this was (and is) a fantastic album that is rightly regarded as the band's crowning glory.

Listening to Paranoid, and remember how they were, we challenge anyone to not be excited about the possibility of a Black Sabbath reunion.

Female First - Alistair McGeorge