Tony Iommi’s Misconception Regarding Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’


Credited as the progenitors of heavy metal music, Black Sabbath helped define the genre with their successful albums such as 1970’s ‘Black Sabbath’ and ‘Paranoid’ and 1971’s ‘Master Of Reality.’ Following Ozzy Osbourne’s departure, Sabbath went under several lineup changes, but Tony Iommi remained the only constant member over the years.

After the commercial success of ‘Black Sabbath,’ the band released their hit album ‘Paranoid’ later in 1970. Known as a critical influence on the development of heavy metal, ‘Paranoid’ featured some of Sabbath’s signature songs, including the title song ‘Paranoid.’ Although the track was a success, Tony Iommi said something goofy upon hearing ‘Paranoid’ for the first time.

Tony Iommi’s First Reaction To The Sabbath Song ‘Paranoid’


Released in September 1970, ‘Paranoid’ is the second studio album by Black Sabbath. Following its release, the album became the band’s only record topping the UK Albums chart until 2013’s album ’13.’ Moreover, ‘Paranoid’s sales were enhanced by the success of its same-titled single.

‘Paranoid’ is one of the songs that comes to mind when talking about the Black Sabbath. Although it was written in the studio at the last minute, the single helped the band achieve remarkable chart success. However, when he first heard the song, Tony Iommi had a negative feeling about ‘Paranoid’s solo.

Black Sabbath’s producer Roger Bain decided to use a ring modulator on Osbourne’s voice in the introduction to the 1970s song ‘Iron Man.’ In ‘Paranoid,’ he ran the song through the same ring modulator on the guitar solo. Speaking to Kerrang on the 50th anniversary of ‘Paranoid,’ Iommi revealed his thoughts on this decision.

According to Iommi, he was shocked upon hearing ‘Paranoid’ for the first time, and he stated that the song sounded horrible. However, despite Iommi’s reaction, they decided to use this on the album, and he later changed his mind and got used to it.

Speaking to Kerrang in 2020, Tony Iommi said the following about ‘Paranoid’:

“Rodger also used that ring modulator on the guitar solo on the track ‘Paranoid.’ At first, I said, ‘What the hell’s that?! It sounds horrible!’ But they went ahead and picked it as the solo that ended up on the record all the same. I’ve gotten used to it now.”

You can listen to Black Sabbath’s iconic hit ‘Paranoid’ below.