Listen to Black Sabbath’s alternative Iron Man

Black Sabbath in 1970
Black Sabbath in 1970 (Image credit: Getty)

An early performance of Black Sabbath classic Iron Man, featuring different lyrics from the studio version, is available for streaming.

It was recorded in Montreux in August 1970, before the band released it on second album Paranoid in September – but after they’d recorded it in June.

In the live version frontman Ozzy Osbourne sings: “Now he’s standing there, Iron Man don’t you dare, For he wants you, too, Iron Man, I love you.”

The recording appears on the recently released four-disc Paranoid: Super Deluxe Edition, which contains the 2012 remaster of the original album along with a 1974 quad mix (folded down to stereo) and live shows in Montreux and Brussels in 1970.

In the liner notes, bassist Geezer Butler says of Iron Man: “I just thought it was the heaviest thing I’d ever heard, so I wanted to reflect that in the lyrics. Ozzy had said the riff sounded like some big iron bloke walking through the city, so I thought, ‘Oh, that sounds good.

“‘I’ll make it about some guy that gets turned into steel, and goes into the future in a time machine, then comes back and wants to warn the world that they’re on the wrong way of doing things – and people just don’t take any notice of him.’

“It sort of reflected what people thought about the band, the way we were slagged off in the press. Eventually the iron man in the song gets his revenge on them.”

Black Sabbath are reaching the end of their farewell world tour. They complete a South American run next month then play eight UK shows, winding up with two nights in their home city of Birmingham on February 2 and 4. Butler recently admitted: “My life will be very empty without the band.”

Black Sabbath Paranoid: Super Deluxe Edition tracklist

Disc 1: 2012 remaster

  1. War Pigs / Luke’s Wall
  2. Paranoid
  3. Planet Caravan
  4. Iron Man
  5. Electric Funeral
  6. Hand Of Doom
  7. Rat Salad
  8. Jack The Stripper / Fairies Wear Boots

Disc 2: 1974 Quad mix fold-down to stereo

Disc 3: Live in Montreux, 1970

  1. Intro
  2. Paranoid
  3. N.I.B.
  4. Behind The Wall Of Sleep
  5. Iron Man
  6. War Pigs
  7. Fairies Wear Boots
  8. Hand Of Doom

Disc 4: Live in Brussels, 1970

  1. Paranoid
  2. Hand Of Doom
  3. Rat Salad
  4. Iron Man
  5. Black Sabbath
  6. N.I.B.
  7. Behind The Wall Of Sleep
  8. War Pigs
  9. Fairies Wear Boots

Why Black Sabbath's Paranoid is the Quintessential Heavy Metal Album

Black Sabbath: The End world tour remaining dates

Nov 19: Santiago Estadio Nacional, Chile
Nov 24: Cordoba En El Orfeo Superdomo, Argentina
Nov 26: Buenos Aires Estadio Velez, Argentina
Nov 30: Curitiba Pedrerira Paulo Leminski, Brazil
Dec 02: Rio Praca Da Apoteose, Brazil
Dec 04: Sao Paulo Estadio Do Morumbi, Brazil
Jan 20: Dublin 3 Arena, Ireland
Jan 22: Manchester Arena, UK
Jan 24: Glasgow SSE Hydro, UK
Jan 26: Leeds First Direct Arena, UK
Jan 29: London O2, UK
Jan 31: London O2, UK
Feb 02: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK
Feb 04: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK

Black Sabbath Quiz: How well do you know Paranoid?

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.