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Black Sabbath literally blew the roof off when premiering Paranoid

Black Sabbath
(Image credit: BMG)

In the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, out now, Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler looks back upon the writing, recording and impact of the quartet‘s iconic second album, Paranoid. One of the stories which Butler shares is the fact that the Aston, Birmingham four-piece literally blew the roof off the barn in which they were rehearsing ahead of the studio sessions, while premiering songs such as Iron Man and War Pigs for producer Rodger Bain.

Before settling in to Regent Sound studio in London to record the album, the band booked rehearsal time at Rockfield Studios in Wales to show Bain, who had produced their self-titled debut album, their new material.

“There was an old barn where we set up,” Butler recalls, “but when we started playing, part of the roof fell in because of the volume.”

“We still lived in Brum with our parents at the time,” the bassist adds, “so any chance to travel out of the inner city, we gladly took. It was sort of a paid holiday for us – we were very close, us against the world sort of thing. We loved having a laugh, getting stoned and drunk together.”

“We were four kids from Aston, just glad to be living our dream.”

Butler also notes that the album, which gave Sabbath their first Top 10 placing in the UK, in addition to peaking at number 23 on the US Billboard chart, “still stands up today”, both musically and lyrically.

“Substitute any Vietnam reference with any current war, and the lyrics still stand up,” he says. “Mental health issues are finally being talked about in the media. Electric Funeral still applies as far as pollution and the destruction of Mother Earth is concerned. I think the lyrics to Paranoid are timeless.”

The new issue of Classic rock is on sale now. In addition to Sabbath’s insights into Paranoid, we have exclusive interviews with Jimmy Page, Marilyn Manson, Corey Taylor, Lars Ulrich and much, much more. 

CR - Jimmy Page

(Image credit: Future)

* Copies of the new issue of Classic Rock can be purchased online from Magazines Direct (opens in new tab) - make sure you select issue 281 from the dropdown menu. 

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* For overseas subscribers whose issues have been delayed by COVID-related restrictions on freight, stockpiled issues were despatched in August, and while local delays are pushing delivery times further back, magazines are being delivered. 

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.