Black Sabbath - Classic Albums: Paranoid

Watch Black Sabbath - Classic Albums: Paranoid

  • 2010
  • 55 min
  • 7.9  (341)

Black Sabbath - Classic Albums: Paranoid is a 2010 musical documentary which recounts the story of how the British rock band Black Sabbath produced their iconic second album, Paranoid, and how it reshaped the perceptions of heavy metal music. The documentary, which is hosted by the writer and rock music critic Phil Alexander, features interviews with the band members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler as well as with the album's producer Tom Allom.

The beginning of the film highlights Black Sabbath's origins and the making of their self-titled debut album. The documentary then transitions into the creation of Paranoid, which was released in 1970, and details how the band's sound and style evolved. The film showcases original footage of the studio sessions interspersed with interviews and commentary by the band members.

The music that is featured in this series primarily comes from the Paranoid album, but the documentary's creators have also included some of the band's other tracks. The film gives particular attention to how the songs were written and how they fit together to make the cohesive sound of the album. The documentary points out the fusion of the traditional blues played by the British musicians and the usage of complex, jazz-influenced harmonies to create the distinctive Black Sabbath sound.

The film's interviews with the band members and producer are forthright and offer the story behind some of the band's most well-known tracks. Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi discuss about how the harmonica riff of "The Wizard" was inspired by a traveling spiritualist that the band encountered. Geezer Butler shares the story behind the song "Iron Man" and its creation out of a jam session during which the band was messing about with heavy riffs. Tom Allom, meanwhile, offers insights into the technical aspects of the album production and how the distinctive guitar tone achieved from the use of a wah-wah pedal shaped the album's sound.

The documentary incorporates a range of visual aids to support the narration. The most compelling visuals are the never-before-seen live footage of gigs in the United States and Germany during that period. The film also showcases rare photographs of the band and the recording studio sessions. The use of animations helps to explain the technical aspects of the sound and lighting that accompanied the bands during live gigs. These visuals are vivid and effectively convey the information being shared.

The well-crafted narrative, the visual support, and the interviews give us a better understanding of Paranoid album's place in rock music, garnering admiration not just from fans but also from other musicians. The series narrates how the album was the product of the band's hard work, conceptualized in a time when the pioneers of heavy metal were establishing themselves. Paranoid pushed back against the popular culture of the time, which the band felt had become too frivolous, by delving into themes of social distress, nuclear destruction, and war. This album allowed the band to branch out into a unique musical style and set that trend for heavy metal music to come.

Overall, Black Sabbath - Classic Albums: Paranoid is a must-watch for anyone interested in classic rock music, heavy metal music, and the creative process behind iconic albums. The film is an excellent tribute to the rock gods and their watershed album that has been celebrated for generations. The documentary is informative, insightful, and entertaining, while also respecting the beauty and power of the music. It is an enlightening explanation of the creative origin that culminated in a musical masterpiece, that continues to shape rock music today.

Black Sabbath - Classic Albums: Paranoid is a 2010 documentary with a runtime of 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9.

Black Sabbath - Classic Albums: Paranoid
Where to Watch Black Sabbath - Classic Albums: Paranoid
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    55 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (341)