9. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
What would the world of metal look like without the doom-laden influence of Black Sabbath? Probably nowhere near as dark, that’s for sure. Their most famous track was, however, something close to an attempt at being more instantly accessible - and a bit of an afterthought to boot.
Pressured by their label, Warner Brothers, into writing a shorter, more radio-friendly single for their second album, the boys from Brum rolled into the studio straight from the pub one day and caught lightning in a bottle. The story goes that guitarist Tony Iommi strapped on his axe, played that riff, and sent the rest of his bandmates scrambling for their respective instruments in an effort to catch up to him.
Twenty minutes later, the song was completed instrumentally, and after bassist Geezer Butler deciphered and massaged Ozzy Osbourne’s melodic ramblings into a verse or two of angst-ridden lyrics, the whole thing was good to go. The track reached number four in the UK charts and established itself as a staple of the mainstream metal canon almost instantly.
And to think, when I come in from the pub I eat bowls of Coco Pops in my pants and fall asleep in front of reruns of American Pickers.