Dec 032010

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

black sabbath paranoid covers

From the political science of “War Pigs” to the applied pharmacology of “Fairies Wear Boots,” Black Sabbath‘s Paranoid features seven of the most iconic heavy metal songs of all time…and an instrumental ditty with the evocative title “Rat Salad.” Ozzy Osbourne‘s original wail forever eclipses his latter-day cries of “Shaaaaroooon.” Tony Iommi is the Lennon/McCartney of doom-laden riffs. Geezer Butler and Bill Ward make a mean rhythm section and an even meaner rat salad. And as the following covers demonstrate, the quartet’s hard rock mastery sounds good in any genre.

Opium Jukebox – War Pigs

Industrial favorite Martin Atkins (Public Image Ltd, Killing Joke, Pigface) trades head-banging for snake-charming on this breakbeat-infused translation of Hessian to Hindi. No Bollywood vocals though, for better or worse.

Hellsongs – Paranoid

Sweden’s Hellsongs soften “Paranoid” to showcase the ballad of psychic unease and longing veiled beneath the riff. Underscored by piano and cello, the plea “Can you help me occupy my brain?” never sounded so plaintive.

The Anomoanon – Planet Caravan

The Anomoanon give the cosmic “Planet Caravan” their own rootsy shine, augmented by distant synth blasts from the starry expanse. Seven minutes of jammy, meditative bliss.

Four Tet – Iron Man

The light-touch electronics of Four Tet provide the soundtrack for one of Iron Man’s pensive moods, when he just stares at the world. Who knew Sabbath made for such great thinking music?

Venetian Snares – Electric Funeral

Winnipeg’s Venetian Snares (sample album title: Winnipeg is a Frozen Shithole) give Sabbath’s ode to a dying world a synthesized, dubmatic veneer. A vintage Ozzy vocal sample hints at personal apocalypse to match the original’s end-of-the-world theme: “Fucking hell man, I can’t see beyond Black Sabbath, I can’t see anything without Black Sabbath.”

Afroskull – Rat Salad

Caucasian acéphales Afroskull play rat salad as funky as it tastes. Fans of drum solos, enjoy. This one comes from a full Sabbath covers concert the band performed in 2001; download it here.

Isis – Hand of Doom

American Egyptophiles Isis bring the metal to a song whose title so clearly demands it. Distorted vocals add to the macabre feeling, while the instrumental outro sounds like the Hand of Doom reaching down to crush us all.

Bill Patton – Fairies Wear Boots

Bill Patton spins an authentic folk ballad out of Ozzy’s paranormal, para-sober vision of fairy boots dancing with a dwarf. Whatever the doctor may say, Patton’s world-weary voice makes the story hard not to believe.

Don’t own the original? Pick it up at Amazon or your local record store. Also, check out more Black Sabbath covers in our archive.

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  7 Responses to “Full Albums: Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’”

Comments (5) Pingbacks (2)
  1. Dresden Dolls cover of War Pigs!

  2. awesome collection! fyi several amateur artists lead a cover competition on sabbath’s “paranoid”. you can check out their covers at

  3. The Four Tet version of Iron Man is brilliant! Really nice collection too!

  4. bad plus does an amazing cover of iron man

  5. I must say that Pantera`s cover of Planet caravan really opened up my view
    for this song a little bit of a dimension more…

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