1970Released
2:48

Did You Know?

Interesting facts and trivia about Paranoid. By Songfacts®.

As the title suggests, this song is about a man who is paranoid. The driving guitar and bass create a nervous energy to go along with Ozzy Osbourne's desperate vocal. Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, who wrote the lyric, explained the song's meaning to Mojo magazine June 2013: "Basically, it's just about depression, because I didn't really know the difference between depression and paranoia. It's a drug thing; when you're smoking a joint you get totally paranoid about people, you can't relate to people. There's that crossover between the paranoia you get when you're smoking dope and the depression afterwards."

"Paranoid" is a fan favorite, the far from a band favorite. Geezer Butler told Guitar World magazine, March 2004, "A lot of the Paranoid album was written around the time of our first album, Black Sabbath. We recorded the whole thing in about two or three days, live in the studio. The song 'Paranoid' was written as an afterthought. We basically needed a 3-minute filler for the album, and Tony came up with the riff. I quickly did the lyrics, and Ozzy was reading them as he was singing." Tony Iommi explained to Songfacts: "The song was written as a filler for the album - it was never intended on being anything else. But it became a single because it was a short song, and because it became what it did, most people knew us because of 'Paranoid' in them days."

Although this was the first Black Sabbath-penned single, the band's debut single was actually a cover of Crow's "Evil Woman Don't Play Your Games With Me" a few months before the "Paranoid" release. "Paranoid" was much more successful. It was released six months after their self-titled first album and had a huge impact in their native UK, going to #4 and becoming one of their signature songs. The group never charted again in the UK Top 10, but that wasn't a problem since album and ticket sales more than made up for it. Many UK rock bands, including Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, put little emphasis on singles.

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Alternative music library
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549h 39m
A multigenre collection of (mostly) alternative 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s 00s 10s 20s hits, great album tracks, hidden gems, forgotten songs, obscure songs and personal favorites. I refresh this playlist every 3 months. Visit eric8bits.com to connect on a platform of your choice.
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classic rock
59
63h 16m
'50s-'80s
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songs I like
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7h 22m
songs I like (title is self explanatory)
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2
9h 39m
inhale inhale exhale exhale

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Song Analysis

Key, BPM (tempo) and time signature of Paranoid.
EKey
MinorMode
4/4Time Signature
163BPM

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