‘Paranoid’ is a song by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in 1970 off the band's second studio album Paranoid. It was the first Black Sabbath single release, coming six months after their self-titled debut was released. ‘Paranoid’ eventually became the name of the album, and somewhat unusually, the word paranoid is never mentioned in the lyrics. Originally the band had wanted to call the album War Pigs after the song of the same name, but the record company persuaded them to use ‘Paranoid’ instead because it was less offensive.
The ‘Paranoid’ single reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 61 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was ranked No. 34 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 11 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. Rolling Stone ranked it number 250 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and 13th on their 2023 list "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Songs of All Time.
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."
Black Sabbath waited two years before releasing another single, "Iron Man." They did not want to become a "singles band," with kids coming to their shows just to hear their hits. This also ensured that fans would buy the albums.Label – Vertigo
Songwriters – Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward
Producer – Rodger Bain
Finished with my woman
'Cause she couldn't help me with my mind
People think I'm insane
Because I am frowning all the time
All day long I think of things
But nothing seems to satisfy
Think I'll lose my mind
If I don't find something to pacify
Can you help me
Occupy my brain?
I need someone to show me
The things in life that I can't find
I can't see the things that make true happiness
I must be blind
Make a joke and I will sigh
And you will laugh and I will cry
Happiness I cannot feel
And love to me is so unreal
And so, as you hear these words
Telling you now of my state
I tell you to enjoy life
I wish I could but it's too late