After the release of their debut album in February 1970, Black Sabbath returned to the studio in June that year, again with producer Rodger Bain, to record their second album. The album was recorded at Regent Sound Studios and Island Studioes in London, England. The album's eponymous single "Paranoid" was written in the studio at the last minute to fulfill the record label's request for a single.
As drummer Bill Ward explains: "We didn't have enough songs for the album, and Tony just played the "Paranoid" guitar lick and that was it. It took twenty, twenty-five minutes from top to bottom."
The song "Iron Man" was originally entitled "Iron Bloke". Upon hearing the main guitar riff for the first time, Ozzy Osbourne remarked that it sounded "like a big iron bloke walking around". The title was later changed to "Iron Man".
- The original name of this album was to be War Pigs, but it was changed due to perceived hostility the album might have gotten due to the Vietnamese War.
- The original name of the song War Pigs was Walpurgis, and had totally different lyrics.
- There were music videos for the songs "Iron Man" & "Paranoid" culled from the Beat Club footage.
- The song Paranoid appeared in a slightly altered format in the arcade videogame "Rock & Roll Racing" along with the songs Born to Be Wild & Bad to the Bone.
- Yes, it's Ozzy singing Planet Caravan.
- Geezer Butler had this to say to a fan via email when asked what bass guitars he played on the first two Black Sabbath records: "Hello Steve, on the first two albums I used a P-bass. On the first album i used a Laney 70 watt guitar amp through a Park 4x12 cabinet [it only had three speakers in it- couldn't afford to buy a 4th speaker]. Strings were probably old Rotosound, as I think that was the only choice in those days. They were roundwound but were so old they probably sounded like flatwounds. I'm not sure what amplification I used on Paranoid, but it was probably Laney, and newer Rotosounds. Thank you for your interest, Geezer."