Best covers of Black Sabbath’s 1970 song Paranoid

Paranoid - Black_Sabbath_(1970)

Today we’re taking a look at the best Black Sabbath covers of their classic song Paranoid. Formed in 1968 in Birmingham, England. Black Sabbath named themselves after a 1963 horror movie of the same name. The song is from their 2nd studio album, Paranoid which was released on Friday the 13th, February 1970.

Amongst some of the musicians or acts who covered the song Paranoid to date are Weezer, Megadeth, Type O Negative, The Dillinger Escape Plan, 3rd Strike. Before we get to those, let’s remind ourselves what the original sounds like so you can better compare.

Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)

BLACK SABBATH  - "Paranoid" on Top of the Pops 1970
Probably Black Sabbath’s most well known song. The song Paranoid was apparently written & recorded in around 2 hours due to the band needing a filler track for the Paranoid. The song was quickly cobbled together with Ozzy reading the quickly written lyrics from the page as he was singing. The song & album helped define the metal genre & Sabbath are looked upon as pioneers.

The Covers..

Onto the Paranoid covers. You’d think nobody could deliver a worthy cover of such a classic song but some bands have done some really interesting things with it. The most interesting by far is Type O Negatives cover.

1. Weezer (2019)

Weezer - Paranoid
Weezer are a US rock band formed in L.A in 1992. Upon hearing the beginning you think you’re going to hear a carbon copy of Paranoid but then the main riff hits but with a slight variation to it. Most of the guitar parts have been reworked. The main solo isn’t bad but it’s nothing special. A decent cover but not the best on this page. If anything I think this cover will serve to introduce Weezer’s younger fans to Black Sabbath.

The song is the 6th track on Weezer’s 2019 (Teal Album). The album features many other covers from well known artists.

2. Megadeth (1994)

US Metal band formed in 1983 in L.A by Dave Mustaine after he was fired from Metallica. This cover takes the original & kicks it up a notch. The standout addition being the solo which is replaced with a much faster more intense one. The cover can be found on Nativity In Black: A Tribute To Black Sabbath.

3. Type O Negative (1992)

Gothic metal band from New York formed in 1989, disbanded 2010 following frontman Peter Steele’s death. The 6 ft 8 giant Steele whose rich bass-baritone vampirish vocals deliver this cover to new gloomy depths. They even manage to incorporate the main riff from the Sabbath song “Iron Man” into it as well as additional lyrics. At over 7 minutes long it’s nearly 3x as long as the original. Steele cited Sabbath as a key musical influence of his. Type-O also covered the song “Black Sabbath” from Sabbath’s debut.

Their cover of Paranoid can be found on their album The Origin of the Feces.

4. The Dillinger Escape Plan (2008)

The Dillinger Escape Plan - Paranoid (Black Sabbath)
American metalcore band formed in 1997. Their 1999 debut album was lauded a landmark release in hardcore punk and heavy metal.

The beginning of the song sounds like they are just doing a straight heavier cover but there are some surprises in store as the song develops with the switching of both musical & vocal styles. This cover appears as a bonus track on Under the Running Board – Reissue & Bonus album.

5. 3rd Strike (2002)

3rd Strike - Paranoid (Black Sabbath Cover)
3rd Strike are a US nu metal group formed in 1995 and last active in 2010. The bands frontman Jim Korthe passed away in 2010. The band took the Sabbath song & put it through the nu metal & rap metal blender & out popped a very decent sounding cover that brings additional lyrics & music to portions of it.

This cover appears on their only album Lost Angel (Explicit).

Which cover of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid do you prefer? Do you know of a better one? Comment below.

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