Did Black Sabbath Lift Epic Riff For Their Classic Song “Paranoid?”

All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy; especially the upsetting notion that one of rock’s most classic songs could have been intentionally or unintentionally “inspired” by another artist.

The original Black Sabbath fronted by singer Ozzy Osbourne, with the dark riff master Tony Iommi on guitar are credited in part with launching the genre of heavy metal. One of their most famous songs 1970’s Paranoid was also one of their only chart topping hits. Much like their British classic rock contemporaries, Led Zeppelin who are accused of lifting “Stairway To Heaven,” they have recently been accused of lifting the rift for “Paranoid.” Happiness I cannot feel and love to me is so unreal.

I tell you to enjoy life I wish I could but it’s too late.

A smalltime band from Michigan named Half-Life released a song called “Get Down” in 1969, just a year before “Paranoid” came out.

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The opening chords sound pretty similar to the Black Sabbath tune, but you be the judge!

Black Sabbath “Paranoid”

Half Life “Get Down”

Keep in mind these guys were a garage band, and only had a limited release so the idea that Sabbath could have heard their track before recording Paranoid might be pretty slim. On the recording of the song, bassist Geezer Butler (who would later be the inspiration for Metalocalypse’s Murderface) said that:

“A lot of the “Paranoid” album was written around the time of our first album, “Black Sabbath”. We recorded the whole thing in about 2 or 3 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.”

What do you guys think? Do these songs sound similar? Just a coincidence?

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney

Source: Dangerous Minds