The album cover art is expected to convey a message or the background behind the album. This isn’t the case with classic Black Sabbath album ‘Paranoid’.
In a new interview on The Conversation, Black Sabbath members discussed the cover art of the band’s 1970 sophomore album “Paranoid,” explaining why it doesn’t really make any sense.
Iommi now commented (transcribed by UG):
“The album cover on ‘Paranoid’ has nothing to do with ‘Paranoid’ [the song]. It was going to be called ‘War Pigs,’ so we had a bloke with the shield and a sword, which remotely made sense – more so than ‘Paranoid.’
“But they banned that, you couldn’t use it as a title in them days… It was so awkward for us to move forward with things.”
Geezer Butler chimed in:
“We didn’t think anything of it because we thought it was just another song. And then later the record company said, ‘Hey guys, this is the best song on the album. Let’s call the record ‘Paranoid.”
“The record cover is really horrible, to begin with, but it was based on this idea of ‘War Pigs.’ The cover was bad enough when the album was going to be ‘War Pigs,’ but when it was ‘Paranoid’ it didn’t even make sense.”
“There’s a guy standing there with a shield and a sword, with the album title called ‘Paranoid.’ Imagine the questions we got asked after that. ‘What’s the have to do with ‘Paranoid’?’ Well, nothing, really. But that’s how it was.”