Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

8. Black SabbathParanoid

I chose this one because it has ‘War Pigs’. It’s quintessentially Sabbath even now. They have to play those songs because they are the ones that say everything about that band. Tony [Iommi, guitarist] has said that they were in and out in a few hours when they were making those first records, and this was a pretty quick follow-up. He’s a riff master. It’s just riffs. It’s the essence and the purity of Sabbath that I love, and on this record they really nail it. If somebody were to ask me about Sabbath, what they represent and what they’ve done, I’d tell them to just go and listen to this record because it encapsulates them so well.

They were a Birmingham band too and I think it just shows that a lot of bands from that Midlands region were very prolific. There was a lot of activity going on in and around the Birmingham area. I’ve always said that the Beatles were responsible for breaking the wall around London down, because before them there was this idea that you had to be from London to be successful. But them being from Liverpool and then later bands like Sabbath from Birmingham sent a message that it wasn’t the case and I think that’s great. The way that the scene was in Birmingham at that time, we had a fabulous club called

We were friends with Sabbath, and I’ve always considered them to be the inventors of the heavy metal sound. We knew each other and for them to suddenly have this massive impact with this record and be on the radio and in the NME was thrilling. It was before the internet so it took time to get the word out but that made it more exciting to watch for me. When they went to America we were in awe of them because everyone wanted to go to America. Of course we did a few years later, but that was only because of this heavy metal sound that they were responsible for.

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