Iron Man (song)

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"Iron Man"
BS IronMan.jpg
Single by Black Sabbath
from the album Paranoid
B-side "Electric Funeral"
ReleasedOctober 1971
Format 45 RPM
Recorded1970
Genre Heavy metal
Length3:33 (Single version)
5:56 (Album version)
Label Warner Bros. (US/Canada)
Songwriter(s) Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward
Producer(s) Rodger Bain
Black Sabbath singles chronology
"Children of the Grave"
(1971)
"Iron Man"
(1971)
"Tomorrow's Dream"
(1972)

"Iron Man" is a song by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It is taken from their second studio album, Paranoid , released in 1970. It was later included on their initial greatest hits compilation We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll (1976), as well as all subsequent greatest hits compilations; The single version was included on the Greatest Hits 1970–1978 album.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

Contents

Writing and recording

The Iron Man riff
Play (help*info) Iron Man riff.svg
The Iron Man riff Loudspeaker.svg Play  

Upon hearing the main guitar riff for the first time, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne remarked that it sounded "like a big iron bloke walking about". [1] The title became "Iron Man", with Geezer Butler writing the lyrics around the title. Ozzy Osbourne sang behind a metal fan to get the sound effect in its first line, 'I am Iron Man!'. [2] Despite the title, the song has no connection to the Marvel Comics character of the same name. [3]

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne, also known as The Prince of Darkness, is an English vocalist, songwriter, actor and reality television star who rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was fired from the band in 1979 due to alcohol and drug problems, but went on to have a successful solo career, releasing eleven studio albums, the first seven of which were all awarded multi-platinum certifications in the United States. Osbourne has since reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions. He rejoined the band in 1997 and recorded the group’s final studio album 13 (2013) before they embarked on a farewell tour which culminated in a final performance in their home city Birmingham, England in February 2017. His longevity and success have earned him the informal title of "Godfather of Heavy Metal".

Geezer Butler English musician, bassist and lyricist of Black Sabbath

Terence Michael Joseph "Geezer" Butler is an English musician and songwriter. Butler is best known as the bassist and primary lyricist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He has also recorded with Heaven & Hell, GZR, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Marvel Comics company that publishes comic books and related media

Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company.

The lyrics tell the story of a man who time travels into the future, and sees the apocalypse. In the process of returning to the present, he is turned into steel by a magnetic storm. He is rendered mute, unable verbally to warn people of his vision of impending destruction. His attempts to communicate are ignored and mocked. This causes Iron Man to become furious, and drives his revenge on mankind, causing the apocalypse seen in his vision, [4] alluding to Joseph Stalin (whose name literally means "Man of Steel"). [5]

Time travel is the concept of movement between certain points in time, analogous to movement between different points in space by an object or a person, typically using a hypothetical device known as a time machine. Time travel is a widely-recognized concept in philosophy and fiction. The idea of a time machine was popularized by H. G. Wells' 1895 novel The Time Machine.

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior. A positive or negative prophecy, strongly held belief, or delusion—declared as truth when it is actually false—may sufficiently influence people so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy.

Joseph Stalin Soviet leader

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician. He led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Premier (1941–1953). While initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he ultimately consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.

Awards and accolades

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

<i>Rolling Stone</i><span class="nowrap" style="padding-left:0.1em;">'</span>s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time Wikimedia list article

"The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" was the cover story of a special issue of Rolling Stone, issue number 963, published in December 2004, a year after the magazine published its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".

VH1 American cable television network

VH1 is an American pay television network based in New York City owned by Viacom. It was originally created by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, at the time a division of Warner Communications and the original owner of MTV, and launched on January 1, 1985, in the former space of Turner Broadcasting System's short-lived Cable Music Channel.

Personnel

Singing act of producing musical sounds with the voice

Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, rhythm, and a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a singer or vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung with or without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is often done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, jazz, blues, gazal and popular music styles such as pop, rock, electronic dance music and filmi.

Tony Iommi British guitarist and composer

Anthony Frank Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. He was lead guitarist and one of the four founder members of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He was the band's primary composer and sole continual member for nearly five decades.

Electric guitar electrified guitar; fretted stringed instrument with a neck and body that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals

An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings. The pickup generally uses electromagnetic induction to create this signal, which being relatively weak is fed into a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound.

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<i>Paranoid</i> (album) album by Black Sabbath

Paranoid is the second studio album by the English rock band Black Sabbath. Released in September 1970, it was the band's only LP to top the UK Albums Chart until the release of 13 in 2013. Paranoid contains several of the band's signature songs, including "Iron Man", "War Pigs" and the title track, which was the band's only Top 20 hit, reaching number 4 in the UK charts. It is often cited as an influential album in the development of heavy metal music.

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Master of Reality is the third studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on 21 July 1971. It is widely regarded as the foundation of doom metal, stoner rock, and sludge metal. It was certified double platinum after having sold over 2 million copies. Master of Reality was Black Sabbath's first and only top 10 album in the US until 13, forty-two years later.

"War Pigs" is a song by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It is the opening track from their 1970 album Paranoid.

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References

  1. Classic Albums - Paranoid, by Isis Productions/Eagle Rock Entertainment
  2. "'Guitar Hero': The Video Game That Literally Rocks". MTV News . 14 December 2005. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  3. "The Story Behind Black Sabbath's Iron Man". 102.9 WMGK . 5 August 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  4. "BLACK SABBATH - FAQ version 2.0". Black Sabbath Online.
  5. Himmer, Robert (July 1986). ""On the Origin and Significance of the Name 'Stalin'"". 45 (3): 269–286.
  6. "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone . Wenner Media. 9 December 2004. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  7. Billboard Singles for Black Sabbath at AllMusic
  8. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/028020/f2/nlc008388.7505.pdf
  9. https://web.archive.org/web/20071118121525/http://www.vh1.com/shows/dyn/the_greatest/103446/episode_this_list.jhtml