Category Archives: Heavy Metal

Marking the beat: Paranoid, 50 years on

Watch a supremely young Ozzy Osbourne keeping the beat with his head as he sings. Paranoid is a song of carefully placed syllables:

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Don’t Fear the Reaper

When you invite Death into a love song, how do you keep your audience sensing eternity, not endings? You build a regular, reassuring heartbeat of guitar and drums, with a hint of melancholy in the A minor scale.  You use words with warm, round ‘m’, ‘n’, ‘y’ and ‘b’ sounds. No guillotine cuts of ‘k’, ‘tt‘ or ‘ss’. No heavy, dead thuds of ‘d’ or ‘ug’. Light words, sung lightly, layered with the lalala of summertime. Death becomes a fact, not a fear; a natural part of life and love:

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