Iron Man (song)

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"Iron Man"
Single by Black Sabbath
from the album Paranoid
B-side"Electric Funeral"
ReleasedOctober 1971
Format45 RPM
Recorded1970
GenreHeavy metal
Length3:33 (single)
5:56 (album)
LabelWarner Bros. (US/Canada)
Writer(s)Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward
ProducerRodger Bain
Black Sabbath singles chronology
"Paranoid"
(1970)
"Iron Man"
(1971)
"After Forever"
(1971)
Paranoid track listing
"Planet Caravan"
(3)
"Iron Man"
(4)
"Electric Funeral"
(5)
 
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"Iron Man"
Single by Black Sabbath
from the album Paranoid
B-side"Electric Funeral"
ReleasedOctober 1971
Format45 RPM
Recorded1970
GenreHeavy metal
Length3:33 (single)
5:56 (album)
LabelWarner Bros. (US/Canada)
Writer(s)Iommi, Osbourne, Butler, Ward
ProducerRodger Bain
Black Sabbath singles chronology
"Paranoid"
(1970)
"Iron Man"
(1971)
"After Forever"
(1971)
Paranoid track listing
"Planet Caravan"
(3)
"Iron Man"
(4)
"Electric Funeral"
(5)

"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.

Writing and recording[edit]

The Iron Man riff. About this sound Play 

The title of the song was conceived by Ozzy Osbourne.[1] Geezer Butler took to writing the lyrics around the title. The song was originally entitled "Iron Bloke". Upon hearing the main guitar riff for the first time, Osbourne remarked that it sounded "like a big iron bloke walking about".[2] The title was later changed to "Iron Man".

Despite the song's title, it bears no connection to the Marvel superhero character Iron Man, which was created and first appeared in Tales of Suspense # 39 March 1963 (though it has become associated with the character due to this misconception, and was used in the 2008 film Iron Man based on the Marvel character). Butler wrote the lyrics as 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 field. He is rendered mute, unable verbally to warn people of his time of the impending destruction. His attempts to communicate are ignored and mocked. This causes Iron Man to become angry, and have his revenge on mankind, causing the destruction seen in his vision.[3] The vocal effects on Osbourne's opening line, "I am Iron Man", were achieved by having him sing from behind a metal fan.[4]

Legacy[edit]

This was the second Black Sabbath single in the US, but it was not released as a single in England. It got very little radio play in the US, but developed a cult following, which led to enough sales to give it a chart position.

A new version was included on the 2000 Reunion album. It won the Grammy that year for Best Metal Performance.

Ozzy recorded a new version of this for the 1994 Black Sabbath tribute album Nativity in Black. Ozzy also recorded a version of this with Busta Rhymes in 1998 for Bustas's album Extinction Level Event (Final World Front). The track was renamed "This Means War". The version with Busta Rhymes was included on the Black Sabbath tribute album Nativity in Black II. On his 2001 song "Get Me Through", Ozzy referenced this in the line, "I'm not the antichrist or the Iron Man".

In the film School of Rock, this is the first riff that Dewey (Jack Black) teaches the guitarist, Zack (Joey Gaydos, Jr.), along with "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple and "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC.

In 2007 Nissan used this in commercials for their pickup trucks.

The common misconceived tie between the song and the comic book character was spoofed in the 2008 film Iron Man. The film's novelization goes on to also state that the song is Tony Stark's favorite, hence why he picked the title to baptize his superhero alter-ego.

Frank Zappa once surprised members of Black Sabbath by covering this song with his own band at a gig that Sabbath attended. [5]

Awards and chart position[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Covers[edit]

In other media[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]