There were a stream of distractions that were trying to keep me from my prize, including a tempting offer for a No Tolerance test press, but I held firm to my mission...Vertigo swirl at any cost.
I spent a few weeks refreshing myself on the different pressing info, and following eBay listings...scouring over pictures to find records in the best of condition. This was a big deal, and I didn't want to cut any corners. I dropped decent bids on the first Black Sabbath record, as well as Master Of Reality, but I came up short on each of them. In the end, I probably paid more than I should have, but there was no sweeter win than grabbing this first press of Paranoid.
When I was looking for a copy of Paranoid, I was really hoping to grab a legit first pressing with the Jim Simpson/Big Bear credit on the inside of the gatefold sleeve. As soon as the album was issued, this line was immediately removed due to contractual disputes between Sabbath and Big Bear Management. This one line can cause the price to jump dramatically, and I've seen some of them sell on eBay for well over a grand. Thankfully, my copy was much cheaper than that.
How does a record that is 40 plus years old still manage to be in such great condition? Not a speck of ring wear to be found. Amazing.
It is always a tough call for me when picking my favorite Black Sabbath album...do I go with Paranoid or Master Of Reality? Right now, I'd have to go with Paranoid. Yeah, everyone gets tired of hearing "the hits", and Paranoid has three of them on Side A of this record...still, within the context of the full album War Pigs, Paranoid, and Iron Man are still amazing songs...and then to flip the vinyl over to find songs like Electric Funeral, Hand Of Doom, and Fairies Wear Boots....F U C K...absolute perfection.
Two down, two to go.