Metal Music

BLACK SABBATH – “Iron Man”

The Iron Man is the main protagonist villain in the Black Sabbath song of the same name. He is an unnamed man of good intent who built a time machine and traveled to the future, only to glimpse an apocalypse in progress through a robotic threat.

Iron Man” is a song written and performed by the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released on their 1970 album Paranoid. 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 field, and his attempts to warn the public are ignored and mocked. Feeling shunned and alone, Iron Man plans his revenge on mankind, causing the apocalypse seen in his vision.[2]

Immediately, he began to make the trip back to save the world from this terror. But somehow, the return trip warped his body into a hulking metal form, in which he was unable to communicate his dire warning, and was attacked instead. Enraged, he began tearing civilization apart, leading to himself being the cause of the apocalypse he tried to warn people of. The story is a simple but savage time loop, driven home by the band’s primal driving chords and beats.

Composition

Upon hearing the main guitar riff for the first time, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne remarked that it sounded “like a big iron bloke walking about”. The title became “Iron Man”, with Geezer Butler writing the lyrics around the title. How the distorted vocals at the beginning that say “I am Iron Man” were created has been a topic of debate. It has been rumored that Osbourne sang through an oscillating metal fan to get the sound, but it’s more likely that his voice was run through a processor called a ring modulator, which creates a wobbly electronic effect by mixing the input signal with an oscillator. This is the device used to create the voices of the Daleks on Doctor Who, and it’s something Toni Iommi has used – you can hear it on his guitar solo in “Paranoid.” Despite the title, the song has no connection to the Marvel Comics character of the same name.

Reception and legacy

The song peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972, becoming their highest-charting single on the chart. It also reached number 68 on the Canadian RPM Magazine Top 100. The live rendition of the song from Reunion won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.

“Iron Man” was used in the end credits of the 2008 movie Iron Man, as well in its video game adaptation and the trailer for the 2010 sequel, Iron Man 2. The character Tony Stark, alter-ego of Iron Man, also wears a Black Sabbath t-shirt in the 2012 film The Avengers. The song won spot number 317 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time as of 2004. “Iron Man” was ranked the sixth best Black Sabbath song by Rock – Das Gesamtwerk der größten Rock-Acts im Check.VH1 ranked the song as the greatest heavy metal song of all time.

Lycris

Has he lost his mind?-
Can he see or is he blind?-
Can he walk at all-
Or if he moves will he fall?-
Is he alive or dead?-
Has he thoughts within his head?-
We’ll just pass him there-
Why should we even care?-
He was turned to steel-
In the great magnetic field-
When he traveled time-
For the future of mankind-
Nobody wants him-
He just stares at the world-
Planning his vengeance-
That he will soon unfurl-
Now the time is here-
For iron man to spread fear-
Vengeance from the grave-
Kills the people he once saved-
Nobody wants him-
They just turn their heads-
Nobody helps him-
Now he has his revenge-
Heavy boots of lead-
Fills his victims full of dread-
Running as fast as they can-
Iron man lives again-

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