Top 10 Black Sabbath Songs

Formed in 1968 in England, Black Sabbath made a name for themselves as pioneers of the heavy metal genre. Though Ozzy Osbourne first found fame as the band’s frontman, Black Sabbath also spent time making music with Ronnie James Dio. Now, Osbourne is back and the band continues to remind us why they’re one of the best in the genre. For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites with their most commercially successful songs. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for top 10 Black Sabbath songs. Special thanks to our users Al Bebak, Jack Morris, iamnotarobot and Mason Brewer for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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They’re children of the grave. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Black Sabbath songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites with their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “Snowblind”
Black Sabbath Vol 4. (1972)


This heavy metal number simultaneously expresses Black Sabbath’s love and affection for cocaine while also warning us about the drug’s dangers. Despite its slow pace, this 5-and-a-half minute track still holds its own against Sabbath’s other work. This is thanks in large part to Bill Ward’s mastery of the drums and cymbals, which ensures “Snowblind” is as heavy as the rest of ‘em.

#9: “Supernaut”
Black Sabbath Vol 4. (1972)


This Vol. 4 track may’ve never been released as a single, but is so good it’s a longtime fan favorite. Why? First off, “Supernaut” features one of Tony Iommi’s best riffs, and secondly, it’s got Ward at his finest on the skins. Ozzy Osbourne then keeps it all together with his hard rocking vocals.

#8: “Black Sabbath”
Black Sabbath (1970)


As the opener and title track to their debut album, “Black Sabbath” was many people’s introduction to the band’s sound. With its distinctive and menacing vibe, the over 6-minute number was the band’s version of a horror movie put to music. Because of its popularity among fans, it quickly became a concert staple and has been covered by multiple bands.

#7: “Sweet Leaf”
Master of Reality (1971)


It’s not only because its lyrics talk about smoking pot that this 5-minute track is considered an early example of stoner rock. Opening with the sound of one of the members coughing, the Master of Reality tune features a monster riff and bass-heavy sound that keeps us addicted all the way through. “Sweet Leaf” indeed.

#6: “Heaven and Hell”
Heaven and Hell (1980)


It may be the only track on our list with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, but that doesn’t mean “Heaven and Hell” is any less epic than Sabbath’s other material. With its badass guitar solo and bass line, the Iommi-penned piece delves into the age-old exploration between good and evil. And it’s even more fantastic experienced live as new lyrics and more music are often added.

#5: “N.I.B.”
Black Sabbath (1970)


Many fans once thought this song’s title was an acronym for the words “Nativity in Black.” But Geezer Butler later claimed it described Ward’s pen nib-shaped facial hair. Either way, “N.I.B.” is another Sabbath track about the devil, but it’s got a twist; Lucifer falls in love! Also notable is Butler’s opening bass solo and the song’s incorporation of blues, hard rock and psychedelic rock to its heavy metal sound.

#4: “Children of the Grave”
Master of Reality (1971)


Despite the song’s antiwar lyrics, “Children of the Grave” is far from being a peaceful sounding track. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that it stomps along thanks to Ozzy’s characteristic vocals, Iommi’s big bad riffs and Ward’s captivating drumming. Meanwhile, the song’s ominous atmosphere and musical layers have encouraged many artists to record versions of their own.

#3: “War Pigs”
Paranoid (1970)


This song was transformed from one about a Satanic festival called “Walpurgis” to an antiwar piece, which was particularly relevant considering what was going on in Vietnam at the time. With its memorable guitar solo, the use of an air raid siren and Osbourne’s angst-filled vocals, “War Pigs” is a poignant number lasting almost 8 minutes. Thanks to its anthemic nature, it’s also often played in concert.

#2: “Iron Man”
Paranoid (1970)


Following the tale of a time-traveler who is turned into steel, this Paranoid single earned cult status even without the benefit of heavy radio play. With its ironclad riff, vocal effects and futuristic tone, the song peaked within the Billboard Hot 100’s top sixty. Further cementing its place as a Black Sabbath classic, a live rendition of “Iron Man” won a Grammy almost 3 decades later. The song also earned newfound popularity when the Marvel superhero movie franchise of the same name shot to success in 2008.

Honorable Mentions


“Headless Cross,” Headless Cross (1989)
“Fairies Wear Boots,” Paranoid (1970)
“Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)
“Symptom of the Universe,” Sabotage (1975)
“The Wizard,” Black Sabbath (1970)
“The Sign of the Southern Cross,” Mob Rules (1981)

#1: “Paranoid”
Paranoid (1970)


Needing one more song to complete their sophomore effort, Sabbath originally thought this would be a filler tune. But once Iommi conceived of its dynamic riff and Butler added his tormented lyrics, “Paranoid” became the new title track and the album’s first single to be released. The result was a dark and heavy blues-rock number with elements of protopunk that charted with the UK top 5. Because “Paranoid”’s heavy metal sound was unlike anything heard before, it set the blueprint for the genre and countless subgenres thereafter.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Black Sabbath song? With new top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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