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Iron Man
Song

Iron Man

Black Sabbath
Album:
Paranoid

Song Meaning and Background of Iron Man by Black Sabbath


"Iron Man" is a song by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, and released in 1970 from their second studio album, Paranoid.


When hearing Tony Iommi's guitar riff at a rehearsal for the first time, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne said that it sounded "like a big iron bloke walking about", with "Iron Bloke" becoming the placeholder title for the song.


As the song developed the title evolved to "Iron Man".


The lyrics were written by bassist and lyricist Geezer Butler, and tells the story of a man who travels into the future and sees the apocalypse.


In the process of returning to the present to warn the human race, 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.


Butler recalled, "I liked the Hammer horror films in the 1960s and magazines such as Man, Myth and Magic, but I had a few supernatural experiences as a child and dreams that came true and that, more than anything, shaped my interest in the occult".


Butler added, "What I always attempted to do with my science-fiction plots was to make these relevant to the modern world at the time, so I brought war and politics in. It was also an era when the whole issue of pollution was starting to get attention, and this affected my thinking quite a bit."

 

The distorted vocals at the beginning of the song that say "I am Iron Man" were created has been a subject to debate.


One rumor is that Osbourne sang through an oscillating metal fan to get the sound.


However, 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.


Despite the title and its use in the 2008 movie, the song has no connection to the Marvel Comics character of the same name.

VH1 ranked the song as the greatest heavy metal song of all time.


Lyrics of Iron Man by Black Sabbath


I am Iron Man

 

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

Fill his victims full of dread

Running as fast as they can

Iron Man lives again!


Release Date

1971

Songwriter/s

Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward

Producer/s

Rodger Bain

Label/s

Warner Bros

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