War Pigs (7:55)

Cover of Paranoid

From Paranoid and 111 other releases

War Pigs” is a song by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath from their 1970 album Paranoid. It is generally understood that the song is a protest against the Vietnam War; however, when the band played “War Pigs” live in the mid-1970s, scenes from World War II were projected for audiences.


As explained in the liner notes of the band’s live album Reunion, the original title of the song was “Walpurgis”, dealing with a witches’ sabbath. The title, lyrics, and theme were subsequently changed during the recording of Paranoid. An early version, with the original theme, can be found on Ozzy Osbourne’s compilation The Ozzman Cometh.

“War Pigs” is the opening track on Paranoid, Black Sabbath’s best-selling album. It can also be found in every live and compilation album by the band except Cross Purposes Live, along with “Paranoid” itself and “Iron Man”. The outro to “War Pigs” has its own name, “Luke’s Wall” (named in homage to the band’s two-man road crew, Geoff “Luke” Lucas and Spock Wall) and features a more melodic tone than the rest of the song. The last few seconds of the track feature the sound of the tape speeding up, changing tempo and pitch.


“War Pigs” is ranked number two on Digital Dream Door’s “100 Greatest Metal Songs”. Readers of Guitar World ranked the song number 56 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.
Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the song was placed in the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles distributed by Clear Channel.

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