HBTN vs Paranoid:
Initial:Paranoid was a great hit from the beginning. It reached number 4 in UK and 61 in the USA. No metal song can compare with it.
Lasting: Hallowed be Thy Name is iconic song. It's played on practically every setlist at IM concerts. Fan favorite. But we can say the same thing for Paranoid. AND nowadays Paranoid is played more often than HBTN on the radio. From the other hand, that advantage comes from being shorter and being more 'rock'. Nevertheless, Paranoid is more recognizable song.
Who wins? Paranoid takes popularity.
You say that "Paranoid" takes popularity, but you don't talk about the margin of victory. "Paranoid" is as close to a ten as a metal song can get. "Hallowed"? I think it is overly generous to give it a four.
Musical: Paranoid, as album, changed music in whole. Some bands started playing faster and heavier. One of the main reasons for it was 'Paranoid' song which contained everything that metal song needed: catchy riff, fast tempo and great solo. However, most of the influenced bands in that time just weren't as good as BS to make any kind of success or just was rather rock than metal (commercial issues). Most of the 'Paranoid-type' songs that made success mentioned above come from late 70s/early 80s.
TNOTB was also album that changed music scene. With Bruce arrival IM gained a lot of new fans. And of course a lot of people who wanted to play like Maiden did. On that album there were 3 songs which were played the most at the concerts and were popular from the beginning of the album (dmile: one of the reasons why Gangland can't compare with Hallowed – just look at live CDs or bootlegs or concerts from Beast on the Road and ask yourself which song was played more often).
One of them, HBTN, was different than usual metal song – the bells at the start, dark atmosphere and then pure piece of metal art. That had response in metal world. Even simple NWoBHM started to make darker (thanks to # and Hallowed, but of course there were other obvious influences on that) and more complicated albums. Not to mention whole metal started to be more progressive in that time. And one of the many reasons for it was Hallowed.
Cultural: Hallowed lyrics, sometimes regarded as the best in metal, were somehow important in developing the new idea – making metal songs with ambitious lyrics, not only about chicks, fun, fast cars or something like that. Metal, thanks to that kind of songs, isn't considered brainless. At least not for all, lol. Maybe that's not my biggest argument, but it's always good to mention little things like this.
Commercial: Paranoid was designed to be THE catchy, commercial song. Short enough to get radioplay, good enough to get attention. Many metal bands followed Paranoid idea how to make good music and get commercial success. Especially when the metal was in diapers.
Who wins? Musical impact is by far the most important from those 3. Hallowed has small advantage there, which is leveled by Paranoid win in commercial impact. So I guess that's tie.
"Hallowed" wasn't a brainless tune about chicks, cars and fun? That was a new idea in 1982? Or was it just a new idea within the world of metal?
And yet somehow, "Paranoid" is just a catchy, commercial song? Are we talking heavy metal or sunshine pop? Now what were you saying about implication? And if that is such a draw back, then why not have "War Pigs" as number two? Not dark and ambitious enough?
Metal was becoming more progressive at that time (82)? More progressive than whom or than what? Only if Deep Purple & Uriah Heep weren't "metal". Because IMO they were progressive metal from the start of "metal" (69-70).
Or we can jump to the mid-70s, if you like. More progressive than Sad Wings or Sin After Sin? What about 2112? Oh yeah almost forgot; "Dude, Rush ain't metal!". How 'bout Rainbow Rising?
Musical: In the long term, Hallowed influenced more metal artists than Paranoid. The latter affected metal when it was starting. It's a standard song which gained popularity, respect and hearts of people who wanted to play loud. Hallowed was a turning point in more aspects. Bells (black metal) and combination of soft riff and voice followed by speeding up tempo are present to this day (any epic, w/o mentioning voice – death metal). Changes from mysterious climate to anger (prog death), reaching climax then returning to slower pace (prog) dark atmosphere (doom metal, symphonic black metal), treating about life and death (death metal) – that affected all kinds of metal (examples in brackets). Hallowed influences are visible. The fuck, how many metal bands covered HBTN and how many different metal styles they represent: Dream Theater, Iced Earth, Cradle of Filth, Ceremonial Oath, Solitude Aeturnus, Brown Brigade. That just proves Hallowed formed and is still forming metal.
Cultural: Songs can't have much cultural impact and all I wanted to write about is written already.
Commercial: Paranoid has a big influence to this day as one of those songs which can bring new fans to metal. Also structure of the song is considered as metal standard. But nowadays also 'dark' bands can receive commercial success. Lyrics about death, absorbing composition and great musical quality – all this can get you money.
Who wins? Hallowed, it's winning in musical influence, in my eyes the single most important criterion.
"Hallowed" was a turning point with its sound and structure? It starts with bells. It has a mysterious climate and a dark atmosphere. Goes from soft and slow to an increasing tempo, reaches an angry climax all the while struggling with the great issues of life and death, damnation and salvation. Have I got that right? It proves that "Hallowed" formed metal? Wow! One song did all that?
I think I liked "Hallowed" better the first time I heard it; when it was called "Black Sabbath".
Lemmy see here...Bells? Check. Mysterious climate? Check. Dark atmosphere? Check. Start out soft and slow? Check. Increasing tempo? Check. Angry climax? Check. Life and Death? Check.
Seems like the turning point that broke all this new ground happened in 1970. And that it took Maiden a dozen years to catch up to where Sabbath started.
Summing everything up it's too close to tie to debate over details. Wins in lyrical and musical quality turn the scale at Hallowed.
Yeah, I can see why you'd rather not let those pesky details get in the way.
Conclusion: Many of users turned out argument that: 'I just don't feel Hallowed should be 1st' or something like that. In previous topic we were divided into two groups, with the same amount of people. One group suggested that BS should have number one on this list, other wanted Hallowed. Tell me why BS should top this list when you can't even decide which BS song should it be. BS has got 4 fucking great songs which can alone be the symbol of metal, but why it should top the list by force?
There is a reason why most of us is thinking about Hallowed (MoP) when it comes to question which is the greatest song from Maiden (Metallica). Songs – icons of bands like Metallica or IM in my opinion should be higher than BS songs just because BS hasn't got that 'one and only' song. But I would be hanged if I would put MoP at #2 or even (oh God, I'm writing this) 1 place higher, because only few people are following criteria regardless of their feelings. Hallowed should stay number one because it's fairly popular, had decent impact, it's influence is present to this day, it has great musical quality, composition and one of the best lyrics in metal. It was also number one for couple of years and I guess noone could make argument why any song should be higher than HBTN. All of this and also unbelievable acclaim of fans should make it the greatest metal song of all time.
My opinion is not based on my feewings. It's based on the criteria. You take popularity out of there and maybe
you have an argument for "Hallowed". A half-@ssed one, but an argument none the less. Keep it in and you have a better argument for Run to the Hills than you do for "Hallowed".
Sabbath had 4 great songs that can stand as the symbol of metal? Only four? More like 15-20 by my estimation. There are at least 4 on the Paranoid album alone.