“Iron Man” is a song by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. It is taken from their second studio album, Paranoid, released in 1970. It was later included on their initial greatest hits compilation We Sold Our Soul for Rock ‘n’ Roll (1976), as well as all subsequent greatest hits compilations; The single version was included on the Greatest Hits 1970–1978 album.
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. Ozzy Osbourne sang behind a metal fan to get the sound effect in its first line, ‘I am Iron Man!’. Despite this, the song has no connection to the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
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 storm. He is rendered mute, unable verbally to warn people of his vision of impending destruction. His attempts to communicate are ignored and mocked. This causes Iron Man to become furious, and drives his revenge on mankind, causing the apocalypse seen in his vision, alluding to Joseph Stalin (whose name literally means “Man of Steel”).
Ozzy Osbourne – vocals
Tony Iommi – guitars
Geezer Butler – bass
Bill Ward – drums