From an article in the NME, 26 September 1970:
Black Sabbath turn out a gutsy, sock 'em all the time type of music which is never pretentious and the album is a good example of what they're doing on stage. The speed and force of the music is sustained throughout. Terence Butler's bass and Tony Iommi's lead guitar forcing the numbers along while drummer Bill Ward puts down a solid foundation. Ozzy played me their new Vertigo album (42s. 6d.) and talked about the tracks. Here's what he had to say:
'WAR PIGS': "It's about VIP people who are sitting there saying 'Go out and fight' and all the everyday people are forced to, but the VIPs never do. We're not a political group, it's just that most of our songs have messages."
'PARANOID': "This is about a guy who has a hang up with chicks. It's got a heavy riff. We're not a single group and after the first single, which we didn't like, we just wrote this in the studio and now its starting to sell."
'PLANET CARAVAN': "We wrote this in the studio as well. We decided to vary the album more by having a soft number. It's a smokey jazz club number about someone going through space and seeing stars and things."
'IRON MAN': "This is about a guy who invented a time machine and he goes through time and finds the world is going to end. Coming back he turns to iron and people won't listen to him, they think he's not real.
"He goes a bit barmy and decides to get his revenge by killing people. He tries to do good but in the end it turns into bad."
'ELECTRIC FUNERAL': "In years to come, the way things are going, there's going to be a nuclear war, which is what this track's about. There's a lot of evil in the world today."
'HAND OF DOOM': "It's about people on drugs and what happens to them - their skin turning green and things. There's a lot of gory words, but we've seen a lot of people like that and it's getting out of all proportion.
"If you can frighten people with words it's better than letting them find out by trying drugs. I'm not trying to say we're angels, I've indulged to a certain extent but I'd never try any of the hard drugs or trips or anything."
'FAIRIES WEAR BOOTS': "Again, it's a warning about the use of drugs."