Nazareth was formed in December 1968 in Dunfermline, Scotland, out of the ashes of local group The Shadettes (formed in 1961) by vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bassist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet. They took their name from the town of Nazareth, Pennsylvania,USA. The band moved to London, England in 1970, and released their eponymous debut album in 1971.

In 1999, while touring the U.S., original drummer Darrell Sweet died at age 51 of a heart attack. He was replaced by bassist Pete Agnew's son Lee for later editions of the band.

Exercises Nazareth - Exercises (Warner Bros) 1972

1.   I Will Not Be Led (3:04)
2.   Cat's Eye, Apple Pie (3:04)
3.   In My Time (3:28)
4.   Woke Up This Morning (3:10)
5.   Called Her Name (4:32)2
6.   Fool About You (2:47)
7.   Love Now You're Gone (2:26)
8.   Madelaine (5:56)
9.   Sad Song (2:14)
10. 1692 (Glen Coe Massacre) (3:53

After a surprisingly heavy (for 1971) debut album, Naz follows-up with this mostly acoustic rock affair. The album is melodic and filled with lush harmonies with barely a hard rocker to be foud. The album opens with a song that has some heavier moments, but it's a mostly symphonic number that builds momentum with the amps kicking in the distortion channels only at the end of the track. Follow-up track "Cat's Eye, Apple Pie" is more typical of the album. It's an acoustic guitar based song with some slide guitar giving it a Southern rock vibe. Likewise, "In My Time" comes across as cross between folk and country. "Woke Up This Morning" is a standout track with a a bluesy vocal performance by Dan McCafferty. The song has a driving rhythm and some great slide guitar work by Manny Charlton. A beefier version of this song would end up on the band's follow-up albm "Razmanazz". "Exercises" either proves that at this point Nazareth weren't unsure of what they wanted to do, or more likely, they didn't care about being boxed in and just wanted to record the music they love. 

The album is significant for its Roy Thomas Baker production. "Exercises" was only his third project, and well before his breakthrough works with Queen in the mid-seventies.

Nazareth - Razamanaz (Castle) 1973

1. "Razamanaz" (3:53)
2. "Alcatraz" (4:23)
3. "Vigilante Man" (5:22)
4. "Woke up This Morning" (3:53)
5. "Night Woman" (3:29)
6. "Bad Bad Boy" (3:58)
7. "Sold My Soul" (4:49)
8. "Too Bad Too Sad" (2:56)
9. "Broken Down Angel" (3:45)
10. "Hard Living" (3:03)
11. "Spinning Top" (3:06)
12. "Woke up This Morning" (3:13)
13. "Witchdoctor Woman" (4:07)


Although 'Razamanaz' was the band's third album, it was the first album to step into the relatively new heavy metal territory. With bands like Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple also taking their music into heavy metal, I guess it was only a natural step for Nazareth to do the same. The resulting album is one that scared parents in the early 70's because of it's energy, drive and the fierce, shrill vocals of Dan McCafferty. The title track is one mean song, and one of the band's all time best. Other tracks like the primitive, tribal "Alcatraz" and the bluesy "Vigilante Man" also showcase the band at their finest. The entire album, however, is a fine example of the excellent heavy metal that was coming out of the 1970's. "Woke up This Morning" showcases the band's sense of humor as it is a song about a guy who has terminally bad luck. I mean his dog dies, his cat dies, his house burns down, shoot this could have been a country song if they had included a bit about the pickup truck breaking down. It's also interesting to note that Deep Purple's Roger Glover produced this album. I found this European import disc for a mere $5.

Artch and Artillery have both covered "Razamanaz".

Loud 'n Proud Nazareth - Loud 'n Proud (Salvo) 1973

1.      Go Down Fighting (3:07)
2.      Not Faking It (4:01)
3.      Turn On Your Receiver (3:19)
4.      Teenage Nervous Breakdown" (3:43)
5.      Free Wheeler (5:31)
6.      This Flight Tonight (3:24)
7.      Child In The Sun (4:51)
8.      The Ballad of Hollis Brown (9:11)
9.      Turn On Your Receiver [BBC session] (3:37)
10.     Too Bad Too Sad  [BBC session] (2:52)
11.     Razamanaz  [BBC session] (3:52)
12.     Bad Bad Boy  [BBC session] (3:34)

With "Loud 'n' Proud, the band were recording while "Razamanaz" was stiil doing well in the charts. As such, they continue in a similar heavy, nasty vibe to that album with Roger Glover of Deep Purple once again producing. I've always looked at it as the perfect companion to "Razamanaz".

"Go Down Fighting" starts the album off with a bang. The song is an uptempo heavy metal rocker with furious riffing brought to life by a mean Gibson SG guitar tone matched by the gnarly vocals of Dan McCafferty. Really this is what heavy metal was in in 1973, not unlike contemporaries Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Naz's cover of Little Feat's "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" transforms the song into a heavy rocker. "Not Faking It" is a sweaty rocker that would have fit just as neatly on "Razamanaz". The mind-blowing, expanded cover of Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown" is the album's standout track. The song has a dark, dirty, dirge-like tone. It's almost doomy in similar vibe as Black Sabbath. However, "Loud 'n Proud" is most known for a heralding send-up of Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight". Up to this point in Nazareth's career, "This Flight Tonight" was probably the band's most recognizable song, that is until "Love Hurts" and "Hair of the Dog" two years later.

"Loud 'n Proud" is essential to any fan of 70's heavy metal and hard rock. It, coupled with "Razamanaz" and "Hair of the Dog", are monumental rock album and some of Nazareth's finest moments.

The bonus tracks are all BBC live recordings from The Bob Harris Show and are a nice inclusion. The remastered package also includes a 16-page full-color booklet with tons of photos, a bio and liner notes.

Rampant Nazareth - Rampant (Salvo) 1974

1.      Silver Dollar Forger (Parts 1&2) (5:36)
2.      Glad When You're Gone (4:17)
3.      Loved And Lost (5:12)
4.      Shanghai'd In Shanghai (3:43)
5.      Jet Lag (6:43)
6.      Light My Way (4:09)
7.      Sunshine (4:15)
8.      Shapes of Things/Space Safari (6:21)
9.      Down [b-side] (3:54}
10.     Razamanaz [live] (4:32)
11.     Night Woman [live] (4:00)
12.     Alcatraz [live] (4:22)
13.     Vigilante Man [live] (5:43)
14.     Morning Dew [live] (7:38)
15.     Broken Down Angel [live] (4:26)
16.     Woke Up This Morning [live] (4:58)

Rampant is the fifth studio album by album by the Scottish rockers Nazareth. It was their third album in a row and their last album to be produced by Roger Glover (Deep Purple). The album starts out with a couple of heavy boogie tunes that helped define heavy metal and hard rock in the early 1970's. "Silver Dollar Forger" is straight forward 70's heavy metal with an unforgettable chorus and smokin' guitar leads, while "Glad When You're Gone" is Chuck Berry-inspired boogie, rock and roll. The song is a humor-injected kiss-off to an unwanted lover and easily could have been an AC/DC or Ted Nugent song, if not for McCafferty's signature siren wails. Things slow down with "Loved and Lost", a blues based rock song in which McCafferty tones down his gritty vocals a bit. As with most Naz albums there are songs about life on the road, and that is the case with "Rampant" as well. "Shanghai'd in Shanghai" a pile-driver, hard rocker that sports a shout-along chorus also spawned a hit for the band. The lyrics echo some amusing tales about life on the road with the band proudly announcing that Nazareth will be second bill to The Rolling Stones. At that point in the song the band breaks into a short section of "Satisfaction". The other road song is "Jet Lag", a title that is self-explanatory, though the song seems to be tongue-in-cheek about traveling through the United States. "Shape of Things"  is a cover of the Yardbirds classic hit. "Rampant" is another in a string of solid, hard rocking albums from Nazareth.

The 2010 Salvo remastered CD edition contains a slew of bonus tracks. "Down" is a b-side song from the "Love Hurts" single. The rest of the songs are  BBC live recordings from Golder's Green Hippodrome. This is almost an additional album worth of music. I'm a big fan of the BBC recordings as they are usually bands in their prime and they are never retouched in a studio. Also the sound quality is usually superb. Sometimes these BBC recordings are better than the actual studio cuts. The remastered CD also features a big 16-page booklet with tons of photos and liner notes.

Nazareth - Hair of the Dog (A&M) 1975

1. "Hair of the Dog" (4:10)
2. "Miss Misery" (4:41)
3. "Love Hurts" (3:52)
4. "Changin' Times" (6:03)
5. "Beggars Day" (3:45)
6. "Rose in the Heather" (2:45)
7. "Whiskey Drinkin' Woman" (5:30)
8. "Please Don't Judas Me" (9:50)

Probably the most well known and popular Nazareth disc containing the FM radio staples "Hair of the Dog" and "Love Hurts". In '75 there were few band who were as raw and gritty, save for Ted Nugent, and perhaps Aerosmith. The title track starts off with a mean guitar riff, a cowbell driven beat and one of the nastiest sounding vocals to come out of the 70's. Dan McCafferty sounds great! While this song is straight forward 70's heavy metal, the rest of the album is more experimental with everything from the bluesy southern vibe of "Whiskey Drinkin' Woman" to the epic "Please Don't Judas Me" to the Black Sabbath/Blue Cheer inspired "Miss Misery." This album also includes a huge hit in the power ballad reinterpretation of the Everly Brothers classic "Love Hurts." Overall, "Hair of the Dog" is one of the finer heavy metal platters to come out of the 70's.

Close Enough for Rock n Roll Nazareth - Close Enough for Rock 'n' Roll (A&M) 1976

1. "Telegram" (7:46)
....Part 1: On Your Way
....Part 2: So You Wanna Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star
....Part 3: Sound Check
....Part 4: Here We Are Again
2. "Vicki" [instrumental] (2:24)
3. "Homesick Again" (4:30)
4. "Vancouver Shakedown" (4:04)
5. "Born Under the Wrong Sign" (3:56)
6. "Loretta" (3:18)
7. "Carry Out Feelings" (3:18)
8. "Lift the Lid" (3:51)
9. "You're the Violin" (4:43)
10. "Holy Roller" (3:24)
11. "You're the Violin" (3:35)
12. "Carry Out Feelings" (3:19)

Well, no one could accuse Nazareth of trying to recreate the same album over and over again. After conquering the fledgling heavy metal market in 1975 with "Hair of the Dog," Nazareth returns with a back-to-roots, experimental album that covers everything from traditional blues-based rock 'n' roll to country-rock. No surprise this one wasn't quite as successful as "Hair of the Dog". Regardless, "Close Enough for Rock 'n' Roll" is still a good 70's rock album. Much of the album is fairly mellow, such as acoustic based "Vicki". The highlight of the album is "Telegram," a four-part epic song about life on tour for a band. This particular song starts off as a rocker, giving the impression that this disc will be every bit as heavy as "Hair of the Dog" but ends up being a piano-led, sing-along song. Another favorite of mine is the menacing "Born Under the Wrong Side" which is probably one of the funkiest songs the band has ever written. I particularly like the voice-box guitar parts. Overall, "Close Enough For Rock 'N' Roll" is not the band's finest, but it is still a good listen every now and then.

The album title refers to a saying among guitar players at the time: it doesn't matter if your guitar is fully in tune, as long as its "close enough for rock n' roll". That is, of course, because rock and roll was meant to be raw and nasty. By the 1980's, that would change as band's attempted to get a cleaner and slicker sound. I suppose that is one of the reasons I love 70's hard rock and heavy metal so much.

I picked up this disc brand new for $4.99 at one of those big chain stores.

Nazareth - Expect No Mercy (Snapper Classics) 1977

1. "Expect No Mercy" (3:26)
2. "Gone Dead Train" (3:44)
3. "Shot Me Down" (3:29)
4. "Revenge Is Sweet" (3:04)
5. "Gimme What's Mine" (3:45)
6. "Kentucky Fried Blues" (3:08)
7. "New York Broken Toy" (3:37)
8. "Busted" (3:40)
9. "Place in Your Heart" (3:01)
10. "All the King's Horses" (4:23)
11. "Greens" (2:50)
12. "Desolation Road" (2:58)

autographed vinyl copy on A&M Records.

A hard rockin' album from Scotland's Nazareth complete with one of their coolest covers, next to "No Mean City". The album has a few ballads as well, but this was pretty much the standard for heavy metal and hard rock in the 1970's. The heaviest of albums had ballads, and quite frankly, I thought it served to give many albums more diversity. Of course, Nazareth's signature call are those raspy vocals, which are up front and center on "Expect No Mercy". If "Revenge is Sweet" and "Expect No Mercy" don't get you movin', then chances are you are just not a fan of heavy 70's music. "Expect No Mercy" is straight forward heavy rock and roll.

I have an autographed A&M Records vinyl copy of "Expect No Mercy" (pictured above) as well as the Snapper Classics CD re-issue, which is remastered and contains two, b-side, bonus tracks. Probably one of the nicer reissues I've seen. The CD comes wrapped in a nice digi format with a 12-page full color booklet, all the original liner notes, photos, lyrics and a biography. There is a different re-issue that contains the two b-side tracks above and five other tracks, but these are made up of alternative mixes of album songs and a live version of the title track.

This album features the album of Frank Frazetta who up to this point had not allowed his paintings to be used on album covers. After "Expect No Mercy" he would become famous for some of his album cover paintings, especially for Molly Hatchet. There are also two slightly different versions of this cover with the logo and album title placed differently. My CD and vinyl copies feature the same artwork that was used in the U.S. in 1977. The alternative cover was released in Japan and Europe. Both feature the Frazetta painting.

No Mean City Nazareth - No Mean City (Castle) 1978

1. "Just to Get into It" (4:24)
2. "May the Sunshine" (4:55)
3. "Simple Solution, Pt. 1and 2" (4:59)
4. "Star" (4:55)
5. "Claim to Fame" (4:30)
6. "Whatever You Want Babe" (3:42)
7. "What's in It for Me" (4:20);
8. "No Mean City, Pts. 1& 2" (6:32)
9. "May the Sunshine" (3:31)
10. "Whatever You Want Babe" (2:59)
11. "Star" [US Version] (4:55)

1978 and Nazareth were still rocking hard and heavy. For this album, Nazareth also took a clue from some other popular late 70's heavy metal bands and added a second guitar player to their lineup. With the addition of the second guitarist, Nazareth create a nice dual-guitar attack that would rival the great bands of that time, like Aerosmith and Thin Lizzy. One of my favorite tracks is "May the Sunshine," which starts as a Celtic acoustic song, but soon adds electric guitars and rumbling bass line to become a stomping folk metal tune in the style of Zeppelin or even the aforementioned Thin Lizzy. The whole album is, of course, brought together by the vicious vocal attack of Dan McCafferty. Dan had a very unique, gritty voice that few were using in metal in the 70's but would soon become a norm in the 80's. Anyhow, overall, one of the band's finest ranking up there with 'Hair of the Dog' and 'Razzamanaz.' Also, this is one of the coolest album covers to come out of the 70's. In just a few short years, covers like this would begin to be the standard for heavy metal. I have this one on CD and vinyl.

Malice in Wonderland Nazareth - Malice in Wonderland (Salvo) 1980

1. Holiday (3:29)
2. Showdown at the Border (4:11)
3. Talkin' to One of the Boys (4:13)
4. Heart's Grown Cold (4:14)
5. Fast Cars (4:35)
6. Big Boy (3:38)
7. Talkin' 'Bout Love (3:57)
8. Fallen Ange (4:44)
9. Ship of Dreams (4:09)
BONUS TRACKS [BBC Live Recording]
11. I Want To Do Everything For You [live] (5:12)
12. Showdown at the Border[live] (4:18)
13. Beggar's Day [live] (3:54)
14. Big Boy [live] (5:17)
15. Holiday/This Flight Tonight [live] (7:06)
16. Expect No Mercy [live] (3:45)
17. Broken Down Angel [live] (4:59)

Nazareth enter the 1980's with their eleventh studio album "Malice in Wonderland". With it they returned to the smoother, hard rock sounds of albums like "Close Enough for Rock & Roll" and "Play 'N the Game". They hired successful West Coast guitarist/producer Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers) to produce the album in an attempt to gain more radio play, especially in the U.S. What resulted is an album that may be more cleanly produced, but still retains that tooth and nail hard rock sound that Nazareth are known for. The delicate balance between tough as nails rock and roll and smooth pop production worked well for the band and resulted in some of the band's most popular songs, including the hit "Holiday", sing-along classic "Showdown at the Border" and speedy rocker "Talkin' To One of the Boys". The band also took advantage of their two-guitar status and added in some dual-guitar parts, a sound that was gaining popularity in the early 80's, especially among the new crop of heavy metal bands from Europe and the U.S.. Other standout cuts are "Ship of Dreams," an acoustic rocker with a Spanish-inspired flamenco melody, and  "Big Boy," a rocker with a groove and a mock-reggae chorus. The album also produced a notable hit for Nazareth in "Heart's Grown Cold," a ballad that starts with some light, acoustic melodies and builds up with layers of vocals. 

"Malice in Wonderland" also sports a bizarre cover where picnicking mannequins watch as a fire burns out of control. On the back cover, the mannequins are gazing at the stars through a telescope.

The 2010 Salvo re-issue is remastered and contains a slew of live BBC bonus tracks. The BBC sons were recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, March 16, 1980. The disc is wrapped in a miniature record cover and has a 16-page booklet with liner notes and era-relavent photos. (Thanks Vexer6)

Nazareth - The Fool Circle (Salvo) 1981

1.   Dressed to Kill (3:31)
2.   Another Year (3:29)
3.   Moonlight Eyes (3:34)
4.   Pop the Silo (3:18)
5.   Let Me Be Your Leader (3:51)
6.   We Are the People (3:25)
7.   Every Young Man's Dream (3:18)
8.   Little Part of You (3:29)
9.   Cocaine [live] (3:45)
10. Victoria (3:21)
11. Morgantau (4:01)
12. Crazy (A Suitable Case For Treatment) (3:25)
13. Razamanaz [live] (4:23)
14. Heart's Grown Cold [live] (5:44)
15. Talkin' To One Of The Boys [live] (4:44)
16. Hair Of The Dog [live] (4:54)

"The Fool Circle" was the band's second studio album to be released in the 80's, twelfth overall, and proceeded their classic live album "'Snaz". The albums titled was chosen due to some of the political issues going on in the world at the time. It was basically, as the liner notes state, "a criticism of man's treatment of his fellow man".

As with "Malice in Wonderland", Nazareth were obviously searching for a new, updated sound on "The Fool Circle". As such, the band incorporated a more polished 80's sound, more piano's and keyboards and even some new wave influences and disco-influenced rhythms. A bad as that might sound to those who enjoyed the band's hard 'n heavy 1970's sound, it's really still a good album. Of course New Wave was the flavor of the year at the time, so much of hard rock including bands like Alice Cooper, Foghat and Kiss succumbed to slicker production, less emphasis on nasty guitar sounds more on the keyboards. Nazareth indeed experimented with these sounds as well. As such, Naz let go of second guitarist Zal Cleminson, who previously helped out on their last two records and gave the band that dual guitar sound and instead added full time keyboard player, Jon Locke (ex-Spirit). As well, producer Jeff Baxter, who had played guitar in the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, as well as produced "Malice in Wonderland" was brought back into the fold, thus pushing the band towards a more mainstream sound. The songs are shorter with less jamming going on. Some would say the songs were "more focused". However, for longtime fans, this was a bit of a disappointment. However, the band didn't completely lose their identity.

Dan McCafferty's raspy vocals are still in place on most songs, but the power chords, heavy riffing & manic guitar solos of Manny Charlton are unfortunately missing. Songs such as "Let Me Be Your Leader", "Pop the Silo", "Every Young Man's Dream" and "We are the People" are still straight-up rock and roll, but due to the slick, commercial direction of the record are more fitting of the times. "Pop the Silo", a tale about the effects of nuclear warfare, and the driving "Little Part of You" fall the closest to the classic Naz sound, despite the sleeker sound. "Every Young Man's Dream" has a funky, disco-influenced drum beat. Album opener and anti-war anthem "Dressed to Kill" is a boogie-infused rocker that would make Foghat proud. It was also the song chosen as the single for this record. "Let Me Be Your Leader" has the band experimenting with a reggae influence. The band also experiments with some latin and flamenco influences as well. "Moonlight Eyes" is a sweet, acoustic guitar drive ballad. It may very well be one of their best, which is saying a lot since they have been recording ballads since their very first album. "Cocaine"' was a live cover of the song made popular by Eric Clapton in '77. Despite being a somewhat laid-back, acoustic cover of the song, the live nature of the recording gives it a beefier sound than the rest of "The Fool Circle". That album finishes off with a final straight forward, boogie-rocker titled "Victoria".

Were Naz a band searching for an identity in the 80's? As with many of the 1970's hard rock and heavy metal bands entering the 80's, it seemed so. So is "The Fool Circle" a bad record? Hardly. There is still plenty to enjoy as long as the listener isn't set on hearing "Razamanaz" and "Hair of the Dog" all over again. "The Fool Circle" is a diverse, melodic rock record from a veteran band that was slightly out of their element in the early 80's.

The 2010 Salvo remastered CD comes in a tri-fold mini-album cover sleeve and contains a 20-page, full color booklet with tons of photos and line notes. The remaster also includes a slew of bonus tracks including the entire "Nazareth Live EP", which was originally released as a double 7" vinyl. "Morgantau" is a German version of "Morning Dew" while the amusing titled "Crazy (A Suitable Case For Treatment)" is taken from the original "Heavy Metal" movie soundtrack.

Snaz Nazareth - 'Snaz (Salvo) 1981

1. Telegram (6:33)
2. Razamanaz (4:24)
3. I Want To Do Everything For You (5:16)
4. This Flight Tonight (3:46)
5. Beggar's Day (3:37)
6. Every Young Man's Dream (3:54)
7. Hearst's Grown Cold (5:52)
8. Java Blues (5:06)
9. Cocaine (5:04)
10. Big Boy (5:12)
11. Holiday (3:40)
12. Dressed To Kill (3:55)
13. Hair Of The Dog (6:07)
14. Expect No Mercy (4:31)
15. Shapes Of Things (6:24)
1. Let Me Be Your Leader (4:52)
2. Love Hurts (4:00)
3. Tush (4:53)
4. Juicy Lucy (4:15)
5. Morning Dew (3:56)
6. Java Blues (4:14)
7. Cocaine (5:09)
8. Big Boy (5:05)
9. Holiday (3:34)
10. Let Me Be Your Leader (4:35)
11. Dressed To Kill (3:47)
12. Hair Of The Dog (5:48)
13. Morgantau (4:02)
14. Crazy (A Suitable Case For Treatment) (3:27)

"It's Naz" or "'Snaz" is the 1981 live album released by Scottish hard rockers Nazareth. In general, live albums from the popular '70's hard rock and heavy metal bands are considered classics. UFO - Strangers in the Night, Ted Nugent - Double Live Gonzo, Judas Priest - Unleashed in the East, Kiss - Alive!, Deep Purple - Made in Japan, Thin Lizzy - Live & Dangerous, etc. are among a large group of live albums that are looked upon as classics and genre defining. For some reason, Nazareth's "'Snaz" is not usually brought up when discussing the best live albums from that era. I'm not sure why as it is is one of the better '70s-style live albums. Much like many of the 70's hard rockers the studio never quite capture the magic, aggression and energy that the band had on stage. That's why these live recordings were so special. The energy and rock 'n roll recklessness of Nazareth is captured here unlike any of their studio albums. Though I am unsure of how much re-recording and tweaking was done in the studio, the band sounds tight. Nazareth were road warriors, and had been for over a decade by this point, so their performance should be spectacular. For this particular tour the band had added guitarist Billy Rankin and keyboard player John Locke, giving the band a fuller sound. Charismatic vocalist Dan McCafferty sounds as nasty and raw as ever. "Cocaine" is an acoustic version of song written by J. J. Cale and recorded and made famous in '77 by Eric Clapton. "Shape of Things" is a cover of the Yardbirds hit. "Tush" is, of course, a cover of the ZZ Top classic. "Morgantau" is a German version of "Morning Dew".

This 2-CD set released in 2011 is digitally remastered and contains a slew of bonus material. The live bonus tracks are taken from a show in Seattle, WA, USA. There are also two studio studio cuts by this new incarnation of the band. The re-issue is wrapped in a 6-panel digi-pack and also contains a 20-page, full color booklet with tons of photos and line notes

2XS Nazareth - 2XS/Sound Elixir (Salvo) 1982/1983/2011

1. Love Leads To Madness (4:04)
2. Boys In The Band (3:04)
3. You Love Another (3:56)
4. Gatecrash (3:20)
5. Games (4:46)
6.  Back To The Trenches (4:00)
7.  Dream On (3:25)
8. Lonely In The Night (4:21)
9.  Preservation (4:01)
10. Take The Rap (2:40)
11. Mexico (2:50)
Sound Elixir
12. All Nite Radio       (4:08)
13. Milk & Honey (4:05)
14. Whippin' Boy (4:41)
15. Rain On The Window (4:21)
16. Backroom Boys (3:19)
17. Why Don't You Read The Book (3:43)
18. I Ran (4:27)
19. Rags To Richesv3:23)
20. Local Still (3:30)
21. Where Are You Now (3:54)

"2XS" (To Excess) marks a full swing towards smooth AOR/arena-rock. Not too surprising of a move considering the trends in music in the early 80's. Many 70's bands had moved in this direction in the 80's, with varying degrees of success. Some, like Aerosmith, Journey, Foreigner .38 Special and Styx saw huge success with it. Other bands, like Ted Nugent, not so much. As well, many bands from the 70's bands were taking advantage of new studio technology, which tended towards a glossier, more polished sound. Nazareth definitely were following in this trend.

Nazareth's brand of 80's rock and roll is actually quite appealing. The guitars are still loud and proud, but the overall production is smoother, more glossy, yet not so glossy as to rob the rock and roll right out of the band. In fact, songs like "Gatecrash" and "Boys in the Band" are pure rock and roll. Both songs are  swinging, upbeat rockers with a bit of a Southern vibe thanks to some nice piano work from John Locke. Actually, "Gatecrash" is a feel-good song with a slight rockabilly vibe. "Back to the Trenches" and "Take the Rap" are heavier songs that could have fit onto any of the band's 70's albums, though neither are quite as raw and biting as those classic albums. "Back to the Trenches" loses some of it's edge to the addition of keyboards. Had the song sported a heavier guitar tone and no keys, it would have been the heaviest song from the band in a while. McCafferty's vocals are particularly menacing in this song.

"Dream On" is the ballad on this album and became a fairly popular song. (The song has been covered by Helix on their "Wild in the Streets".) It's about as cheesy as ballads get and would become the standard for hair metal in just a few years. Other songs like "Love Leads to Madness" and "Lonely in the Night" are definitely signs of the times, mixing in a bit of new wave and radio gloss. "Love Leads to Madness" even generated a hit for the band. According to a quote from vocalist Dan McCafferty in the extensive liner notes in the Salvo booklet, "Love Leads to Madness was a massive hit on the radio in the States, you heard it everywhere...but it (the album) wasn't selling at all. Frankly, I think the problem was more due to the fact that the band's core fan-base was looking for heavier things at the time. The NWOBHM scene was in full-swing and Nazareth were one of the big influences on that scene.

"Sound Elixir" is Nazareth's 14th studio release and sports an album cover that indicates a return to a rawer form of hard rock. Unfortunately that is not the case. "Sound Elixir" is one of the most mellow and clean sounding Nazareth records yet. I must confess, despite the 80's sounding drums, glossy production and pop tendencies, I like "All Nite Radio" quite a bit. The opening song has a celtic vibe and is a clear indication that Nazareth were pushing themselves sonically and moving outside their box. For me, "Sound Elixir" sounds a bit rushed and while I can appreciate the band stretching themselves musically, I find it to be a big miss. Apparently with the success of "Dream On" and "Love Leads to Madness", somebody decided it would be a good idea to record an album of songs in that direction. Gone are the buzzing guitars, the nasty vocals, the big riffs. Replaced with a studio sheen that doesn't really do much for me. Songs like "Milk and Honey" is standard 80's AOR. "Whipping Boy" is one of the albums better tracks, recalling the glory days of Naz. "Where Are You Now" is the obligatory ballad, a song that became a hit for the band in Germany. In all reality, most of the songs on "Sound Elixir" sound like b-sides and studio outtakes from "2XS".

As part of Salvo's re-issue series, this package contains both albums on one disc in a cardboard digipack. It has a 16-page, full-clor  booklet, which includes comprehensive notes by Joel McIver. Both albums are remastered. Though I have been a Nazareth fan since the 70's, it wasn't until this 2011 re-issue that I ever got to hear either of these albums in their entirety, though I had heard the hits and a few other choice songs.

The Catch/Cinema Nazareth - The Catch/Cinema 1984/1986/2011

DISC ONE (The Catch)
1.      Party Down (6:25)
2.      Ruby Tuesday (3:27)
3.      Last Exit Brooklyn (3:59)
4.      Moondance (4:44)
5.      Love Of Freedom (4:29)
6.      This Month's Messiah (5:00)
7.      You Don't Believe In Us (6:28)
8.      Sweetheart Tree (2:57)
9.      Road To Nowhere (3:54)
10.   Do You Think About It (3:46)
11.   Party Down [single version] (4:54)
DISC TWO (Cinema)
1.      Cinema (4:41)
2.      Juliet (4:08)
3.      Just Another Heartache (5:04)
4.      Other Side of You (3:44)
5.      Hit the Fan (3:37)
6.      One from the Heart (4:24)
7.      Salty Salty (3:48)
8.      White Boy (5:08)
9.      A Veterans Song (5:29)
BONUS TRACKS (BBC Friday rock show 14/10/84)
10.  Beggars Day [live] (4:12)
11.  Cocaine [live] (3:55)
12.  Party Down [live] (4:13)
13.  This Month's Messiah [live] (5:23)
14.  This Flight Tonight [live] (4:03)
15.  Bad Bad Boy [live] (4:45)
16.  Teenage Nervous Breakdown [live] (4:18)

By 1984 Nazareth were back to a four-piece band and seemed as if they were searching for a sound, as if their original sound wasn't good enough to carry them through. Yes, the 80's were a different musical climate, but heavy metal and hard rock still had a market despite claims that metal had died in the 70's. In fact the NWOBHM movement was in full swing by this time and bands like Judas Priest and Scorpions were seeing major success. For some of the 70's bands, however, they tried to experiment with their sound to break into the 80's mainstream. Dance beats, digital drums, 80's pop and new wave. It worked for ZZ Top. They managed to combine their former hard rock sound with digital drum beats, loops and even have extended dance mixes. Progressive rock bands like Genesis and Yes were having tremendous success with a new pop sound in the 80's. For Nazareth, this experiment in pop failed miserably. The dance beat of "Party Down" is a misguided experiment and horribly laughable. The worst part is that the song is well over six minutes long, almost as if it's meant to be one of those 80's extended dance mixes. I have to admit though, after listening to that track only one time and walking away, I could still hear McCafferty's voice echoing in my head, "party down, party down...". Yup, it's catchy.

The band's cover of the Rolling Stones tune "Ruby Tuesday" is unfortunately mellow and lacking any killer instinct, though not an atrocious cover by any stretch. I just think that if the band in their prime would have recorded this song, it would have rocked hard and heavy, rather than be-bopping along limp and weak. The rest of the album is rather mellow, but I don't really find it to be as bad as some fans make it out to be. "Moondance" has a bit of a mellow Philip Lynott vibe, while "This Month's Messiah" is one of the few songs that could be remotely described as hard rock and has a nice feel to it. "Last Exit Brooklyn" is definitely the standout track for me. This song, with it's slight funk vibe, clean 80's guitar sound and noisy guitar solo actually works in the band's favor. It would be the song I would pick from this album if I were putting together a career retrospective on Nazareth. One thing for sure, though the band's sound here is radically different from their classic 70's catalog, Dan McCafferty shows what a strong and versatile vocalist he is, whether he is screaming heavy metal or crooning smooth pop rock, he seems to just fit. Overall, in the vast Nazareth catalog, "The Catch" is certainly one of their weaker albums, but fans of the band (like myself) will find something to enjoy about it. It's a nice listen when you are in a mellower mood.

The bonus tracks on disc 1 aren't much to speak of, "Do You Think About It" is a melodic b-side track to the "Ruby Tuesday" single. Then there is a shortened version of "Party Down".

Nazareth have never been a band to sit around and not release new music, but there was a two year silence between "The Catch" and the release of "Cinema". "Cinema" is a move away from the 80's pop sound on "The Catch" and a return to a harder rock sound. McCafferty scathing vocals are fantastic here, especially on songs like "White Boy" when he screeches "You wouldn't that to a white boy...". Dan is as aggressive & raspy as ever. The songs themselves sound like Nazareth.

The album opens with a song that is 80's rock defined. Seriously, "Cinema" could have been recorded by Yes on "Big Generator" and it would have fit right in. Of course Naz are bit more edgy than Yes, even with the slicker 80's production. "Juliet" is an incredibly catchy, melodic rock number. Had this song been recorded by any number of well known 80s bands it could have been a hit. Apparently Nazareth just weren't the flavor of the month at the time. "Just Another Hearthache" is a galloping rock and roll number that sounds a bit closer to The Outlaws than Nazareth. "Other Side of You", "Salty Salty" and especially "Hit the Fan" sounds like classic Nazareth. This is the type of nasty, heavy rock and roll I expect from Nazareth. The album ends on a sweet note with "A Veterans Song", a melodic song with a very somber feel. "Cinema" is not an album I'd describe as classic Nazareth, but I do think it's a good album, and a big improvement over "The Catch".

I'm a big fan of the live BBC recordings so the bonus tracks on disc 2 are an awesome addition. There are some classic songs mixed in with a few newer tracks. Not unsurprisingly, the live version of "Party Down" comes off as a bit heavier, despite the programmed rhythms. The same is true of "This Month's Messiah" which is far edgier than the studio-slick version on "The Catch". "Cocaine" is a cover of the Eric Clapton hit. "The Flight Tonight" and "Bad Bad Boy" are both standout tracks.

Both CD's has been digitally remastered. The package also contains a 16-page color booklet with a ton of photos and plenty of liner notes to read.

Snakes & Ladders Nazareth - Snakes 'N' Ladders/No Jive (Salvo) 1989/1991/2011

DISC ONE (Snakes 'N' Ladders )
1.     Animals (4:05)
2.     Lady Luck (4:09)
3.     Hang on to a Dream (4:36)
4.     Piece of My Heart (4:28)
5.     Trouble (4:58)
6.     The Key (3:18)
7.     Back to School (4:53)
8.     Girls (3:43)
9.     Donna Get Off That Crack (4:23)
10.   See You See Me (5:00)
11.   Helpless (4:58)
12. Winner on the Night (4:11)
13. Woke Up This Morning [live] (5:36)
14. Bad Bad Boy [live] (4:35)
DISC TWO (No Jive)
1.     Hire and Fire (5:11)
2.     Do You Wanna Play House (4:59)
3.     Right Between the Eyes (3:08
4.     Every Time It Rains (4:12)
5.     Keeping Our Love Alive (3:12)
6.     Thinkin' Man's Nightmare (4:02)
7.     Cover Your Heart (4:28)
8.     Lap of Luxury (3:58)
9.    The Rowan Tree/Tell Me That You Love Me (4:36)
10.   Cry Wolf (4:14)
11.   This Flight Tonight [1991 version] (3:35)
12.   Tell Me That You Love [single edit] (3:22)

The 80's were a confusing time for a lot of 70's hard rock and heavy metal bands. However, by 1989 most of the 70's bands that survived had found themselves again. By 1989, Naz had been around for two decades and were highly respected by some of the biggest bands of that decade. (Including Guns 'n' Roses and Britny Fox, both of whom have covered Nazareth songs). Despite Naz's "dinosaur" status, they were still cranking out long-play albums year after year. "Snakes" is a bit eclectic and off-the-wall. It's a mostly mellow affair, never really touching hard rock, no less heavy metal. The original LP had two sides. Side one was titled "Snakes" and features a couple of bluesier numbers in "Animals" and "Lady Luck". "Lady Luck" is easily one of the finer tracks on the album. The song has a great groove. The tracks following these are covers. "Piece of My Heart" was a song popularized by Janis Joplin. This song has the potential for some real energy, but unfortunately Naz's cover waxes cold and has no co-hones whatsoever. The "Ladders" side of the LP features several good cuts including, "See You, See Me", "Back to School", "Girls",  and the wonderfully titled "Donna Get Off that Crack". "Helpless" is a Neil Young cover. Though I find all these songs to be good, the term is used relative to the rest of the band's catalog. While "Snakes & Ladders" is a good listen, it's far from touching the greatness of the band's classic 70's catalog.

It's interesting reading interviews about "Snakes" as the band basically apologizes for the overly slick production. One interview I read McCafferty says, “As an album to listen to it’s not bad, but it isn’t really Nazareth.” Apparently the change in direction and production technique was on of the big reasons that founding guitarist Manny Charlton left the fold.

"No Jive" was released 1991 and saw Naz returning to a heavier hitting style. The album features the return of guitarist Billy Rankin who replaced founding guitarist Manny Charlton. Billy Rankin had been with the band previously as a fifth member/second guitarist and was first featured on the 'Snaz album. "No Jive" is a return to form. While it may never be held up in the same light as "Razamanz" and "Hair of the Dog", it certainly has the same hair and teeth that those classic 70's albums had. The production is far less slick than "Snakes 'n' Ladders" and was produced by the band themselves this time around. As usual, the band has a nice mixture of heavier songs such as "Hire And Fire", "Do You Wanna Play House" and the aptly titled "Right Between The Eyes" and more melodic numbers such as "Cover Your Heart" and "Every Time It Rains". The later was the first single for the album. "Hire And Fire" in particular sounds like classic Nazareth, right down to McCafferty's gnarly vocals. This song could have been a hit had it been released during Nazareth's heyday.

Both CD's has been digitally remastered. The 16-page color booklet contains a ton of photos and liner notes to peruse. The original released of "Snakes 'n' Ladders" was previously only available as an expensive European or Japanese import. The bonus tracks aren't really much to speak of on "Snakes 'n' Ladders". "Winner on the Night" is a weak radio ballad. The last two songs are live tracks originally recorded on the "Razamanaz" album.  "No Jive" contains an updated version of the band's classic hit "This Flight Tonight" and a single version of "Tell me That You Love".

The Move Nazareth - The Move/Boogloo (Salvo) 1994/1998/2011

DISC ONE (The Move)
1.   Let Me Be Your Dog (4:36)
2.   Can't Shake Those Snakes (3:22)
3.   Crack Me Up (3:42)
4.   Move Me (3:45)
5.   Steamroller (4:28)
6.   Stand by Your Beds (4:13)
7.   Rip It Up (3:34)
8.   Demon Alcohol (2:58)
9.   You Had it Comin' (4:39)
10. Bring It on Home Mama (4:01)
11. Burning Down (4:40)
12. Love Hurts [Rock Orchestra Version] (4:07)
13. Razamanaz [Unplugged] (4:36)
14. My White Bicycle [Unplugged] (2:57)
15. This Flight Tonight [Unplugged] (4:02)
16. Love Hurts [Rock Orchestra Instrumental] (4:08)
1.   Light Comes Down (3:33)
2.   Cheerleader (3:15)
3.   Loverman (4:29)
4.   Open-Up Woman (4:29)
5.   Talk Talk (3:51)
6.   Nothing So Good (5:07)
7.   Party in the Kremlin (3:36)
8.   God Save the South (6:35)
9.   Robber and the Roadie (4:21)
10. Waiting (5:45)
11. May Heaven Keep You (5:43)
12. Laid To Wasted (4:16)
13. Walk By Yourself (5:02)

Whereas the 1980's saw Nazareth wandering and meandering through the desert trying to figure out exactly where they fit in, the 90's saw Naz returning to a heavier sound. "No Jive" was released 1991 a return to form. The album features the return of guitarist Billy Rankin who then replaced founding guitarist Manny Charlton, though Rankin had been with the band previously as a fifth member/second guitarist. Billy Rankin really was the catalyst behind Naz's return and was obviously a big shot in the arm to the rest of the band members. Rankin pens eight of the album's original eleven tracks. "Move On" features the same line-up: Dan McCafferty - vocals, Billy Rankin- guitars, Pete Agnew - bass and Darrell Sweet - drums.

The album features that raw, nasty, hard rock sound that Nazareth perfected on albums like "Hair of the Dog" and "Razamanaz". The album opens with a song titled "Let Me Be Your Dog", which in and of itself says a lot about the direction of this album. Songs like "Let Me Be Your Dog", "Can't Shake Those Snakes" and "Rip It Up" are all prime examples of that raw, heavy rock and roll sound. McCafferty's vocals are as raw and biting as ever. "Steamroller" is an up-beat, bass-heavy rocker, as the title implies. "Stand by Your Beds" is an anthem, but still has that dirty, mean guitar sound. "You Had It Comin’" is the most melodic, radio-friendly of the album tracks.

The bonus tracks included on disc one are two versions of Love Hurts; one with vocals and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the other the orchestra instrumental version. The orchestral version works with vocals remarkably well, while the instrumental version comes off as muzak. There are also three unplugged tracks; "Razamanaz", "My White Bicycle" and "This Flight Tonight". Going "unplugged" was all the rage in the 90's. For some of the 70's band, their songs translated quite well into the acoustic setting. That is the case with Naz as well.  The songs features some nice vocal harmonies as well.

"Boogaloo" was released in 1998 and was the last studio album by Naz for a decade. ("The Newz" was released in February 2008.) It was also the last studio-recording to feature founding member and drummer Darrell Sweet. (Sweet passed away from a heart attack in 1999.) As well, the band were back to a five-piece with Ronnie Leahy on keyboards and Jimmy Murrison replacing Billy Rankin on guitar. Despite the loss of Rankin, who had written much of the previous album, the band forges ahead with a mostly straight-forward heavy rock sound. Album opener is mid-paced hard rocker with a nice groove. "Cheerleader" is an uncompromising, up-beat, politically incorrect rock song. As with every Naz album, the band offers lots of different moods. "Nothing So Good" is a bluesy throw-back to the 1970's, "Talk Talk" is an organ-led, melodic number, "Loverman" features a horn section on top of a dirty guitar lick, "God Save the South" is a tongue-in-cheek nod to the U.S. Southern rockers, "Party in the Kremlin" is pure funk, and "Open Up Woman" is a boogie based hard rock song. The album finishes on a hight with the funky "Waiting" and the solid ballad "May Heaven Keep You". Though the band is well into three-decades as a band, vocalist Dan McCafferty sounds as good as he ever has.

Disc two features two bonus tracks as well, a somber ballad  titled "Laid to Wasted and a mid-paced, heavy rocker titled "Walk By Yourself.

Both CD's has been digitally remastered. The 16-page color booklet contains a ton of an a lengthy biography about these two albums from Joel Mclver.

Newz Nazareth - The Newz (Edel) 2008

1.      Goin' Loco (5:24)
2.      Day At The Beach (4:56)
3.      Liar (6:44)
4.      See Me (4:54)
5.      Enough Love (5:50)
6.      Warning (4:36)
7.      Mean Streets (4:16)
8.      Road Trip (2:48)
9.      Gloria (5:48)
10.     Keep On Travellin' (3:56)
11.     Loggin' On (4:48)
12.     The Gathering (7:08)
13.     Dying Breed (4:05)

I tend to get into kicks with certain bands and will suddenly start listening to everything I have from them. For some reason in 2010 I started getting into Nazareth heavy again, spinning all my old vinyls and the handful of CDs I had at the time. I sort of lost track of Nazareth after "Malice in Wonderland". However, I started looking into their catalog and some of the albums I had missed. I quickly found out that I had missed a lot, including several albums in the late 80's and early 90's and a new album in 2008 that had ended a decade of silence from the band. I quickly started snatching up whatever I could on CD, starting with their live album "'Snaz". Nazareth may be out of the public eye in most countries, but they've continued to crank out their own brand of raunchy rock 'h' roll for decades. Original Naz founder Pete Agnew is still pounding on the bass while his son Lee Agnew replaced the deceased Darrell Sweet on drums. Guitarist Jimmy Murrison, who joined Nazareth in 1995, having been in the same band as Lee Agnew at the time, is keeping the Nazareth guitar sound alive.

"The Newz" may very well be the band's best album since "Expect No Mercy" (1979), or arguably "Malice in Wonderland" (1980). "The Newz" is just straight forward hard rock/heavy metal with a few mellower, bluesy numbers. A song like "Goin' Loco" or especially "Warning" and "Liar" sound like classic Nazareth. "Warning" and "Liar" in particular have that nasty Naz guitar sound that is complimented by those gnarly vocals of Dan McCafferty. His vocals have always been a major factor in this band's charisma. If these songs had been recorded back in 1979-80, I have not doubt they would have been spinning from every metalhead's turntable. There are also the more straight forward rock and roll songs like "Mean Streets" and "Day at the Beach". "The Gathering," on the other hand, is one of those epic, seven-minute number the ebbs and flows from it's melodic opening to some heavier moments as the songs builds. "The Newz" album ends with a short blues lament titled "Dying Breed". However  buried 9:14 in the track is a four minute song (sort of). Best I can make out the the song might be titled "Goblin King".

No, there is nothing new about "The Newz". Nazareth are not trying to break new ground or trying to pull in a new fan base by "staying current". Rather, Nazareth deliver a solid heavy rock and roll record that captures the spirit of their classic 70's catalog.

Big Dogz Nazareth - Big Dogz (aerMUSIC) 2011

1.      Big Dog's Gonna Howl (3:59)
2.      Claimed (3:55)
3.      No Mean Monster (5:01)
4.      When Jesus Comes To Save the World Again (6:25)
5.      Radio (4:17)
6.      Time and Tide (7:21)
7.      Lifeboat  (4:59)
8.      The Toast (3:59)
9.      Watch Your Back (4:32)
10.     Butterfly (5:30)
11.     Sleeptalker (5:45)

Well into forty years as a band, Scotland's Nazareth are still rocking as hard as they ever did. "Big Dogz" may be the band's 22nd album, and the band may be down to only two original members, but it still sounds like classic Nazareth. The music is a nice blend of heavy rock and some more melodic, bluesy numbers. This has essentially been the sound that Nazareth has been cranking out since the early 70's, and follows nicely the band's 2008 record "The Newz".

The album opens with two of the albums heavier rockers. Both "Big Dog's Gonna Howl" and "Claimed" contain those nasty guitar chords that I expect from Nazareth. As well, Dan McCafferty's gnarly, gravelly voice is a powerful as ever, even is he is a bit rougher than in days gone by. "Watch Your Back" is another of the heavier numbers and has Dan screaming like a banshee. Had this song been recorded on "Hair of the Dog" or even "Razamanaz", it would have fit right in. "Radio" is the most immediately catch song of the bunch and could have been a hit, if Nazareth were still the flavor of the month. Unfortunately only the die-hards will ever get to hear it. The album also sports a ballad titled "Butterfly", a sad and melancholy song. Overall, however, the album is a heavy rocker with some blues and R&B influences.

I found myself identifying with a lot of those songs. "Radio" for example is a song about the music that we grew up on and treat as if it's a good friend. "Songs that free your mind or make you want to rage. That get you you so emotional. Songs that never age...Tonight, it's just me and my radio...Tonight I've been listening to an old friend". As well, "Time and Tied" echoes my own life, being a forty-something rocker who's happily married. "Where did it go, where did the time go? When you are chasing your dreams it sometimes seems that you can't slow down...met a girl who could love me, put a ring on her finger and I'll never let a rock 'n' roll band with a guitar in my hand and a song to play".

One of the darker songs on the album is "When Jesus Comes To Save the World Again". On the surface the lyrics seem anti-Christian, but in fact, are about one of the world's most destructive religious cults, the Jehovah's Witness & the Watchtower Society.

There are no attempts at trying to get with the times or no gimmicks present on "Big Dogz". It's just Nazareth doing what they do best, making heavy rock and roll. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

NazBox Nazareth - NazBox (Salvo) 2011

1. Dear John
2. Friends (B-side)
3. Woke Up This Morning
4. If You See My Baby (single)
5. Razamanaz
6. Bad Bad Boy
7. Broken Down Angel
8. Go Down Fighting
9. This Flight Tonight
10. Shanghai d in Shanghai
11. Loved and Lost
12. Hair of the Dog
13. Love Hurts
14. My White Bicycle
15. Vancouver Shakedown
16. I Want To Do Everything For You
17. Expect No Mercy
18. Place In Your Heart
19. New York Broken Toy
20. Star

21. May The Sunshine (single mix)
22. Holiday
23. Heart s Grown Cold
24. Every Young Man s Dream
25. Crazy (A Suitable Case For Treatment)
26. Boys In the Band
27. Dream On
28. Whippin Boy
29. Where Are You Now
30. Sweetheart Tree
31. Cinema
32. Hit the Fan
33. Piece Of My Heart
34. Hire and Fire
35. Every Time It Rains
36. Cry Wolf
37. Cant' Shake Those Shakes
38. Light Comes Down
39. Day At the Beach
40. Big Dogz Gonna Howl
41. Turn On Your Receiver (Bob Harris jingle) (1:11)
42. Called Her Name (BBC live track) (4:32)
43. Country Girl (BBC live track) (4:20)
44. Black Hearted Woman (BBC live track) (9:59)
45. Goin Down (BBC live track) (4:29)
46. Alactaraz (BBC live track) (4:57)
47. Vigilante Man (BBC live track) (4:51)
48. Ruby Baby (BBC live track) (4:41)
49. Woke Up This Morning / Boogie (BBC live track) (9:46)
50. Changing Times (BBC live track) (6:12)
51. Honky Tonk Downstairs (BBC live track) (4:07)
52. What You Gonna Do About It (BBC live track) (5:09)
53. You Got Me Hummin (BBC live track) (4:22)
54. Guilty (BBC live track) (4:15)

55. Telegram (BBC live track) (5:59)
56. Night Woman (BBC live track) (7:33)
57. Born To Love (BBC live track) (4:36)
58. Gone Dead Train (BBC live track) (4:00)
59. Kentucky Fried Blues (BBC live track) (4:05)
60. Teenage Nervous Breakdown (BBC live track) (3:40)
61. Paper Sun (previously unreleased) (5:22)
62. Storm Warning (previously unreleased) (3:48)
63. Mexico (demo) (previously unreleased) (2:46)
64. Laid To Wasted (outtake from Sound Elixir) (previously unreleased) (3:42)
65. Read the Book (studio outtake) (3:22)
66. SOS (outtake from Sound Elixir) (previously unreleased) (4:12)
67. Sunshine Of Your Love (outtake from Snakes N Ladders) (previously unreleased) (4:42)
68. See You See Me (demo) (previously unreleased) (4:36)
69. Heatwave (studio outtake) (2:33)

"Naz Box" is four decades of the Scottish rockers Nazareth on four discs. The six panel digi-box contains a 64-page book with extensive liner notes on the history of the band and on the songs included on this massive compilation. 

Disc one and two are culled from the band's extensive catalog from 1971 to their 2011 release "Big Dogz". With such a wealth of material, it must have been hard to cut down the list of songs to only 40 songs. As a fan myself, some songs that I might have included were left off, such as the band's killer cover of Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown".. However, what these 40 songs it is quite apparent that Nazareth has never been a band that could be pegged down to one style, though it all falls under the umbrella of rock and roll. Of course, it's quite apparent that as the 70's wore on and the band was being grouped with heavy acts like Deep Purple, UFO and Uriah Heep, the band adapted and went a bit heavier. No where was this more apparent than on albums like ""Hair of the Dog". However, never to be tied down, they followed that album up with "Close Enough for Rock and Roll", an album that shunned the heavy metal tag for something much more earthy and organic, as is apparent by songs like "Vancouver Shakedown". However, two albums later the band returned to that sound with "Expect No Mercy", of which three tracks are included here. Of course that variety of sound and never being tied to a sound has been Nazareth's method of operation for four decades. 

As would be expected, the hits are included. The band saw Top 10 hits in Europe with "Broken Down Angel" and "Bad Bad Boy," as well as high-charting tunes like their brilliant takes on Joni Mitchell’s "This Flight Tonight" and Tomorrow's "My White Bicycle". They also saw Top 10 success in the U.S. with the Boudleaux Bryant ballad “Love Hurts” which was originally performed by The Everly Brothers. The breakdown of what track is from what album is listed below.

Disc three features live tracks culled from the BBC from 1972 through 1975. This disc alone is worth the price of admission. Most of the BBC recordings from the 1970's era bands are gems. The BBC radio programs managed to capture the chemistry that these bands had back then. Certainly that is the case with this collection of live Nazereth songs. The first track on the disc, "Turn on Your Receiver", is actually a jingle for the  Rob Harris Radio program that was recorded by Nazareth. However, the remaining tracks are all Naz jams, and even a couple from Dan McCafferty's solo LP. As a stand-alone disc, this would have been a fantastic release. 

Disc four features more live BBC material, all from 1977, and nine album outtakes. The two most interesting tracks are Naz's take on the Abba classic "S.O.S." and a cover of Creem's "Sunshine of Your Love". Both songs are given a Naz overhaul and though they retain some elements of the original songs, Naz makes them their own. Nazareth have been doing their own take on classic songs since their inception, so it's no wonder that these two tracks are brilliant. The Abba cover is especially wonder-some as it really could have been released on the "Sound Elixir" album, or at least released as a b-side. 

Disc 1, Track 1 from Nazareth (Mountain (U.K.)/Warner Bros. (U.S.), 1971)
Disc 1, Track 2 was the B-side to “Dear John” – Pegasus PGS-2 (U.K.), 1972
Disc 1, Track 3 from Exercises (Mountain (U.K.)/Warner Bros. (U.S.), 1972)
Disc 1, Track 4 from Pegasus single PGS-5 (U.K.), 1972
Disc 1, Tracks 5-7 from Razmanaz (Mooncrest (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1973)
Disc 1, Tracks 8-9 from Loud ‘n’ Proud (Mooncrest (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1973)
Disc 1, Tracks 10-11 from Rampant (Mooncrest (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1974)
Disc 1, Tracks 12-13 from Hair of the Dog (Mooncrest (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1975)
Disc 1, Track 14 from Mooncrest single MOON 47 (U.K.), 1975
Disc 1, Track 15 from Close Enough for Rock ‘n’ Roll (Mountain (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1976)
Disc 1, Track 16 from Play ‘n’ the Game (Mountain (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1977)
Disc 1, Tracks 17-19 from Expect No Mercy (Mountain (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1977)
Disc 1, Track 20 and original version of Disc 2, Track 1 from No Mean City (Mountain (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1980)
Disc 2, Tracks 2-3 from Malice in Wonderland (Mountain (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1980)
Disc 2, Track 4 from The Fool Circle (Vertigo (U.K.), 1980/A&M (U.S.), 1981
Disc 2, Track 5 from Heavy Metal: Music from the Motion Picture (Epic (U.K.)/Asylum (U.S.), 1981)
Disc 2, Tracks 6-7 from 2XS (Vertigo (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1982)
Disc 2, Tracks 8-9 from Sound Elixir (Vertigo (U.K.)/A&M (U.S.), 1983)
Disc 2, Track 10 from The Catch (Vertigo (U.K.), 1984)
Disc 2, Tracks 11-12 from Cinema (Vertigo (U.K.), 1986)
Disc 2, Track 13 from Snakes n’ Ladders (Vertigo (U.K.), 1989)
Disc 2, Tracks 14-16 from No Jive (Mausoleum, 1991)
Disc 2, Track 17 from Move Me (Vertigo (U.K.), 1994)
Disc 2, Track 18 from Boogaloo (Steamhammer (U.K.), 1998)
Disc 2, Track 19 from The Newz (Edel (U.K.), 2008)
Disc 2, Track 20 from Big Dogz (Edel (U.K.), 2011)

Nazareth - Rock 'N' Roll Telephone (Conveyor) 2014

1. Boom Bang Bang (3:17)
2. One Set Of Bones (3:27)
3. Back 2B4 (4:52)
4. Winter Sunlight (3:29)
5. Rock 'N' Roll Telephone (5:45)
6. Punch A Hole In The Sky (3:49)
7. Long Long Time (4:18)
8. The Right Time (4:50)
9. Not Today (3:26)
10. Speakeasy (3:17)
11. God Of The Mountain (3:42)

The awkwardly titled "Rock 'N' Roll Telephone" is Naz's 23rd studio album and marks the end of an era. This album is slated to be the last with vocalist Dan McCafferty. The line-up for this studio album includes founder members Dan McCafferty (vocals) and Pete Agnew (bass) along with guitarist Jimmy Murrison (who debuted on 1998''s 'Boogaloo') and Lee Agnew, son of bassist Pete Agnew who took over on drums after the passing of Darrell Sweet shortly after the release of 'Boogaloo'. 

"Rock 'N' Roll Telephone" is exactly what any Naz fan could have hoped for. The eleven songs on the standard CD version range from the heavy metal of "One Set of Bones" to the meaty rock and roll of the title track to the melancholy, acoustic "Winter Sunlight".  A song like "Punch a Hole in the Sky", driven by a double bass beat, sounds like it could have been written for "Razamanaz" or "Hair of the Dog". Of course McCafferty's whiskey soaked voice has the same 'ol swagger it always has. Naz has a knack for writing simple, stripped-down and memorable rock and roll, and this album is no exception. 

Apparently the band will be touring for this new album with new vocalist Linton Osborne.

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