Nazareth – Razamanaz

ARTIST: Nazareth  220px-Razamanaz
TITLE: Razamanz
YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: #157 US, #11 UK
SINGLES: Broken Down Angel (#9 UK), Bad, Bad Boy (#10 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They hadn’t really broken the US yet.
LINEUP: Dan McCafferty, Darrell Sweet, Pete Agnew, Manny Charlton
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Scottish hard rock band breaks through in the UK with two hits, and sets up the Nazareth ‘formula’ for the entire 70’s.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This record, their third, was their UK breakthrough. It’s when they ditched a lot of the acoustic and folk references and went right for the hard-rock punters. It somewhat delivers. It probably was on a lot of 8-track tape players over there for a time.

They’re not lyrical geniuses, but Charlton knows his way around a decent bludgeon of a riff and McCafferty’s vocals are sleazy, not shrieking, which is a refreshing change. A song like Woke Up This Morning or Too Bad Too Sad could have easily been on the rock stations in the 70’s without any issue, and they did enough business to keep a US deal. But it is kind of a shallow record – the songs are OK but there’s no real depth to them and nothing to entice you to frequent listens.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Nazareth opened up for Deep Purple in the UK in 1972, and after that tour Roger Glover of Deep Purple agreed to produce this record.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A couple, with B-sides and BBC sessions.

GRADE: C+-: If you need a hard-rock fix without getting too metal, this is an OK choice. They’re at least competent at what they do.

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