NAZARETHReissues (Snapper) (2005)
By 1975 Nazareth’s popularity was waning in their native UK, but Hair Of The
Dog (Snapper SDPCD183) is the album that really cemented mega sales in the rest of the world.
The opening title track is a classic and still a live staple.
The band mixed hard rock with blues and rock’n’roll, with rough as sandpaper
vocals, and did a finer job on a ballad than anyone; you only have to look
at the millions their cover of Love Hurts sold, producing the template of
the song everyone now refers to.
Check the cover of Lofgren’s Beggar’s Day and the lengthy Please Don’t Judas
Me for some quality Scottish material. ***** (55:03)
Jump to 1977 and, in the face of punk, you have one of the greatest and
overlooked rock albums of the era, Expect No Mercy (Snapper SDPCD182_. The first album ever to feature Frank
Frazetta artwork, it’s another lavish package.
The album itself features a mix of hard, fast, rough, balls-to-the-wall rockers, especially in the
classic title track, and more melodic Gone Dead Train. Shot Me Down is more
of a ballad, McCafferty’s gravely vocals able to hold the tune perfectly.
The single Place In Your Heart fits in perfectly, and like the album, it
should have been a bigger hit; the acoustic strumming not sounding out of place.
Nazareth always had a blues influence, as shown on the B-side Greens, albeit
with a very heavy edge. Desolation Road is a little funkier, the drums and
bass holding the song well allowing Manny Charlton to produce some fine
guitar work. **** (41:09)
Both albums come in well illustrated and annotated digipaks, with plenty of
extra tracks, and none of the fake mixes that have plagued earlier reissues.
If not already part of your collection, then both are pretty essential.
Review by Joe Geesin
Related>> Album reissues
Related>> Album review