Nazareth - Razamanaz
In the later years the word "Classic" has been watered down. However, Nazareth's "Razamanaz" has certainly earned the label "Classic" in the word's purest sense.
Originally released in 1973 the album has remained its power and the songs still moves you, which makes it timeless.
Prior to this album Nazareth had released 2 albums without great success. However,  their reputation as a strong live act earned them the opening spot on Deep Purple's tour. Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover offered to produce Nazareth's next album and after hearing them most nights on the Deep Purple tour he knew he had to capture the live energy on record to make "Razamanaz" successful. Nazareth already aired some of the "Razamanaz" songs live on that particular tour so Glover knew what they were supposed to sound like.
A good producer doesn't do it alone. Nazareth had written some really strong songs for "Razamanaz". The songs had been tested on the road and therefore the album is a strong unit.
The title track has been the blueprint for Hard Rock with its heavy rhythm and exceptional riff. The song has everything Hard Rock is about; pounding drums, sharp guitar riffs and solos. On top of that you have Dan McCafferty's unique voice. No wonder that Axl Rose looks up to McCafferty and wanted him to sing at his wedding.
Even though the album is founded on the live energy and drive Nazareth sounds great when they bring it down. Sold My Soul has McCafferty belting out some soulful vocals.
The album is diverse. The cover of Guthrie's Vigilante Man is done Ry Cooder style with a bluesy feel. Bad Bad Boy is a bad ass rocker - at least for 1973 and Alcatrazz is melodic rock founded on a melodic riff from Manny Charlton. Broken Down Angel is the most commercial rocker on the album and also the single from the album.
The album is vital because it was Nazareth finding their identity. "Razamanaz" put them in the big league and it stands as one never surpassed by Nazareth.
Salvo has just started a Nazareth reissue campaign. The campaign is done with respect and love for the originals. "Razamanaz" has a logo saying "Loud N Proud and Remastered" with reference to Nazareth's next album "Loud N Proud". The reissue comes with liner notes featuring brand new interviews with singer Dan McCafferty and bassist Pete Agnew plus six bonus tracks. The bonus track Spining Top was a b-side of Broken Down Angel and its cut right off the "Razamananz" recipe. A start-stop riff, Rock 'n' Roll and lots of tasty leads over it.
Nazareth is till going strong and I will be rocking out to them at this year's Sweden Rock festival.
A Rock classic!

Written by Michael
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
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Michael: 7.5/10

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by Brian (Staff) - Wednesday, February 3, 2010
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Comments: 81
Good review Michael. Hits all the right nails on the head.

Posted by Brian (Staff)
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Review by Michael

Released by
Mooncrest/A&M - 1973

1. Razamanaz
2. Alcatraz
3. Vigilante Man
4. Woke Up This Morning
5. Night Woman
6. Bad Bad Boy
7. Sold My Soul
8. Too Bad Too Sad
9. Broken Down Angel

Bonus tracks on Salvo reissue:
10. Hard Living (b-side of Bad Bad Boy)
11. Spinning Top (b-side of Bad Bad Boy)
12. Razamanaz (BBC session)
13. Night Woman (BBC session)
14. Broken Down Angel (BBC session)
15. Vigilante Man (BBC session)

Reissue by Salvo 2009

Hard Rock

Related links
Visit the band page

Nazareth - Official Website

Other articles
The River Sessions - (Michael)

Loud N' Proud/Rampant/Hair of the Dog (Reissues) - (Michael)

The Newz - (Michael)

Close Enough for Rock N' Roll/Play N' the Game - (Michael)

Expect No Mercy & No Mean City - (Michael)

Malice in Wonderland & The Fool Circle - (Michael)

Snaz - (Michael)

The Catch/Cinema - (Michael)

2XS & Sound Elixir - (Michael)

Snakes and Ladders + No Jive - (Michael)

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