Nazareth Glam Metal

Nazareth was a Scottish hard rock (and Glam Rock) band that had several hits in the UK and USA in the early 1970s, garnering international fame with the release of their hard-rocking, unforgettable album Hair of the Dog. Nazareth’s most famous hits from this record album were “Love Hurts” and “Hair of the Dog”, made well-known by the guitar hooks and lyrics of “Now You’re Messin’ with a Son of a Bitch!” Nazareth was formed in 1968 in Dunfermline, Scotland from a local group named The Shadettes (see Wikipedia) by vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bass guitarist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet.  According to Wikipedia, the fledgling band took their name from the city of Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Nazareth as a band still records and tours today, and there is a complete history of the band on their website http://www.nazarethdirect.co.uk. On this website, Nazareth writes that in the early days the “Scottish promoters and ballroom managers insisted on [Scottish] groups limiting their music set-list to strictly cover singles in the UK Top 30” and that the band decided that if they were going to make it in the music business,that they would need to move to London. Nazareth writes this they did and in doing so “quitting good day jobs and moving to a grotty communal flat in London” in 1970.

The band released their debut album Nazareth in 1971, but it was not until their third album Razamanaz (produced by Roger Glover of Deep Purple) that the band began to receive recognition, with two U.K. hits, “Broken Down Angel”, and “Bad Bad Boy”. Following this came the album,

Loud N Proud (1973) which contained a cover of a song by folksinger Joni Mitchell “This Flight Tonight.” Nazareth’s fifth album was Rampant (1974) with the single “Shanghai’ed in Shanghai”. The website for Nazareth (often referred to as “Naz” by the band themselves) states this: “Musically, 1974’s Rampant was a move towards metal and it was also the last of three albums produced by Deep Purple’s Roger Glover before Naz’ Manny Charlton took over.” (http://www.nazarethdirect.co.uk). In 1975, Nazareth catapulted to international stardom with the release of Hair of the Dog with monster hits “Love Hurts” and “Hair of the Dog”. The Nazareth website states that their label “Mooncrest” “still badly wanted another hit so Naz recorded the Everly Brothers’ hit “Love Hurts.” This went nowhere in England but was Top 10 in America, and then in Norway, it reached #1 and stayed there for 40 weeks.” The Wikipedia reference described this as “60 weeks” on the Norweigen/European charts! You can decide which is correct! Also according to Wikipedia, a second guitarist Zal Cleminson was added in 1979 for Nazareth’s album No Mean City and Malice in Wonderland.  Wiki also said that in 1981 Nazareth contributed the song “Crazy (Suitable for Treatment)” to the soundtrack for the film Heavy Metal.  Nazareth continued to tour and record in the 80s and 90s as their popularity began to wane, although they remained popular in Europe, particularly Germany.

The most recent updates on the band come from their website http://www.nazarethdirect.co.uk: “2004 saw the band head out to the USA, Russia, Israel and Europe with a welcome return to the UK.” and “2008 marks the 40th anniversary (of the original band’s formation in 1968)”

Nazareth’s newest album, just released, is called Big Dogz, released for 2012.

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2 Responses to “Nazareth Glam Metal”

  1. Great band – I saw them in Chatham sometime around 1974 – thanks for this post

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