Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Nazareth - Loud 'n' Proud (1973)


Released November 1973

After the success of the barnstorming blues and Scotch whisky rock of earlier in the same year's "Razamanaz", Scottish rockers Nazareth were back with one of their hardest-rocking albums. Deep Purple's Roger Glover was the producer and there are some excellent, guitar-driven rockers on here.


1. Go Down Fighting
2. Not Faking It
3. Turn On Your Receiver
4. Teenage Nervous Breakdown
5. Free Wheeler
6. This Flight Tonight
7. Child In The Sun
8. The Ballad Of Hollis Brown

"Go Down Fighting" is an absolute stonker of an opener and "Not Faking It" keeps up the heavy rock pressure. "Turn On Your Receiver" has a few twinges of country rock about it, but it still rocks. It is certainly no CSNY. Nazareth had the ability to turn a cover version into their own, copper-bottomed slice of credible hard rock. They do exactly that with Little Feat's "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" superbly with a riff-dminated version. Their cover of Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight" turns the song into a rumbling, rhythmic rocker with a superb vocal from Dan McCafferty. It deservedly provided them with their third chart hit.

The highlight of the album, however, is the extended, menacing blues rock splendour that is their cover of Bob Dylan's tragically disturbing tale, "The Ballad Of Hollis Brown". Searing rock guitars swirl all around the powerful, threatening, foreboding drum beat as McCafferty tells of the father who takes the life of himself and all his children. One of the greatest ever Dylan covers, but one that is, unfortunately, rarely mentioned in such lists. "Child Of The Sun" is an acoustic-backed rock ballad with hints of Deep Purple, while "Free Wheeler" is another dollop of top notch blues rock.

Nazareth released three (possibly four) excellent mid-seventies rock albums. This is one of them.

PS - the four "BBC Sessions" live tracks on the latest remaster are excellent, as so many of the "BBC Sessions" cuts were, from many groups.


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