Sunday, 3 June 2018

Nazareth - Rampant (1974)

  

Released April 1974

Recorded in Montreux, Switzerland

Running time 39.43

I remember buying this album back in 1974. It kicked backside then and it does now. Dunfermline's hard-as-nails whisky-sodden foursome give it some and more on this excellently remastered extended version from this classic seventies rock band. It is a Southern rock-influenced album, sort of Lynyrd Skynyrd but with the usual Stones strains popping up all over. Dan McCafferty's voice is outstanding throughout. The album is not quite as diverse as "Razamanaz" or, to a lesser extent, "Loud 'n' Proud" but it certainly is consistent in its energetic approach. It is another slice of quality seventies rock with a poppy accessible edge. 

TRACK LISTING

1. Silver Dollar Forger

2. Glad When You're Gone
3. Loved And Lost
4. Shanghai'd In Shanghai
5. Jet Lag 
6. Light My Way
7. Sunshine
8. Shapes Of Things/Space Safari                

One of the album's mst impressive numbers is "Silver Dollar Forger", which kicks the album magnificently - packed full of frantic riffing and vocal power on its first part, which then morphs into an impressive instrumental workout on part two. "Glad When You're Gone" is an upbeat, catchy typically Nazareth rocker. You can't beat the passionate yearning of "Loved And Lost" either.

The hit single from the album was the Stonesy (complete with mid-song riff tribute) "Shanghai'd In Shanghai" and a corker it is too. Perfect pop rock.

There is a similar feel on "Jet Lag" to "Silver Dollar Forger", although this time it has a bluesier edge to it, and is slower in pace. It has some great wah-wah guitar near the end too. "Yes ma'am I did say Scotland - "can you spell that for me please?" is a good line as well. They could come up with some nice tongue-in-cheek lyrics at times.

 "Light My Way" is a slow and powerful rock ballad, drenched in feedback, an enhanced vocal and muscular, pounding drums. "Sunshine" is just a beautiful, anthemic, singalong rock ballad and the band's cover of The Yardbirds' "Shapes Of Things" is excellent too. The song suits Nazareth perfectly. It ends with a spacey instrumental in "Space Safari". In fact, the spacey bits occur intermittently throughout the track, and there is room for a John Bonham-style drum solo in the middle as well. The bonus track 'b' side, "Down" is an impressive rocker. I don't really get why it couldn't have been put on the album, it would have made it even better.

The "extras" are BBC "In Concert Sessions" live cuts from 1973 featuring Naz classics such as "Razamanaz", "Night Woman""Vigilante Man", "Alcatraz""Broken Down Angel", "Woke Up This Morning" and "Morning Dew" which show just what a great, powerful live band they were. The sound is really good on these recordings.

B-

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