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NAZARETH “NO MEAN CITY” – 1979 HARD ROCK ALBUM IS A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, classic rock music 1979, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting rock music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential classic rock songs, hard rock music, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, scary album covers, spooky metal album covers, vintage hard rock albums, vintage hard rock bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Nazareth "No Mean City" small album picI have owned the vinyl album of No Mean City by Nazareth since 1983. No, I could never part with this album at all over the years, never. For years I could never find No Mean City on CD, it most likely had been out of print for some time. To this day, No Mean City does not seem to be that readily available anywhere, on CD and especially on vinyl. Who knows, maybe there is an independent record store somewhere that has dozens of copies in their inventory… I just never come across this Nazareth classic myself. With the brilliant, Old School, Classic Hard Rock heard on this album, combined with the album cover artwork, makes for a keeper. I actually bought this album as a cut-out, back when Strawberries Records & Tapes was around. Back in the early 1980’s, cut-out bins found in any record store was Rock and Roll Heaven! You could always find cool albums in these cut-out bins at real discounted prices, many times there were hidden heavy gems in them. My copy of No Mean City has a cut in the top right corner of the album jacket – this never bothered me one bit. The enjoyment this album’s music has given me all these years more than makes up for any cosmetic defect on it’s exterior.

Remembering the actual price I paid for No Mean City back in 1983 is a tad gray now… it probably set me back three or four bucks at the most. This is one of those albums that I would hold and stare at the front cover artwork, while my turntable played the tunes. The artwork for No Mean City screams Heavy Metal, still this is a true Hard Rock album from Nazareth. Getting nostalgic about Rock and Roll is something I cannot shake loose, Nazareth is one of those bands that epitomizes Classic Rock and gets my nostalgia adrenaline going. No Mean City takes me back to when I had nothing to worry about other than graduating High School. Whenever I listen to this album, everything feels cool around me, uh, that is real cool.

All eight songs on this great album are terrific, there are a few standout favorites of mine, beginning with Simple Solution Part 1 & 2. This song is loaded with strong grooves, carrying it’s melodic Hard Rock weight due in part to Dan McCafferty on lead vocals, Pete Agnew on bass and backing vocals and Manny Charlton on guitar. Star is a Hard Rock ballad  that maintains it’s heaviness through Dan McCafferty’s raspy, sandpapered vocals. To this very day, I still cannot believe that Star was not a huge hit from this album. The lyrics and music of Star are just as great as the Nazareth cover song Love Hurts from their Hair Of The Dog album, in my Metal opinion. May The Sunshine is a Folk Rock meets Hard Rock song. This song is just a great sing along, upbeat in it’s lyrics and melody, a song I never expected to hear upon my very first listen to No Mean City. Since my first introduction to this album all those years ago, I could not see my music collection being the same without it. If you are into Classic Rock and/or Hard Rock, especially from the late ’70’s, Nazareth and No Mean City is a must listen – Hard Rock treasure.

* The late Darrell Sweet was the drummer and Zal Cleminson was also a guitarist for Nazareth on No Mean City. Both of these musicians were just as important to making this album sound so great to me.

* No Mean City was released on A&M Records, in January of 1979.

* No Mean City was the tenth studio album from Nazareth.

* Nazareth is still Rocking to this day… with original members Dan McCafferty on lead vocals and Pete Agnew on bass. Pete Agnew’s son, Lee Agnew, plays drums and Jimmy Murrison plays guitar. This Nazareth lineup released a new studio album – The Newz, in 2008… and it is damn cool and good. I will leave The Newz album for another post in the future.

Nazareth "No Mean City" large album pic

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Nazareth “Hair Of The Dog” still has the heavy bite

Posted in 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's Rock, Album Review, classic metal, classic rock, cool album covers, cover songs, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, Rock, rock & roll, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Nazareth “Hair Of The Dog” has always been a monumental standout Hard Rock album for me. This is what I consider a real album with no pretensions, no fancy gimmicks. What you hear on “Hair Of The Dog” is true Classic Hard Rock, no tunes found here are subdued or watered down. Nazareth came up the Hard Rock ladder during the 1970’s, surrounded by Hard Rock icons such as: Bad Company, Queen, Boston, Foreigner, SweetStyx and Cheap Trick. What a fabulous time it was for Hard Rock music! For the Metal record, I always considered Nazareth to be a Hard Rock band, albeit they do have their Heavy Metal musical tendencies. “Hair Of The Dog”, lyrically, is for me, a true stick it to the man – heavy song. “Now your messin’ with a son of a bitch” – these lyrics say it all, my fellow citizens. I can remember so many moments, in my life, where this song has benefited me. Sure, I have been slighted and backstabbed, so have trillions of other people on this planet have as well. “Hair Of The Dog”, when played LOUD, especially after you know you have been jerked around by someone, well, it is the sure fire remedy for feeling vindication.

I remember, uh, reflect, on my High School days… early ’80’s… it was homeroom at 7:45 in the morning, for my first four years of serving time there, “Love Hurts” was played on the school’s radio station, every single day. Yup, every single day. Did I ever grow tired of this song? Nope. It is Nazareth for Metal sakes. I only used to wonder why “Hair Of The Dog” was not played… probably due to it’s lyrical content, the sacred & self righteous school administrators did not want to stir up the masses. I will delve more into the “Love Hurts” tune in the upcoming paragraph, uh, review.

If you are looking for a great, Classic Hard Rock album to buy and cherish, “Hair Of The Dog” should be an easy choice. This album is saturated with Hard Rock. Oozing with bluesy, Hard Rock music and attitude, “Hair Of The Dog” has so much more to offer, with the title track “Hair Of The Dog” being as close of an example to 1970’s Heavy Metal as you can possibly hear. This song revs it up into high gear, kicking off this album on a real high note. “Miss Misery” is a melancholy song that thumps along with a denim and leather flavor, highlighting the raspy vocals of Dan McCafferty. “Love Hurts” is the ballad, the big radio hit for Nazareth then and now. This song is a cover from the Everly Brothers, only this version is hardened around the edges and overflows with pure Rock emotion. “Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman” is a song with a grooving coolness happening, it has that American Southern Rock sound and atmosphere. “Hair Of The Dog” is in my opinion, quite diversified musically. The opening track being very Metal, another track having Southern Rock flavor and a classic 1950’s ballad cover song. “Please Don’t Judas Me” is a lengthy rocker at nearly ten minutes long. I appreciate this song for it’s jamming, it also exemplifies how albums years ago were geared more to the music than to releasing instant commercial hits. Nazareth released a memorable album back in 1975, it should be enjoyed and passed along for all Rock and Hard Rock fans. Heavy Metal fans should embrace this album for its quality musical content and ground floor sound. “Hair Of The Dog” helped shape Heavy Metal in the 1970’s and beyond. This is an album that can never, ever, be forgotten.

Nazareth on “Hair Of The Dog”: Dan McCafferty on vocals, Manny Charlton on guitars & synthesizer, Pete Agnew on bass guitar & backing vocals and Darrell Sweet on drums, percussion & backing vocals. The liner notes do not contain lyrics, it is a fold out with an enlarged scale of the album cover artwork.

Nazareth "Hair Of The Dog"

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