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4.6 out of 5 stars44
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 12 June 2014
I can’t recall such an extensive PR campaign for a Naz album, the resultant buzz, the excitement that has prevailed over these last couple of months. So what is the verdict for Rock n Roll Telephone?

Will first impressions on playing it be similar to the experiences of years ago for such albums as No Mean City, “incredible”, or Malice “eh?”

One of the reasons I love Naz is that you are virtually guaranteed to find a tune in every song on any album. This, though, was not quite the case with The Newz but thankfully order was mostly restored with Big Dogz.

Crank up the volume and let proceedings commence…There are some seriously good songs delivered in the traditional meaty Naz way with Boom Bang Bang the best opener since Hire and Fire. One Set of Bones keeps the tempo high with in your face guitars and finely paced bass and drums and I’m sure will develop into, after more listens, a great Naz album track. I am still trying to catch the tune as it is a bit stop start, though good guitar riff. Next up we have the community singing style of Back2B4, (hints of Stuck In The Middle With You) making this an endearing laid back slice of acoustic Naz at their best.

Winter Sunlight, a beautiful mellow song (hints of Child In The Sun singing from Dan and Pete), though to have it as track four immediately after Back2B4 I feel contributes to losing a bit of tempo on the album at this stage. That is immediately put right with the album’s title track and Jimmy’s glorious meaty and mean guitar work supported by a kick ass performance on bass. At times the lyrics are a bit clumsy yet overall a great Naz track to take you by the throat and drag you through the meanest and roughest Russian airport.

Fasten your seat belts for a turbo charged ride through Punch A Hole In the Sky. The slick but mean guitar work is augmented by no holds barred drums and bass. This track is also testament to the fact that Dan, COPD or not, can still deliver a vocal performance that would leave a twenty year old floundering. The band has floored the pedal to the metal…hold on for a wild ride.

Then the album takes a little detour…Long Long Time can be described as “nice” but I just can’t class it as a Naz song. A modern feel, it certainly stretches boundaries...yet for me just feels out of place on a Naz album. The Right Time has echoes of and would not be out of place on one of Naz’s mid-seventies albums though at the moment I feel it is a bit maudlin. Perhaps more plays and it will grow on me. With these two tracks side by side the album again loses a little tempo. Not for long though…

Talk about contrasts…Is that Tony Iommi knocking at the door? The guitar work on Not Today could be straight out of his riff book. Very dirty and menacing…come on Jimmy, how about playing this live? The song’s delivery is very up to date and shows that Naz can still teach today’s young rock wannabees how to deliver.

Now that we are back flying, the band then delivers that classic Naz track that is on every album. Glorious tune delivered in the traditional meaty style that won’t frighten the children. Speakeasy is a sing along good time song, great bass and tight drumming. This is the perfect track for radio. A must do live track for crowd participation.

The last track, God Of The Mountain, fits comfortably at the end of the album and keeps the pace at near frantic level to leave the listener in no doubt that forty six years on, the band can still make a statement worth listening to.

Naz are at the top of their game here, building on the success of the two recent albums. Whilst I did not really like the production on The Newz , Big Dogz was a big improvement though perhaps a nod too much to the Seventies. Rock n Roll Telephone hits the right spot production wise where the band appreciate it is 2014 but always acknowledge their roots.

This album has all the hallmarks to become even better after a few more plays and sit comfortably beside some of their best albums. It wasn’t quite the No Mean City reaction…yet in their forty sixth year delivering album number twenty three, it has given me a big smile on my face and whilst very sad that Dan has to vacate the microphone stand, he can leave feeling proud of this work. It is a very fitting testimony to one of Rock’s greats.
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on 10 June 2014
The last Album with Dan McCafferty and what a way to go for him though the band will continue with a new vocalist.

The album is very heavy and tight as a unit and perhaps the best we have heard in recent years and that is saying something both in the studio and 'live' because if there is one thing you get with Nazareth it is quality. The highlights for me are Boom Bang Bang, Back 2B4, Rock N Roll Telephone and God of the Mountain really does leave you stood on a peak! CD 2 carries 2 more good tracks and then some 'live' ones for the archives. The whole package is quality, hard rock and blues and I do hope Dan despite health problems he might be able to develop some solo work. There is still much to offer. I cannot believe after first hearing these boys in Germany with my cousin in his record collection when I was nine years old (1969), seeing them live and after years of good albums they are still cutting it in 2014. You wont see many bands of today still around over 40 years later.

Well done boys!

Ray
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on 9 June 2014
so it is a shame that Dan has had to leave the band during their second peak. The album is full of energy, the kind that would make a lot of younger bands blush. The music is a fine mix between ear numbing heaviness and a few softer songs. If you're going to go out, might as well go out on top.

A fantastic album and a wonderful send off to the bands original frontman.
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Completing the trilogy that started with 2008's 'The Newz' followed by 'Big Dogz' in 2011,we now have 'Rock n Roll Telephone',excellent title,it has a ring to it (sorry- couldnt help myself).Once again produced by Yann Rouiller,he again creates a razorsharp production,truth be told it could be BIG DOGZ part 2,if you werent fond of that album,then this may not be for you.

Eleven tracks in 44 mins,short and sweet,straight to the point, the album follows the pattern as before rockers (Boom Bang Bang/One Set Of Bones) and ballads (Winter Sunlight/The Right Time),some of the lyrics could easily be applied/interpreted as reflecting on Dans health and resultant departure,there's definitely a melancholy,sadness to some of the tracks,which is understandable.The disc closes with two belters 'Speakeasy' and 'God of the Mountain'.

Disc 2 at approx 35 mins could have easily been placed on the main cd, 2 studio tracks ,'Wanna Feel Good' being the best,probably too upbeat for the main disc and a selection of 'Live ' tracks,ranging from an average 'Big Boy' too a superb rendition of 'Sunshine' and a manic version of 'Expect No Mercy.

Personally i still think Big Dogz tops this one but its a great way to bow out,thanks Dan for the music and the memories.
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on 10 June 2014
Well if it is Dan's last recorded output with the band he can look back with pride on an outstanding catalogue (minus most of their 80s output) of music over the last 45 years. Since the bands renaissance back in 1998 with the Boogaloo album after years of producing kitsch 80s pop / hair metal music they have re-discovered their mojo and returned to their blues based rock with a touch of sassy funk and boogie.
Dan's vocal remain the epitome of a REAL rock singer akin to sounding like AC / DC's Brian Johnson gargling with broken glass. The album starts off with an outstanding shuffle - like riff with the title being all you need to know about the lyrics...dirty boys!! Highlights thereafter, for me, is a beautiful ballad 'Winter Sunshine' (maybe it will replace the irritating Love Hurts during their concerts), the pounding 'One Set Of Bones' and the heavy boogie shuffle of 'Not Today' and maybe Dan's best vocal on 'Just A Ride' (deluxe edition). Another notable mention is the rather strange 'Long Long Time' with it's funky guitar picking riff that really gets under the skin. Could be a good candidate for a single.
Aside from the misstep of a rather dreary blues ballad 'The Right Time' the remainder ain't too shabby either!

For many i know the band are perceived as a purely 70's act and that their best days are behind them. Therefore may i suggest you give this album a try and the preceding 3...you maybe pleasantly surprised.

I know Dan is unlikely to read this short review but you and the band have been an integral soundtrack to me for most of my life. The band has given me so much pleasure and i'm deeply saddened that you cannot do it 'live' anymore. Please don't be lost to music and fingers crossed we can look forward to new music from you. Of course most importantly take care of yourself.
As for the rest of the band...very good luck to you all for the future especially to the new chap...wow you have some shoes to fill lad.
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on 9 June 2014
This is the very best album,that has been brought out by this great band in years, well worth a listen to,rock on folks enjoy
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on 28 December 2015
this was an ok record and it was dans last, im glad this album came out as good as it did but sadly it does not near hold up to what nazareth did in the 70s/early 80s and even the boogaloo record from 1998, any nazareth completest certainly needs to get this for there collection as sadly THIS IS THE REAL NAZARETHS END and im glad dan was able to give us one more record, this is a very nice deluxe edition but a little advice without dan there cant be a nazareth sorry guys from a fan of 36 years now.....
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on 14 June 2014
Nazareth delivers yet another great album with a mix of heavy and softer tracks. Go for the deluxe version if you are going to buy as the additional tracks give a little of the special feeling of hearing this group play live.

Real music, real energy in every track of this album.
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on 5 February 2015
Some of the other reviewers have written a load of old tripe about this cd. It is full of light and shade and at the same time, it is heavy and riff laden. It ranks with the very best that the band have produced and I would give it 6 stars, if I could. McCafferty leaves a fabulous legacy of recorded work and I wonder if there are any unissued recordings still to come? Turn up the volume and treat the neighbours. You know it makes sense-these guys are so good. Dan makes that bloke in AC/DC sound like a wuss!!!
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on 21 July 2014
Nazareth, one of my dear groups. All albums Nazareth, since debut 1971, are made penetrating, with full itself return. Each album deserves attention. Every year Nazareth increased musical professionalism. And though, from early composition, remained only two musicians, it didn't affect beauty and quality of music. Magnificent vocal of Dan McCafferty, this person Nazareth. Nazareth thanks, for an album Rock-n-Roll-Telephone, I think, I will be supported by all fans of this group.
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