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Paul "pikie1977" (Hull, East Yorkshire. England)

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Snakes 'n' Ladders
Snakes 'n' Ladders

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad offering from a band that had it's problems., 30 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Snakes 'n' Ladders (Audio CD)
This album has often been cited as a weak album from the Scottish rockers, but in actual fact it isn't at all bad. The album seems to have a aire of acceptance about it and maybe founder member Manny Charlton had already decided to call it a day long before this album was committed to vinyl. The songs lack the urgency and vigour of previous Nazareth recordings, but there is still much to admire from this album.
The album opens up with the tracks Animals and Lady Luck, traditional Nazareth rockers that will set your pulse racing and whet your appetite for more to come. Sadly, the rest of the songs don't quite live up to the promise of these tracks. The songs Trouble and Donna - Get Off That Crack are very good songs with a very doom and gloom feel about them; Trouble in particular has a very catchy drum beat and deep sounding guitar riff that will certainly make the track a favourite from the album. Another stand out track must be the cover version of Piece Of My Heart, made famous by Janis Joplin. The song gets the Nazareth cover treatment aguably as well as Joni Mitchell's This Flight Tonight, and Dan McCafferty's superb vocals keep the rawness of Joplin's version alive. The rest of the tracks are sadly a little mediocre. The urgency and power seem to have left Dan McCafferty's vocals for these songs and the music has a very 'through the motions' feel to it without any of the classic Nazareth melody and power. That's not to say that they are bad songs, it's just that Nazareth have done so much better and maybe these tracks have become a victim of their own high standards, even when you compare them to the strong tracks from the same album.
So in the eleven tracks from this album (original track listing), you have two Nazareth stormers, true classics that stand up to Nazareth's best; you have three tracks that are very good and will be pleasing to the ears and you have six tracks that vary from quite good to average. So in other words, half of this album is excellent and the other half is filler material.
You certainly get the feeling that this album was recorded by a band that didn't know where they were going from this point, but thankfully they carried on and made some superb albums after this one. As for Snakes 'N' Ladders, it is not a weak album by any means; compare it to a lot of recordings from other bands and it still sounds better than most. The problem comes when you compare it to other Nazareth albums, and their own high standards means that this album doesn't quite meet expectations. I would advise you to judge for yourself though, one man's poison is another mans vice, or so they say.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 12, 2009 5:21 PM BST


No Jive
No Jive
Offered by all my music
Price: £39.89

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nazareth for the nineties. Rock, blues, ballads and no jive!, 29 Jan. 2006
This review is from: No Jive (Audio CD)
The end of the eighties saw Nazareth in a watershed of their career. Founder member, prolific writer and producer and distingtive guitarist Manny Charlton called it a day with the band and pursued his own solo career. So for Nazareth it was time to find a new guitarist for the album No Jive. Do they find a Manny sound-a-like or do they go in a new direction and try something new? Most long-time groups would stick to their old tried and trusted methods, but not Nazareth, they brought back Billy Rankin with whom they had recorded the Sound Elixr album with along with Manny Charlton, and headed off for a new sound to mix with their old style. The results are pretty good.
Rankin, just like on 1995s Move Me album adds a little more of a conformative rock sound to the group. The songs are no longer bluesy in feel but more of a customary hard rock that you would find with groups such as Bon Jovi. Hire And Fire, Right Between The Eyes and Cry Wolf could well have been recorded by the New Jersey band. Other tracks like Do You Wanna Play House, Thinkin' Man's Nightmare and Lap Of Luxury are Nazareth to the core; gruff vocals, superior musicianship and all with a fresh new sound. Unusually for Nazareth there is no real ballad on this album, instead opting for more of a melodic tune to replace them with. This is true in the case of Every Time It Rains, Keeping Our Love Alive, Cover Your Heart and The Rowan Tree; each tune could have been recorded by an American supergroup such as Yes or Asia.
This album sounds very different to the Nazareth of the seventies and eighties but it also goes to prove that Nazareth are talented enough to pull it off and do something different. Fans of old Nazareth will find enough of the old style to please; Dan McCafferty is on fine form showing why he must be regarded as the finest voice in rock, and the addition of Billy Rankin will certainly appeal to new fans of Nazareth, with his catchy solos and fast play riffs. Nazareth showed with this album that they had plenty of life left in them and that they could produce albums that showed many other so called 'bigger bands' how to do it properly. The only disappointment is that their output of albums has been very limited since this one (only two new studio releases since) due to record companies refusing to finance any releases. I suppose their all too busy pouring money into talentless reality T.V shows and soap stars who think that they can sing. Thank the great good lord that Nazareth are still there to show us what true talent is all about.


2xs
2xs

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nazareth go for the American sound., 29 Jan. 2006
This review is from: 2xs (Audio CD)
After having a run of albums that were very much British hard rock at it's finest, Nazareth realised that their audience was bigger state-side than in Britain. That wasn't to say that our European neighbours had lost interest in the Scottish rockers, in fact in places such as Russia, Norway and Germany they still prove very popular to this day. However Nazareth realised that America could be explored further, and so they released a series of albums with more appeal to our burger munching buddies across the big pond. 2XS is maybe one of the best efforts Nazareth made at becoming more A.O.R, maybe only bettered by the follow up to this album, Sound Elixr.
So, out went the majority of bluesy rockers Nazareth was famed for in this part of the world and in came some more melodic rock and ballads in the style of such American giants as Journey and REO Speedwagon. Considering it is a different sound to Nazareth, they pull it off quite well. Tracks such as Love Leads To Madness, You Love Another, Lonely In The Night and Preservation are definate A.O.R tracks that could well have been recorded by the big American middle-of-the-road rock groups. The music has a different and more polished feel to it in these songs. The tracks Games, Dream On and Mexico are ballads. The first two are excellent songs with the distinctive flavour of Nazareth stamped all over them, Dan McCafferty singing both with such great emotion in his voice that you will be swept along in the tide of feeling that the songs provoke. Mexico however is in truth a bit of a weak offering to close the album with and surly Nazareth could have done better with the closing track. Nazareth havn't totally abandoned their bluesy rock roots though, and for you purists out there tracks such as Boys In The Band, Gatecrash, Back To The Trenches and Take The Rap are traditional Nazareth rockers that will please the fans of their own brand of bluesy dirty rock.
Whether you will like this album really depends on what you like about Nazareth. If you like your Nazareth songs to be exclusively bluesy rock with the odd ballad thrown in for good measure, then maybe this album won't quite be your cup of tea. If you like melodic Nazareth and enjoy other groups such as Journey, Reo Speedwagon and Toto then you will almost certainly like this album. Whatever your tastes, what can't be disputed is the fact that this album is well written, well produced and well performed. Dan McCafferty shows surprising range in his vocals and the playing ability stands up to anybody out there. Well worth the cost of purchase.


Boogaloo
Boogaloo
Offered by sdiscs.
Price: £22.00

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine legacy for Darrell Sweet., 28 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Boogaloo (Audio CD)
This album is both a joyous occasion and a deeply sad one. Joyous because it shows that Nazareth of the 21st century are still one of the best groups around and deeply sad because it was the last album before drummer and founder member Darrell Sweet passed away. I'm sure Darrell would be proud of this album though, and rightly so.
The sounds of Nazareth's previous two albums featuring Billy Rankin on guitar has gone. They were excellent albums, but Rankin helped take the group in a new direction. Out went Rankin and enter Jimmy Murrison and back we go to the Nazareth sound of old; hard bluesy rock played better than anybody else on the planet. Nazareth also added keyboard player Ronnie Leahy to their line up and you can hear the imput of Jimmy and Ronnie in the songs; they give a little modernisation to the songs, and they sound new and fresh.
Tracks like Light Comes Down and Open Up Woman are as heavy as Nazareth have ever done, where as Cheerleader, Loverman and Talk Talk have all the qualities of well written bluesy Nazareth tracks of the seventies with a distinct 21st century edge. Other tracks like Robber And The Roadie and Party At The Kremlin are so catchy that you will never resist the urge to stand up and strut your funky stuff. The ballads get a look in as well with the beautiful (and now slightly poignant) May Heaven Keep You.
This album is a seventies style Nazareth album with 21st century workings. Ronnie Leahy adds a great new dimension to the sound of Nazareth and Jimmy Murrison is possibly the best guitarist Nazareth have had (yes, maybe even better than Manny Charlton). Both men work flawlessly with founders Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet and Dan McCafferty, who by the way still has the greatest voice in rock.
If this is the quality that Nazareth can still produce then we should all eagerly await a new album from them. They have all the power of Metallica with the added bonus that they are actually good songwriters who can play like true rockers. If you like your rock music loud, raw, and well crafted, then give Boogaloo a listen and i guarentee you will be a Nazareth convert forever.


Play 'n' The Game
Play 'n' The Game

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The game goes on., 28 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Play 'n' The Game (Audio CD)
This is the album where Nazareth tried all kinds of styles and probably found the direction in which to take their future releases. You have everything from hard rock, to ballads to soft rock and even a little A.O.R sound.
Tracks like Somebody To Roll, Born To Love and the cover of the Beach Boys classic Wild Honey have all of the hard rock sound you know Nazareth do so well, and you will be a little surprised that Nazareth move away from this sound for the rest of the album. So what are we left with? Well, Down Home Girl, I Want To Do Everything For You and L.A Girls are soft rock sing-a-longs in the style that you may expect from Toto or Foreigner. Waiting For The Man is a great example of how a simple 'going out to get laid and start fights' story can be turned into a very catchy song that your granny could sing along to without realising what it's about. This song also has a memorable bass line that would rival Queen's Another One Bites The Dust. That leaves us with the track I Don't Want To Go On Without You, a nice little ballad sung with great intensity by Dan McCafferty.
This Manny Charlton produced album is let down in two ways. Firstly the ammount of different styles of song make this album near impossible to Categorise. If you wanted to 'rock out' then you would not put this on; on the other hand, if you wanted something nice and slow burning to put on when having dinner with your loved one, then you wouldn't put it on either. The other let down on this album is the fact that some of these songs are begining to sound a little dated; the album was made in the seventies but Nazareth have always made timeless albums, however this one doesn't quite live up to that standard.
After this album, Nazareth produced some of their best ever work and i think we have this album to thank for that. This album feelis like Nazareth wanted to guage reaction to their many styles and pick a direction that the fans prefared. For that, we have a lot to thank this album for. Take each song on it's own merits and they are very good songs, better than what other groups at the time were churning out and infinatly better than the tripe in today's charts, but if you are just starting out on the road to discovering Nazareth then leave this album until you are a little more familiar with their work.


Rampant
Rampant
Offered by all my music
Price: £23.51

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roger Glover waves his magic wand again., 28 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Rampant (Audio CD)
Nazareth's fifth studio release saw Deep Purple's Roger Glover take the production controls again and Nazareth have made an album of diversity that you rarely hear from rock groups.
You still get the hard rockers that you expect from the Dunfirmline quartet, but you also get some songs with great humour and maybe, just maybe the best ballad Nazareth have ever done. The opening track, Silver Dollar Forger sets the tone for this album, it certainly rocks hard but you also get the feeling that Nazareth was in the mood for experimentation. The song sounds like nothing you have heard before, but the boys pull it off nicely. Shanghai'd In Shanghai was the single from the album and it has Nazareth toning down the power slightly, probably in order to secure a bit more radio play; it didn't work but the song is still an excellent example of how a single can still have the hard rock sound without necessarily being a hard rock song. Glad When Your Gone and Jet Lag have humour in abundance, and all wrapped up in catchy fast paced tunes; they will fast become favourites from the album. Loved And Lost and Light My Way are ballads with another experimental flavour to them with Dan McCafferty going for the echoy vocal sound. The album closes with a cover of The Yardbirds song Shapes Of Things, a song that shows that nobody can cover a song better than Nazareth. It would have made a great single, but the record company opted for the more radio friendly option. One track still to mention is Sunshine, probably the best and most beautiful Nazareth ballad to date. This song is a big favourite in Canada to play at weddings. Dan McCafferty sings this song with such pain and anguish in his voice that it is impossible not to get caught up in the mood of the song and you may well find yourself getting a little misty-eyed towards the end - a truly beautiful song.
The only thing that stops this album getting five stars is the fact that it's diversity slightly counts against it. It's not the full blooded rocker that Nazareth are famed for, but it can't be seen as a mellow album either. That shouldn't take away the fact that the heavy rock tracks are superb and the ballads are expertly done, but maybe the album needed slightly more of one style.
This album remains a favourite amongst Nazareth fans and when you hear it you will know why. Nazareth have had a habit of making many other bigger selling bands sound very ordinary whilst never getting the success and credit they so richly deserve. Nazareth have the last laugh though; Thirty years after the release of this album and they are still going and pulling in big crowds at their live shows long after these 'bigger' bands have disbanded and their music forgotten. Keep it up boys.


Loud N' Proud
Loud N' Proud
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £2.99

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Nazareth album, but still pretty good., 25 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Loud N' Proud (Audio CD)
Produced by Deep Purple's Roger Glover and released on the back of thier breakthrough album Razamanaz, Loud 'N' Proud had a lot to live up to. it didn't quite live up to expectations, but taken on it's own merits it is still a very good album.
The album can't quite decide what direction it wanted to take. Go Down Fighting and Free Wheeler are typical Nazareth early seventies stormers, but are maybe not quite as good as what you would find on Razamanaz. Not Faking It, Turn On Your Reciever and teenage Nervous Breakdown are a little more mainstream rock minus the bluesy edge of the previous album. Child In The Sun is a ballad, but in all honesty it's a pretty weak offering from a group that would later pen some fantastic slow burners. This Flight Tonight was the big hit and a Nazareth classic and it certainly knocks the album up a notch. Closing with a Bob Dylan cover, The Ballad Of Hollis Brown is a strange choice as an album closer, but the song recieves the Nazareth treatment quite well.
In conclusion, the album was always going to be compared to Razamanaz and maybe that is a little unfair; most groups only produce a quality album like Razamanaz once in thier lifetime, and Nazareth have done it many times since. Loud 'N' Proud is not a weak album, and fans of well played, well sung seventies rock will lap it up, but it has become a victim of Nazareth's own high standards. It sounds a little dated now and if you are just on the road to collecting Nazareth, there are many later albums you should collect first. Still head and shoulders above most of the pretty-person-pop that pollutes our charts these days, but Nazareth have, and continue to do better.


Snaz
Snaz

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as Frampton Comes Alive & Lizzy's Live and Dangerous, 25 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Snaz (Audio CD)
Frampton Comes Alive is probably the greatest live release ever; Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous is close behind. This Nazareth live offering should be mentioned right up there with the best of them.
Recorded in Vancouver, Canada in 1981, this show captures Nazareth on the back of some of thier finest albums to date. Albums such as Razamanaz, Hair Of The Dog and Expect No Mercy are sampled in the live set, along with some surprising choices from such lesser known albums like Malice In Wonderland and The Fool Circle. Disappointingly nothing is lifted from thier storming album No Mean City, but you can't have everything with jam on! What you have in this album is a group playing at the peak of thier form and working the crowd like old pro's; this is vintage Nazareth who have stopped trying to be fashionable (not that they ever really tried anyway) and just concentrate on doing what they do best - and i doubt anybody does it better.
From the storming familiar opening of Telegram pts 1-3 you know what you are going to get don't you? Well prepare to be surprised. Tracks such as Telegram, Razamanaz, This Flight Tonight and Hair Of The Dog prove that the boys can rock with anybody and come out on top. The songwriting is better than AC/DCs and the sound is certainly more mature; squealing guitars are replaced with a more effective melodic sound seldom heard from hard rock groups. Tracks such as java Blues, Holiday and Dressed To kill will have you cranking up the volume and singing along at the top of your voice. Tracks like Heart's Grown Cold and love Hurts will have you holding your cigarette lighters aloft and weeping gently in the corner of your room. Round all this off with a fantastic cover of ZZ Top's Tush to close the album and you will be left sweaty, panting and gagging for more.
What sets this live album apart is the sheer diversity of the songs, but all the songs are played flawlessly. The sound is crystal clear with just enough crowd noise to avoid drowning out the music and as usual, Dan McCafferty proves to us all that he has the greatest rock voice on the face of the planet. If you have frampton Comes Alive and Lizzy's Live and Dangerous, then you really should have Snaz as well. If you don't have any of them then pick up a copy of Snaz anyway, you will not regret it.


Cinema: 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION;DIGITALLY REMASTERED WITH BONUS TRA
Cinema: 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION;DIGITALLY REMASTERED WITH BONUS TRA

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cinema has never been so good., 22 Jan. 2006
Very few albums contain an entire track listing of possible singles, and even fewer can boast that there is not a weak track in the bunch...well, this one can!
It is said that when Nazareth was looking to release this album back in 1986, their manager at the time played a demo to a major record label who loved it, but when they were told that the songs that they loved so much was by a bunch of ugly, aging Scotsmen called Nazareth they immediatly said "Forget it, they're dinosours!" Thier loss.
Such hard rocking tracks like Cinema, Hit The Fan and Salty Salty still sound fresh and new today, where as Juliet, Other Side Of You and One From The Heart will have you ripping your vocal chords to shreads trying to sing like Dan McCafferty. Wrapping up the album is White Boy and A Veteran's Song, songs so deep and meaningful that you would be forgiven for thinking that they are cover versions of Springsteen songs.
The '80s proved to be a very creative time for Nazareth, and if it wasn't for the narrow-mindedness of record producers Nazareth could well have had a hugh seller on thier hands. If you like your rock with a bluesy feel and you want to hear it played at it's best, then pick up a copy of Cinema and give the album the recognition it deserves.


The Complete Singles Collection
The Complete Singles Collection

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They had how many singles??????, 22 Jan. 2006
You may be forgiven for thinking that Nazareth only had enough singles to pad out one C.D, and only if you included numerous pointless remixes along the way. So three C.Ds of Nazareth singles (including some Dan McCaffertey solos) may come as a surprise to you. If you only know the big seventies singles such as Broken Down Angel, This Flight Tonight or Bad Bad Boy, then you have only scraped the surface of this enormously underated group.
The C.Ds run in order of release and the first three singles are lifted from their self titled debut. They are unrecognisable as Nazareth and maybe should have been left out, but don't fear, from then on you are treated to some of the finest bluesy rock ever committed to C.D. The rest of the first disk covers the time from their mega selling breakthrough album Razamanaz up to Play 'N' The Game. If you are only a casual fan then all of the singles you have heard will be on here, from the rough toned sound of Bad Bad Boy to the unrecognisable cover of Joni Mitchell's This Flight Tonight. Mix the hard stompers with such pop rock as Holy Roller and tear jerkers like I Don't Want To Go On Without You and you have something for everybodys taste. Even at this early stage in their career Nazareth were writing songs and covering others far better than most of their bigger selling counterparts of the time. Dan McCafferty sings like he's just had throat surgury and musically the rawness and power shines through without drowning anything out with squealing guitars. It just can't get any better...can it?
Well yes it can. C.D 2 shows a Nazareth that has paid it's dues and learned it's trade. Musically the playing ability has gone through the roof and as a result the songs sound more polished and refined without losing their power and sense of fun; oh right, and Dan McCafferty still has the greatest voice in rock music. This C.D covers from the album Expect No Mercy up to The Catch. The albums covered in this timescale are big favourites amongst Nazareth fans mainly for their superb album tracks, but that doesn't mean that the singles are any less important. Listen to the lyrics to Gone Dead Train and decide for yourself what it is about. Tracks such as Star, Holiday and Games are more ballady than rocky and when you hear them you will wonder how they never sold millions. There isn't a lot of the hard rock sound you come to expect from Nazareth on this C.D, you get the feeling that they were trying to crack into some radio play. They didn't get it, but they produced some of the best radio friendly singles of the time. Tracks such as Dressed To Kll will have you grinning like a lunatic and singing at the top of your voice. On the other end of the scale Where Are You Now will have you weeping softly in the darkness of your bedroom remembering your long lost love from school. All in all, you will find singles on this disk from all areas of music, and you will be amazed at the quality and diversity that Nazareth show.
On to C.D 3. This covers the albums from The Catch (again) up to Move Me and also includes some Dan McCafferty solo material as well. While Dan McCafferty's solo stuff is very good and worthy of inclusion, i think it is criminal that it has been at the expense of tracks from their last studio release Boogaloo, but maybe none of the excellent tracks from that album were ever released as singles, and this is a Singles Collection. That aside, you are treated to a back to basics Nazareth. Tracks like Cinema are classic Nazareth sound from a time when fashion dictated that you should be a pretty boy doing pappy pop songs whilst wearing a home-knit jumper. This bunch of ugly Scots showed the world that music should be best left to people who could play instruments and sing. Image from the era certainly counted against them and as a result many of these songs will be new to the casual fans, and that is a shame. Again, unlike the first disk, you get the feeling that the albums released contained a couple of songs purposly geared for radio play and they show how it is done. The cover of Piece Of My Heart is nothing short of regal, whilst Love Hurts will have you serenading your sweetheart all over again. The Dan McCafferty solos don't stand up to the test of time as well as the Nazareth material, but you will still love the rawness in which he brings to such songs as Out Of Time and Honky Tonk Downstairs.
So what do we get on our three C.Ds? We get rock music played at its finest from a group that could write songs, do a fantastic cover version, who understood that guitars don't have to make your ears bleed to sound powerful, and could make you rock out one minute and sob uncontrolably the next. If that's not enough for you then the songs are all sung by probably the greatest rock vocalist to ever grace the planet (just ask Axl Rose or Danny Bowes). Fashion and record company disputes prevented Nazareth being as big as Deep Purple, but that doesn't mean that the songs are not as good. Do yourself a favour and get to know them, you will not be disappointed.

B.T.W, they are still on the go now, their live shows will blow you away!!!!!


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