Like most people I was introduced to Scotland's finest rock band by way of their kick-ass single "Bad Bad Boy" when it first hit the airwaves in July 1973. I quickly nipped out to Pat Egan's Sound Cellar in Dublin and nabbed the album too - the fabarooney "Razamanaz" - and I've loved them both ever since.
This is the 2nd title in Salvo's UK reissue of Nazareth's back catalogue - "Nazareth and Exercises" (their first and second albums on 1CD) was their first and it's reviewed separately. Here are down and dirty bad boy details for their breakthrough 3rd album...
Released in September 2009 - Salvo SALVOCD031 (Barcode 0698458813121) breaks down as follows (59:22 minutes):
3. Vigilante Man
4. Woke Up This Morning
5. Night Woman
6. Bad Bad Boy
7. Sold My Soul
8. Too Bad Too Sad
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Razamanaz" released in May 1973 in the UK on Mooncrest Records CREST 1 and on A&M Records SP-4396 in the USA. ROGER GLOVER of DEEP PURPLE produced the album to great effect.
Tracks 10 and 11 are "Hard Living" and "Spinning Top", the 2 non-album B-sides to "Bad Bad Boy", the UK 7" single issued on Mooncrest MOON 9 in July 1973
Tracks 12 to 15 are "Razamanaz", "Night Woman", "Broken Down Angel" and "Vigilante Man" - recorded live-in-the-studio in March 1973 for The Bob Harris Radio Show on the BBC
Each of these UK issues comes in a tri-gatefold card sleeve with the 'Loud, Proud & Remastered' logo on the front cover. When folded out, you get a repro of the gatefold artwork of the original UK LP and live shots from the period (the disc in the right flap, the booklet in the left). The 16-page colour booklet is superb, liner notes by band expert JOEL McIVER, pictures of rare UK 7" singles, Euro picture sleeves, US white-label promos, black and white snaps of the band in studio and on stage - all very nicely done.
But the really big news for the fans (as it is on the 1st Salvo CD) is the fantastic new SOUND. TIM TURAN at Turan Audio has remastered the original tapes and a truly fabulous job has been done - loud, clear, and ballsy - without ever being overbearing.
Highlights - the moment the sheer speed and riffage of Manny Charlton's guitar work on "Razamanaz" hits you, you know you're in for a head's down ride. It's followed by the first of 2 covers on the album - "Alcatraz" first turned up on Leon Russell's debut album for A&M in 1971 "Leon Russell & The Shelter People" and it's funky rock backdrop suited both the band and McCafferty's rasping vocals. Just as good is the second cover - their version of Woody Guthrie's "Vigilante Man" which owes more to Ry Cooder's take on his 1972 "Into The Purple Valley" album that they'd be listening to. Then comes the absolutely blistering "Woke Up This Morning" which they'd tried on their second album "Exercises" but didn't quite get there. Here they do - it ends Side One on a blast of great rock boogie.
Side 2 opens with the drums of another funky rocker "Night Woman" sounding not unlike Bad Company at their best. The breakthrough single "Bad Bad Boy" follows which to this day sounds brill, while "Sold My Soul" sounds like Robin Trower circa "Bridge Of Sighs". Then it's back to rocking basics with the wildly catchy "Too Bad To Sad" and then ends with the other huge hit single - and some say their best track - "Broken Down Angel". Downsides - there's an "Alternate Edit" of "Razamanaz" on the 2001 remaster that could easily have been fit on here, but no show?
The BBC stuff sounds suitably rough and rocking, but still as tight as a Nun's knickers in the Vatican. It's presented in really great sound quality - the bass work of Pete Agnew on "Night Woman" is superlative. Even the quiet slide intro to "Vigilante Man" is not too drenched in hiss - then the echoed vocals impress - then they let rip...fab stuff!
A stonkin' reissue of a great rock album then - and it's cheap too. Frankly they can razzle my naz any day of the week...
on 25 February 2010
Having bought tickets to see Nazareth in Brighton recently (a great gig, and even better than when I last saw them 25 years earlier in student days), I was browsing round the official Nazareth web site and came across the link to the Salvo remaster series. Although I still have my original Razamanaz LP, it's a bit of a pain to play it and I have grown very used to the convenience of CDs and putting their content on my computer, so I thought I'd risk a little bit on the remaster.
I'm glad I did, it's excellent, you can't believe that this was an album recorded more than 35 years ago. The bonus tracks are good fun too, a couple of B-sides that I don't think made it onto any of the albums, plus BBC session versions of four of the main tracks that I hadn't heard before. There's a neat little booklet with additional notes, interview with Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew and single sleeve pictures.
Everything sounds clear and fresh but without feeling obviously remixed; it's reignited my passion for a band that I've loved since the mid 70s. For the Nazareth fan, this package is an absolute must. For anyone else who just wants to hear some seminal British rock, I can't recommend it too highly.
on 15 November 2005
Razamanaz is Nazareth's third studio album and the one that brought the distintive bluesy sound of the Scottish quartet to the masses. The two albums before this one, Nazareth's self titled debut and Exercises are good albums in their own right, but are a totally different sound to this recording. Razamanaz concentrates on what Nazareth do best; dirty, bluesy workman like rock, and i doubt that many can do it better.
From the bombastic opening of the track Razamanaz through to the pop single chart debut of Broken Down Angel, you will find something here for all. Tracks 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 are true foot stomping rockers unlike anything else of it's time. Bad Bad Boy, another top ten single, and Too Bad Too Sad in particular contains a sense of humour so often ignored by other hard rock acts. Track 3 is a cover of a Woody Guthrie song, Vigilante Man, and it is sung with such pain and anguish that you will want to fall to your knees and weep. Track 5, Night Woman is a song that Nazareth usually do as an encore in their live shows, and you will seldom find a better drum opening than on this track. This was also the first album in which Roger Glover (ex Deep Purple) did the production, and his pedigree in such music shines through like a beacon in the improved sound from their previous albums.
This was the first album which Nazareth showed the world what they can do, and the fact that they have produced albums of the same quality as Razamanaz for over 30 years, shows that no-one realloy does it better.
on 9 February 2011
I remember first listening to this borrowed album in 1973 as a teenager heavily into Hendrix, Wishbone Ash and Free. And - fair play, despite initial cynicism - it exceeded all expectations. The title track is a straight up & down rocker, and Alcatraz has an unusual Native American slant before the raucous Woke Up This Morning and Bad, Bad Boy. Night Woman and Too Bad Too Sad represent a slip in standards, to be honest, but Broken Down Angel is a suitably upbeat closer. Dan McCafferty's rasping vocals steal the show here, fronting up a workmanlike rather than inspired band. This was their third album, and deservedly brought them to notice. Recommended.
This is a fantastic disc,chock full of memorable tracks with a ballsy production(courtesy of Purple's Roger Glover),Nazareth had arrived,in all honesty there isnt a bad track on the original album 8 classic tracks including two superb singles 'Bad Bad Boy' & 'Broken Down Angel',2 glorious singalong anthems,while the likes of 'Woke Up This Morning'(previously tried on EXERCISES) is a standout with a riff that out Quo's Quo and the Bass driven 'Night Woman' just rocks.Throw in a couple of inspired covers 'Alcatraz' and 'Vigilante Man' and you cant go wrong.
This remaster comes with a superb digipak and booklet and contains 6 bonus tracks,as follows, 'Hard Livin' & 'Spinning Top' were on the previous remasters and are two typical 70's rockers,so the main reason for purchasing this issue was the 4 in session recordings for the BBC(Razamanaz,Night Woman,Broken Down Angel and Vigilante Man),the in session tracks are excellent showing the band were tight live,Night Woman' being particulary good.
A 5 star release,another tip of the hat to Salvo,a job well done.
on 8 January 2010
I think I became a Nazareth fan at just the right time with this album having recently been rereleased & remastered and the following albums scheduled for similar treatment in the near future.
Razamanaz, in its remastered form, really is an impressive album. It's a struggle to identify a weak track, and that's one of the real hallmarks of a classic album. From start to finish Razamanaz consists of fast growers, the majority of which are heavy pounding slabs of hard rock/proto-metal, comparable to the energy of Deep Purple, the blues awareness of Led Zep and riffs of AC/DC. The songs are all of a fairly controlled length, with only the Woody Guthrie cover "Vigilante Man" straying past the 5 minute mark (at 5:21), and only two others of the nine passing the 4 minute mark, so the band evidently didn't have quite the inclination to sprawl out 10 minute epics in the studio, probably leaving the improvisational opportunities for the live shows. Given the immediacy of the hooks, radio friendly lengths and sheer attitude and tone, it's kind of difficult to understand that classic rock radio doesn't spin selections from the whole album on a much more regular basis.
Razamanaz should be held in the same high regard that the best of Deep Purple or AC/DC receives. I'm certain of that.
on 30 January 2013
This was the first album I ever bought back in 1973 as a snotty little 11 year old. Remember being impressed by the explosive title track and the singe 'bad bad boy' but didn't appreciate the slide guitar and blues riffs of the rest of the tracks at such a tender age. As it was so cheap on Amazon I decided to add it to my wish list recently and got it for Christmas. It really has stood the test of time and begs the question why Nazareth never made it as big as the likes of Bad Company, Free or even the Who. Recommended purchase. You won't be disappointed.
on 31 October 2010
A classic album of its genre by a superb band. 70's heavy rock at its best; no doubt at all, every track is a killer. From the "cheesegrater" voclas of Dan McCafferty to the outstanding slide & lead guitar of Manny Charlton, the bass lines and riffs of Pete Agnew (Night Woman especially), and the teriffic drums of the late Darryl Sweet, an almost faultless album.
on 25 January 2013
This album is Nazareth at their best and still sounds fresh and viibrant. One of my all time favourite albums. If you like rock music with a hard edge you can't go wrong with Razamanaz.
on 7 April 2010
I dont really write reviews as it happens but I am puzzled as to why Nazareths album " Loud n Proud " keeps being hailed as their finest album? All I can assume is they have never really listened to what IS Nazareths greatest and most accomplished album " RAZAMANAZ" Compared to this album Loud n proud sounds bland and same old, same old!
Razamanaz clearly shows the band at their peak, you just listen to the awsome power of Dan McCafferty`s vocals, easily equals Ian Gillan imo. Sit back and take in what is the finest rendition of Woody Guthries "Vigilante Man" you will ever hear, Astonishing! I bought this album when it was first released waaaaay back when and it is still one of my favorite rock n roll albums of all time.
Just put this album on at your next liquor fuelled party, crank up the volume and then tell me Loud and proud is the better album.
If you have never bought a Nazareth album do yourself a big favour and buy Razamanaz, you will love it. ( especially the remastered version )