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.