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4.6 out of 5 stars44
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 June 2014
Having bought my first Nazareth albums in 1973 and followed the bands different line-ups over the intervening years l am still stunned by the sheer quality of their output over 40 years later. This is a very fine collection of hard rock and bluesy ballad material which, if it is to be Dan's last recording, is a fitting tribute to a remarkable career by one of rocks best ever vocalists. Pete , Jimmy and Lee also deserve mention for their part in producing such a strong album and keeping the show on the road.
Given some of their very successful early material was recorded at the "ganghut" in Jamestown (Inverkeithing ,Fife) it was particularly pleasing to see in the sleeve notes that this album was recorded at "The Sub Station" in nearby Rosyth, Fife which ,for those fans who are not local ,is overlooked by the iconic Forth Rail Bridge !
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on 9 June 2014
So its farewell To Dan McCafferty as lead vocalist with Nazareth after 45 great years. And what a way to go out ! Hopefully Dan will still be able to record and release some solo stuff but whatever he may do, it probably wont get to the heights of this fine outing. In true Nazareth fashion, there are varying styles on this album but the common thread is a rocking band doing what they do best. Fantastic stuff and probably THE hard rock album of the year. Well done gents
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on 29 July 2014
Nazareth were always a favorite band of mine during the seventies,and this album shows they have lost none of their magic.l am enjoying the music again.Thank you Nazareth.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 July 2014
When Nazareth were recording Rock ‘N’ Roll Telephone in 2013 there was no indication it would be the last with gravel-voiced
co-founder Dan McCafferty.

However breathing problems during shows in August of that year and a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (C.O.P.D.) led to the front man’s disappointing but sensible decision to retire after 45 years with the Scottish rockers.

Given those circumstances the rose in the heather tinted reaction from fans posting 5 Star reviews of the album was hardly a surprise, but the truth of the musical matter is the band’s twenty-third studio release is no Nazareth classic.

What the band have produced however is a predominately mid-tempo, guitar-based rock album in the style of 2011’s Big Dogz, but with a little more light and shade.

Opener 'Boom Bang Bang' doesn’t have anything like the musical intensity the title suggests and the number never gets beyond third gear but it has a great, funky riff-rock shuffle and comes complete with a throwaway but infectious chorus.

'One Set of Bones' has a grungier attitude but retains the classic Nazareth sound; it’s a perfect contrast to the acoustic-based songs 'Back 2B4' (a simple but pleasant sing-a-long number that implores us to have no regrets) and the ballad 'Winter Sunlight,' a track that wouldn’t have been out of place as the light relief back in the band’s classic album after classic album era.

Unfortunately references to classic Narareth are few and far between on the second half of the album.
The title track is a ponderous slice of slow rock and while 'Punch a Hole in the Sky' and album closer 'King of The Mountain' pick up the pace they lack the musical weight, energy and rock and roll gravitas of songs such as 'Raz-Ama-Naz' and 'Expect No Mercy.'

The soul-rock groove employed on 'Long Long Time' is a little different but sadly never develops beyond its one dimensional state; the band is better suited to the heavier, riff-based 'Not Today,' the rock radio friendly 'Speakeasy' and the brooding 'Just a Ride,' the latter featuring on the Rock 'N' Roll Telephone bonus disc that includes two non-album numbers and five live tracks.

Dan McCafferty was once one of the biggest voices in rock so it’s fitting he was the biggest voice in the case for Nazareth continuing with another vocalist, as they have since announced with Scottish singer Linton Osborne.

But while guitarist Jimmy Murrison has been with the band since 1994 and bass player Pete Agnew’s son Lee has been behind the kit for 15 years, McCafferty’s departure and Pete Agnew’s status as the only original member of the group moves Nazareth from classic band to classic brand.

But that’s classic rock in the 21st century, where many bands have become franchises.
An extended life based around not the original members but the original songs and the original sound.

But hey, Close Enough For Rock ‘N’ Roll and, far more importantly, Dan McCafferty’s retirement from the circuit has probably extended his own life.

Thanks for the Raz-Ama-Tastic memories, big man.
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on 9 July 2014
Sorry, but Big Dogz was truly dull and boring - it just didn't rock, which is odd for a rock band. It's the only one of theirs I gave away, though their other 'worst' was Play n the Game, which I never bought on CD also very slow and dull. SO .....I waited before I bought this one, for the price to drop (I already had the new Uriah Heep one, Outsider, coming out the same week, so no rush). After one play I can say that I really like this one. It is how Nazareth should sound; gutsy and rocky, with a couple of tasty ballads too. SO much better than Dogz. The News was great, as were the 3 albums before. Glad they did a good one to finish with. Well...come on, they can't really be Nazareth with just Pete Agnew on bass, surely, and very sadly. Great to see the old bands still producing great stuff during their 50's and 60's, after not so good during the 1980's. Magnum are still especially good, as is Ian Anderson, I.Q., Wishbone Ash (also just one original member, but lead guitar!). Not much longer to go probably - who will replace them, I wonder....
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on 28 June 2014
I have read all the previous reviews with great interest, As a long time Nazareth fan, I feel i should put my two pennyworth in. This album took a couple of listens before i really appreciated it, Much like the last offering(Big Dogz), I still think the band should have released Butterfly of the last album as a single, It just might have got some airplay. As for this album, I don't think there is what you could call a bad track.With regards to other comments about people's favourite Nazareth album-My favourite has always been No Jive-especially if you can get the bonus track version. Thanks Dan for all the memories-Look after yourself and good health.
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on 6 January 2015
still blasting it out naz are still the stuff age is only a number
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on 26 July 2014
Another quality album from modern era Nazareth. Since guitarist Jimmy Murrison and, more recently, drummer Lee Agnew joined the sound has changed. Dan's inimitable vocals, full of emotion and always delivering the mood of the song are still there, but with a rawer rasp and deeper tone as he has aged. Pete's driving bass with that distinctive Alembic sound is still there. What has changed is that the sound is more modern yet still with that bluesy feel of old.

The album opens with Boom Bang Bang a short, rocky song (about sex) with some fast post Van Halen guitar fills then moves on to the harder One Set of Bones, about life in general. For me those are the weakest songs. It then moves on to the more traditional sounding but excellent Back2B4 about moving on in life continuing to the soulful slow paced Winter Sunlight before the hard edged title track hits you between the ears. Punch A Hole in the Sky is a fast hard rocking song. the boys then slow it down a bit with Long Long Time and The Right Time, all equally good songs. Not Today and Speakeasy are both hard rocking songs with memorable chorus lines before the album closes with God of the Mountain the theme from the Austrian ski team. That song has a different feel to it and is yet another high point. To be honest it is difficult to pick high points since, with the exception of the opening two songs the whole album is excellent.
The bonus disc comprises two new songs which to my ears are weaker than the main album. They feature decent performances but the songs themselves are a little uninspired musically. Then there are five live songs taken from tours in the recent past. All decent performances but three are regular live songs, versions of which appear on other albums.
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on 26 June 2014
Later decades have seen Nazareth perfect the rock ballad and this album contains a couple more slower numbers than what we have become accustomed to over the years.

Dan McCafferty has remained in unbelievably good voice over the years, and it is almost as if the alcohol and cigarettes are integral to maintaining that distinctive soaring gravel. Unfortunately he vices have taken their toll and his retirement from touring mean that this could be the last record he makes with Nazareth.

The opening 'Boom Bang Bang' is a solid rocker with almost Aerosmith-style novelty lyrics and melodic chorus, while the following 'One Set of Bones' is the album's highlight, featuring McCafferty's most dramatically powerful vocals for decades. Defiant lyrics are a feature of the album, sometimes presented in an in-your-face style, while in other moments more tenderly. The title track is a little lumbering, although the key change in the instrumental bridge is interesting.

Positive reflection and intent are a theme of the album, with the tempo'd 'Back 2B4' featuring lyrics about not looking back, while 'Long Long Time' is an ode to couples that have been together since forever. These and other ballads are rightly described as 'bluesy', but there are also touches of folk which we heard on The Newz six years previously.

The 70's vintage Nazareth-sounding 'Punch a Hole in the Sky' genuinely could be placed on any of the albums from the bands peak and the aggressively-driven 'Not Today' provides heavy grinding rock.

he closing 'God of the Mountain' has been around for a couple of years now and was the theme tune for the Austrian skiing team - it's a passionate and inspiring finale.

Rock 'N' Roll Telephone may be slightly weighted towards the plodding side compared to other Nazareth's records, but the pacey, heavy and soaring rock performances are still well represented throughout the album. Overall, if it does prove to be McCafferty's final album with the band, then he has, at certain points of this record - bowed out on a literal high note and at the top of his game.
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on 31 December 2015
Very goor buying.
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