At long last Nazareth,the rock band returns,this double pack wipes away the wasted 80's,guitars to the fore,drums pounding and crucially great songs,the fire was back.
disc 1 MOVE ME (1994) What a disc,11 prime rock tracks,8 solely penned by lead guitarist Billy Rankin,its hard to believe he prefer NO JIVE over this disc.From the moment 'Let Me Be Your Dog' swaggers out of the speakers,all sass and b*lls,you know this is going to be good,the Hard rock of 'Cant Shake These Shakes' just confirms the point while the Aerosmith tinged 'Crack me Up' just rams the point home.So it continues,the title track majestic ,various slow burners such as 'Demon Alcohol' and 'Steamroller' will eventually burrow into your mind,while the melancholy lyric of 'Burning Down is plain beautiful.
Bonus tracks ..5 the rock orchestra version of 'Love Hurts,in my humble opinion,the definitive version,while 3 acoustic unplugged tracks 'Razamanaz/My White Bicycle and This Flight Tonight,make you wish for a full album ,only the last bonus track failing to deliver,a rather unneccesary instrumental version of 'Love Hurts. Its criminal when you think of the sales of ,say Aerosmiths 'Get A Grip from 1993,this is superior in everY department,yet totally overlooked.A superb album 4.5 stars
Disc 2 BOOGALOO (1998) 4 years after MOVE ME, this is a perfect follow up,another hard rock masterpiece,sadly Daryl Sweet's final album its a fine tribute.With Jimmy Murrison now on board,the band rocked as if their lives depended on it.From the struttin hard rock of 'Light Come Down',the piano fuelled boogie of 'Cheerleader',or the Aerosmith raunch of 'Loverman' or the Stones grind of 'Open Up Woman',this disc delivers in spades,Other highlights would be another Aerosmith tinged,funky bass led 'Party In The Kremlin,or the blues of 'God Save The South',you'll smile from start to finish whilst 'May Heaven Keep You' allows Dan his moment with another heartfelt,emotive vocal,a tremendous album from start to finish. bonus tracks ...2 average tracks,which dont push too hard to get on the original disc,nothing special. another 4.5 stars.
A must purchase set,Nazareth were back,these two albums were the foundations for the superb future releases THE NEWZ & BIG DOGZ
At last...Nazareth, after flirting with soul less pop tunes integrating swathes of keyboards and 'catchy' sing-a-long choruses during the 80s have returned with a vengeance to their earthy hard rock roots. This album is a fine epitaph to the much missed and underrated drummer Daryl Sweet, and their finest since the magnificent 'No Mean City'album of 1978. Dan McCafferty's vocals, although sometimes a little suspect in concert, certainly rasps and hollers in true hard-living, whisky drinkin' style throughout Boogaloo. With the funk blues soaked guitars underpinned by the tight pumping rhythm of Agnew and Sweet, Boogaloo straddles the musical heights of early 70's Nazareth. A compendium of styles infuses this record from the straight ahead rockiness of 'Lights Come Down'and 'Open Up Woman' to the funkiness of 'Loverman'and 'Party At The Kremlin' to the balladrey of 'May Heaven Keep You', Boogaloo contains something for all lovers of the classic 70's rock sound. Let us hope that Nazareth will continue despite the loss of Daryl, as Boogaloo provides strong evidence of this highly talented Scottish bands rediscovery of what once made them so popular.
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.