This one rocks hard and yet still maintains the bands roots in strong melodies and early folkish tunes put to rock. It's just a hard rock classic. or melodic metal in other terms. This is consistantly one of their best and it remains a highpoint for the band. There are several versions of this one with different bonus tracks and I have both of them! This is for fans of great hard rock in every regard. This is the type of music most fans of the band like the best. They went new wavish to a degree in the next decade with a few releases that were good but not classic like this one.
The heavy metal Nazareth album many will tell you,i sometimes wonder if people listen with their eyes when it comes to this disc,wrapped in a Rodney Matthews sleeve,with the sinster FRED on the sleeve,it looks like a quintesential H M band sleeve but nothing could be further from the truth.It rocks like a Mutha but it aint heavy metal just classic rock Nazareth style.
Opening track 'Just Get Into It' carries on the tradition of opening with an out n out rocker,once again Manny Charltons production enhanced by this remaster,the vicious razor sharp guitars of Manny and Zal to the fore with Dan gargling with razor blades whilst the dependable rythmn section locked in a solid supporting role,magnificent stuff.So it continues from the heavy rock standard title track thru foot stompin rockers such as 'Simple Solution' and 'Claim To Fame' alongside the sing along class of 'May The Sunshine/Whatever You Want babe' to the simply beautiful balladic 'Star'.
This was a class album when first released,still is and this superb remaster does it justice ,superb digipak/booklet as is the norm for these Salvo reissues,the bonus tracks are thin on the ground,a single mix of 'May The Sunshine' and the unreleased instrumental 'Snaefell' which although well played is slightly out place tagged on at the end.Still another great release from SALVO.
This was the bands final release of the 70's and from Razamanaz(1973) thru to this release,has any other band had such a superb catalog of work,to these ears Nazareth are right up with the best of ANY other uk rock band.
1979 was a dreadful year for music and a sad way to end a fantastic decade of innovation and classic rock. Anderson and Wakeman had left Yes, Ozzy had left Sabbath, Dio had left Rainbow, the best selling artists were Leo Sayer and Barbra Streisand. Turn on the radio and all you heard were the Bee Gees, Abba and Blondie. But 1979 was also the year in which Nazareth released an album so monumental that it has not dated one iota in the decades since and remains a cornerstone of British heavy rock. No Mean City is a dark chronicle of grime expressed by the raucous, gritty (but always controlled) vocals of Dan McCafferty and the crunching guitars of Manny Charlton and Zal Cleminson, complemented perfectly by Rodney Matthews' iconic album art. Ex-SAHB member Cleminson was an inspired choice as the second guitarist and contributed the stunning "Simple Solution" and co-wrote the title track. McCafferty's voice is an acquired taste, of course, and I know several friends who only listened to this album once, so impenetrable can that voice be to the untrained ear. But I would argue that McCafferty's delivery is perfect for the sagas of groupies, street whores, drugs, crime and "the one on the cross", giving the sometimes shocking and brutal lyrics an extra texture of sleaze. Light relief is provided by "Whatever You Want Babe" and the stunning "Star", in which McCafferty's roar becomes a plaintive wail for a lost love. The power chords which precede the chorus still give me goosebumps after all these years. This particular edition offers the single version of "May The Sunshine" and a good but unremarkable instrumental. When that single was first released the reviewer in Sounds sneered, "Are they really trying?" Yes, mate, they were, and Nazareth succeeded in producing an album which has not only stood the test of time but is really an essential album to have in your collection if you have any interest at all in honest British hard rock music.
I've had this album on vinyl since I was a child and have always loved it. Well it became time to buy the cd version to try and preserve the original and I've remebered what it is I like about it all over again. Some excellent songs, a strong vocal performance, and the usual powerful depth and skill in the musicianship.