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on 1 November 2017
Five stars
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on 3 March 2017
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 October 2011
A very interesting Nazareth album,opening the 80's with a new sound,a smoother almost pop sound,no surprise really when you have Jeff Baxter at the helm(formerly of The Doobie Brothers/Steely Dan),Baxter's influence runs thru this disc.

Best tracks the 80's Quo like 'Holiday' a perfect album opener,the knife in the heart ballad 'Hearts Grown Cold',believe me if you've ever split from a loved one,those lyrics hurt,right to the bone,finally the class of the acoustic led 'Fallen Angel'

The rest well Baxters production tends to remove the rough edges of the likes of 'Turning a New Leaf/Showdown at the Border' and 'Ship of Dreams',making the sound not unlike latter day Doobie Brothers material,stick with it you'll love them.

The remaing tracks well not that great the likes of 'Big Boy' and 'Fast Cars' not really that impressive. Previously i would have given a 3 star rating but this Remaster has superior sound,superb Digi Pak packaging and decent booklet and most importantly 7 bonus live tracks including superb renditions of 'I want to do Everything For You'/Beggars Day/Expect No Mercy & Broken Down Angel.The live tracks are from Hammersmith 1980,the same source that provided the 4 track live ep from 1980 which adorned the previous 30th anniversary edition of this disc.So 4 stars for this edition
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on 5 November 2012
Following the hard rock majesty of No Mean City (in my opinion one of the finest British rock albums ever and therefore a very hard act to follow) this album certainly shocked me when I heard it in 1980. Tommy Vance played the grinding "Turning A New Leaf" on the Friday Rock Show and I thought, OK, that sounds like the Nazareth of old and went ahead and bought the LP. It turned out that none of the other tracks were like anything Nazareth had recorded before. Yet, with repeated listens and ignoring the sniggers of my mates who thought the album was c£$p, I grew to like it immensely. Jeff Baxter (a brilliant guitarist in the early Steely Dan days) brought a bit of gloss to Nazareth's traditional earthy sound with his production without any causing any damage to the band's credibility in much the same way that Mutt Lange had done no harm to AC/DC a year earlier on Highway To Hell. It's OK to polish the diamond sometimes, Nazareth had been an honest, hard rock band for years and had little to prove in that area. Lyrically, the album is superb and most of the credit for this must go to Zal Cleminson who wrote the startling Heart's Grown Cold, as raw a song about drug addiction as you'll ever hear, possibly inspired by Thomas Hardy's use of the same phrase in a poem about watching his body slowly decay. Maybe, maybe not, just a thought. Zal was also responsible for Talkin' To One Of The Boys, Big Boy, (written in Zal's SAHB days and included on the SAHB Without Alex album "Fourplay" in 1977 but given a reggae sound for Malice) and the excellent Showdown At The Border. I'm afraid that when Zal left to join Elkie Brooks' touring band (yes you read that correctly), Nazareth lost a major talent and never achieved this artistic peak again. Of the band-written compositions, Fallen Angel is a very fine song indeed, achingly plaintive and heartfelt. Holiday, is a wonderful pop/rock song but also a clever and tongue in cheek look at fame and fortune. The band is as tight as ever and McCafferty's grizzly growl on No Mean City is tamed somewhat for a wider audience. Yes, there are one or two lower points (which is why I give it 4 stars) ie Fast Cars and Ship Of Dreams, but this reissue makes up for them with a fantastic selection of live tracks. All in all it works and Malice is a great album. I loved it in 1980, the weird cover, the message ("no malice intended PAL")to Paice Ashton and Lord on the back who had previously released an album of the same name three years earlier, but mostly I loved the skill and creativity of the multi-talented and versatile Nazareth.
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on 9 June 2016
Great songs and production, what a tight band. This Nazareth album is possibly my favourite. 'Heart's Grown Cold' is the most under-rated rock ballad ever. The bonus live tracks at the end of the CD are fantastic too, recorded live in London in 1980 with great sound, clear as a bell.
Nazareth: possibly the most unsung British rock band of the golden 70s-80s era.
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on 30 June 2012
I made the same mistake with both Nazareth and Uriah Heap where the first albums that I bought were the their most critically-acclaimed early 70s albums and so for many years ignored their late 70s and 80s output. Since I most like the lighter side of Hard rock bands (prefer Mark III Purple to Mark II, love Rainbow, Whitesnake, UFO, prefer RJDIo Sabbath) and grew up listening to AOR bands like Journey, Foreigner, Boston, Asia and Kansas, needless to say I really like Malice in Wonderland. Dan McCafferty is one of the few singers who can scream as well sing ballads with real subtlety and I prefer the softer side of his singing. Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter's production is supreme and the backing vocals are beautifully-layered on this and on the next album 'The Fool's Circle' which is also highly recommended. Needless to say my favourite tracks are Holiday, Hearts's Grown Cold and Fallen Angel. Naz fans that prefer Hair of the Dog and No Mean City will think I'm talking tosh as will Heapsters who all seem to hate 'Fallen Angel' which I love! What's wrong with bands experimenting with their sound. It keeps it interesting.Buy it if you love classic rock with great tunes!
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on 7 March 2014
I absolutely love my new 'Malice in Wonderland' CD, Nazareth are truly an amazing band! It was brilliant to hear this album again and also to listen to the 'live' tracks. :)
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on 25 January 2016
Probably the best album Nazareth did, for certain it is the most underrated.
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on 30 January 2006
Nazareth had just come of the back of the albums Expect No Mercy and No Mean City, arguably two of their best ever records; so it comes as a bit of a surprise that the fella's changed style and went for a more American A.O.R sound. The vocal deliveries are as good as you would demand from Dan McCafferty, and the musicianship with Zal Cleminson still on board from the previous album was still at a high standard; unfortunatly the songs are maybe not as well written as previous offerings.This is probably due to the experimental nature of the sound Nazareth were going for and later albums with a similar theme such as Sound Elixr have showed that Nazareth learned from the experiences of this album.
The album opens up with Holiday; not a full on rocker that usually opened up a Nazareth album, but in fact a very well crafted storytelling song with an incredibly catchy tune, memorable chourus and superb backing vocals that made the song a hugh favourite amongst Nazareth fans and a definate in their live set for many years. The rest of the tracks would find it hard to live up to such a good song, but tracks such as Talkin' To One Of The Boys and Talkin' 'Bout Love run it quite close with their unusual sound and catchy lyrics. Heart's Grown Cold and Fallen Angel are ballads with a anguished feel; you can almost feel the pain and suffering that the songs project coming through the speakers. Both of these songs became favourites to play live as well. The rest of the tracks have a sound to them that would definately play better across the Atlantic, although if you are a fan of groups such as Journey then you could add a star to the album rating.
All in all you have a collection of songs here that are well crafted, well thought out and well executed, but you can never move away from the feeling that Nazareth just don't sound quite right doing this type of sound. Fortunatly there is just enough of the old sounding Nazareth to please exsisting fans as well as give new fans a taste of what Nazareth do best.
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on 29 December 2014
I bought this album back in 1980 when it was first released.And it is great to hear it again.
Being a Nazareth fan I liked their hard rock sound.This album is a more polished but still has their sound and energy.
On this album Zal Cleminson from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band joined them,a great lead guitarist adding his style and sound to it.
I like all the tracks on it especially Fast Cars,Big Boy,Talking Bout Love,Ship of Dreams and Turning a new leaf.
There is also bonus tracks live versions of some of the album tracks and some classic Nazareth such as This flight tonight.
A great classic rock CD.
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