Nazareth – Razamanaz (1973)

Nazareth_Razamanaz4.5 out of 5 Stars!

Razamanaz is undoubtedly one of my favorite Hard Rock albums of all time, and my personal favorite in the Nazareth catalogue.

The bluesy riffs, the scorching performances, the spiffy production (thanks to Deep Purple’s Roger Glover), the selection of original and cover songs, and Dan McCafferty’s whiskey-shredded voice all seemed to gel on this album. Indeed, it was on Razamanaz, the Scottish band’s third studio effort, where the trademarked Nazareth style perfectly came together.

From the storming title track and a take-no-prisoners version of Leon Russell’s “Alcatraz,” to the eerie and devilish “Sold My Soul” and the ultra-catchy “Broken Down Angel,” this collection of tunes just doesn’t let up for one single minute. Both “Vigilante Man” and “Bad, Bad Boy” are showcases for Manny Charlton’s wild and wonderful slide guitar, and “Night Woman,” “Too Bad, Too Sad,” and “Woke Up This Morning” (a track from the band’s previous album, but rerecorded and energized) are nothing less than rockin’ and stompin’ killers, displaying impressive teamwork from the long-time rhythm section of bassist Pete Agnew and drummer Darrell Sweet.

Although Nazareth subsequently released numerous other top-quality albums during its forty-plus-years career, none of them seemed as near to everlasting “Hard Rock Paradise” as Razamanaz…a “must have if stranded on a deserted island” album if I ever heard one.

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