Love Hurts: Nazareth Still Loud and Proud

The hard rock band Nazareth has legendary as well as influential status. Somewhere over forty years from their first album, they are still active both recording and touring. How many rock fans from the early 1970s grew up on the classic Loud ‘n’ Proud album treasuring that slab of vinyl more and more with each listen. Perhaps you were one of them.

If you were one of them you probably have a fondness for good old fashioned albums in general and have quite possibly lost that treasured album from 1973 thinking it’d be gone forever and no more would you be able to listen to the unique growl of Dan McCafferty. Well you need worry no more as with the resurgence in vinyl somebody has seen the good sense to reissue Loud ‘n’ Proud in that very format. Dust off the turntable, crank it up to eleven, drop the needle on to the anthem that is Go Down Fighting and remember what proper rock music was all about.

Nazareth had something of a golden period in the 1970s cranking out truly classic albums such as Rampant and Hair of the Dog in addition to Loud ‘n’ Proud. Lost their way a little in the early 1980s after the departure of guitarist Manny Charlton though did get their mojo back.

McCafferty and Pete Agnew are surviving originals. Sadly, drummer Darrell Sweet passed a few years ago though that legacy is carries on with Lee taking over the stool. Guitarist Jimmy Murrison has been there almost as long as Charlton was I believe making for a stable line-up who can still more than cut it. Listen to their latest album Big Dogz for evidence of that.

They might not be as big or successful now as their heyday in the ,70s but that’s certainly no excuse not to check them out of you are not familiar with them or rediscover a classic band if you have perhaps got a bit out of touch with your past.

The vinyl re-issue of Loud ‘n’ Proud affords you that opportunity. Gravel vocals like you’ve never heard anywhere else, the fluid yet brutal guitar work of Charlton with a rock solid rhythm section of Sweet and Agnew. Turn on Your Receiver featured in their live set on this year’s UK tour and the album even boasted a hit single with the remarkable interpretation of Joni Mitchell’s This Flight Tonight.

They don’t make bands like Nazareth these days. Rock hard Scotsmen made (not unlike the Irn Bru) from girders. Even Axel Rose was influenced by Dan McCafferty’s vocal style. He would not be the only major vocalist to cite Uncle Dan as helping to light the way.

Over fourty years later they still sing for their supper all around the world. How many other bands can say that or have been (and continue to be) such a major influence in the rock music world.

I hope Loud ‘n’ Proud isn’t the only classic reissue on vinyl so more people get the pleasure of listening to music using a turntable and carrying around the album under your arm. One of life’s pleasures you cannot achieve with a CD or MP3 player. If you are of a ‘certain age’ you will know what I mean.

Reported by Gary McKraken

More from Gary here.

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