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A&M SP-4396
Released: August 1973
Chart Peak: #157
Weeks Charted: 13

Darrell SweetPeter AgnewManny CharltonDan McCaffertyNazareth have finally sent up an album that sneers through its hard decibel changes with all the abandon of a runaway tank; after two fair-to-middling efforts, Razamanaz are a middling-to-good heap of slag. Cast in the mold of Deep Purple (whose Roger Glover produced), Nazareth uses a standard instrumental trio format (guitar-bass-drums), vocalist Dan McCafferty contributing obligatory snorts and screams. Thankfully, within this tried, trued and bored formula, Nazareth and Glover manage to squeeze enough venom to sustain several worthy tracks.

Nazareth - Razamanaz
Original album advertising art.
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Displaying some small flair for contemplating disaster, "Woke Up This Morning" cheerfully recites a litany of murdered dog, dead cat and crispy burnt homestead. The title tune, nonsense vocables and all, gets the pagan raucous fuzz-zap treatment. "Sold My Soul," on the other hand, toys with statnic capitulation, a muddy guitar line accenting McCafferty's earnest confession of sin. And finally "Broken Down Angel" widens the stylistic spectrum to include Rod Stewart overtones, Purpled C&W passages and a song of lost virtue.

Which brings us to the sheer junk, from debilitated Bo Diddley Beat ("Night Woman" -- "she's the night woman of my dreams") to Hamms beer reruns (although the teepeed tom-tom guitar line punctuating Leon Russell's "Alcatraz" does quaintly demean its presumed object of noble sympathy).

As for the band's performances, McCafferty croak-talks rather than sings, and Manuel Charlton's guitar playing proves something less than innovative. But the four Scottish lads rarely avoid an opportunity to turn a stale cliche to their slender advantage. When Nazareth hit snide stride, they churn out enough pop staples to match any modest band: a subdued cheer for Scotch rock.

- Jim Miller, Rolling Stone, 10/25/73.

Bonus Review!

Good, unpretentious rock set. Best cuts: "Razamanaz," "Woke Up This Morning."

- Billboard, 1973.

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