Nazareth

Razamanaz

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After pursuing a Rolling Stones-styled blend of rock and country elements on their first two albums, Nazareth segued into a harder rocking style with 1973's Razamanaz. The resulting album has a lot of energy and drive and much of this can be credited to Roger Glover's production, which tempers the group's tendency to experiment with different musical styles by imposing an overall sound that play's up the group's hard rock edge. The end result is an album that rocks consistently throughout but works in intriguing musical elements to keep things interesting. For instance, "Alcatraz" and "Night Woman" work a glam-styled tribal drum rhythm into the group's sound, and "Vigilante Man" starts out as a straight blues tune but soon mutates into a stomping slice of heavy metal. The most successful experiments come when the group works a country element into their rock attack: "Broken Down Angel" sounds like an early 1970s Rolling Stones track with heavier guitars, and "Bad Bad Boy" sounds like an old rockabilly tune as played by a 1970s hard rock band. Both tunes cleverly mix some effective pop hooks into their stew of hard rock and country elements and became hit singles in England as a result. Other Razamanaz highlights include the title track, a furious rocker that became a permanent part of the band's live set list, and "Woke Up This Morning," a heavy blues tune with darkly comic lyrics about a man with terminally bad luck. To sum up, Razamanaz is one of the finest albums in the Nazareth catalog and a gem of 1970s hard rock in general.

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