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40 Years Ago: Nazareth’s ‘Razamanaz’ Album Released

A&M Records

After five years of serious dues-paying on the competitive U.K. music scene, Scottish rockers Nazareth were still looking for their big break when they unleashed their third album, ‘Razamanaz,’ in May of 1973. They finally found it.

Nazareth’s story begins in the city of Dumferline, where the quartet — singer Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bassist Pete Agnew and drummer Darrell Sweet — first came together before taking their still-developing band south to London.

There, the hard-working group scored a recording contract in less than a year. But neither their 1971 self-titled debut album nor the following year’s ‘Exercises’ turned too many heads, since they were both short on focus as the young band flirted with everything from blues and folk to country and hard rock on the records.

But fate intervened when Nazareth were tapped to open some shows on a Deep Purple tour and they befriended bassist Roger Glover, who agreed to produce the group’s pivotal third album.

With Glover’s keen eye for chart-topping heavy rock, Nazareth rarely deviated from the mission at hand, straying only for the country blues of Woody Guthrie’s ‘Vigilante Man’ and the relatively smooth ‘Broken Down Angel.’  They delivered a slew of hard-hitting, and frequently slide guitar-lubricated, songs like ‘Night Woman,’ ‘Bad Bad Boy,’ ‘Woke Up This Morning’ and the blistering title track.

All this fine-tuned firepower helped ‘Razamanaz’ carry Nazareth into the U.K. charts for the first time. And the best was still to come: After another pair of hit-and-miss albums, Nazareth made their 1975 masterpiece ‘Hair of the Dog.’

Next: Nazareth's 'Hair of the Dog' -- Top 100 Classic Rock Songs

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