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Loud 'n' Proud
Nazareth

A&M SP 3609
Released: March 1974
Chart Peak: #150
Weeks Charted: 8

Darrell SweetPeter AgnewManny CharltonDan McCaffertyOn their second A&M album, this Scottish group with folk roots continue on their heavy electric course, guided by producer Roger Glover (of Deep Purple fame), who ensures that a hard attack remains at the core of their work. The best originals are "Go Down Fighting," a two-chord Hawkwind-styled rush, "Turn On Your Receiver," a fat crisp rocker, and "Child in the Sun," in which singer Dan McCafferty turns in a passable imitation of Rod Stewart on a nice, harmony-laden ballad. Much as I enjoy the fast numbers, it must be noted that Nazareth are occasionally as monotonous as Status Quo or Uriah Heep, as on "Not Faking It," which is all strut and preen, but with none of the substance of their earlier remarkable heavy-metal C&W "Broken Down Angel."

Nazareth - Loud 'n' Proud
Original album advertising art.
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The nonoriginals provide the best moments. Little Feat's "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" picks up in power what it loses in subtlety; Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight" is shocking when heard in a Led Zeppelin arrangement. The clincher comes with a nine-minute version of Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown." An overlong drone of a song to begin with, it's stretched to the limits with every repetitious device known to modern rock, and drowned in a haze of feedback fuzz. Strangely enough, it works and that leads me to the conclusion that Nazareth, in bridging the gap between folk and heavy metal, could easily become the Turtles of the Seventies. They are a group worth watching.

- Greg Shaw, Rolling Stone, 5/9/74.

Bonus Reviews!

Grinding rock from this foursome, including a number of original tunes and some interesting interpretations of other's material. A long, building version of Dylan's "Ballad of Hollis Brown," an interesting cover of Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight" and the band's own "Go Down Fighting" are among the highlights.

- Billboard, 1974.

YOW! Naz may be the biggie to watch from Britain this year with fuzzy guitars aplenty, drums belting out rimshots like machine gun fire, bass buzzing like oversized hornets and lead singer Dan McCafferty splitting the air with half-human howls. Great stuff, by God. On this little gem, the group ravages not only their own songs (and WHAT SONGS!!!) with electric lust, but pulverize Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight" and Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown," hammering them into their own spectacular sound. A tremendous effort, this recorded display of fireworks should be released by A&M stateside in a few months.

- Ed Naha, Circus, 3/74.

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