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Nazareth is a Scottish rock band with a long and storied history that spans several decades.
The band, known for their distinctive hard rock sound and powerful ballads, was formed in the late 1960s and has maintained a loyal fan base throughout their career. Here is a detailed history of Nazareth:
Formation and Early Years (1968-1970):
Nazareth was formed in 1968 in Dunfermline, Scotland. The original lineup consisted of Dan McCafferty (vocals), Manny Charlton (guitar), Pete Agnew (bass), and Darrell Sweet (drums). The band was initially named "The Shadettes" but changed their name to Nazareth, inspired by the first line of The Band's song "The Weight" ("I pulled into Nazareth...").
In 1971, they released their self-titled debut album, "Nazareth," which included a mix of bluesy and hard rock songs. The album didn't achieve significant commercial success, but it helped establish their sound and set the stage for their future endeavors.
Rise to International Fame (1970s):
Nazareth's breakthrough came with their third album, "Razamanaz" (1973). This album featured hit songs like "Broken Down Angel" and "Bad Bad Boy," which introduced the band to a wider audience and became radio staples. Their next album, "Loud 'n' Proud" (1973), continued their success with the single "This Flight Tonight."
In 1974, Nazareth released the iconic album "Rampant," which included the hit "Shanghai'd in Shanghai" and helped solidify their status as a leading rock band of the era. They followed it up with "Hair of the Dog" (1975), which featured the anthemic title track "Hair of the Dog" and "Love Hurts." "Love Hurts" became a massive hit and is still one of their most recognized songs.
Throughout the 1970s, Nazareth continued to release successful albums, including "Close Enough for Rock 'n' Roll" (1976) and "Play 'n' the Game" (1976). Their hard-hitting rock sound and McCafferty's distinctive raspy vocals were hallmarks of their music.
Challenges and Continued Work (1980s-2000s):
The 1980s brought some challenges for Nazareth as they tried to adapt to changing musical trends. Despite a decline in mainstream popularity, they continued to tour and release new albums. Notable releases from this period include "Malice in Wonderland" (1980), "The Fool Circle" (1981), and "2XS" (1982).
In the late 1980s and 1990s, the band went through some lineup changes, but Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew remained as constants. The band continued to tour and released albums like "Snaz" (1981) and "Boogaloo" (1998).
In the 2000s, Nazareth maintained their touring schedule and released new material, such as "The Newz" (2008). They also celebrated their 40th anniversary as a band with various events and live performances.
Legacy and Later Years (2010s):
Despite the passing of longtime drummer Darrell Sweet in 1999, Nazareth continued to tour and record. They released "Rock 'n' Roll Telephone" in 2014. This album marked a continuation of their classic rock sound.
Throughout their career, Nazareth's music has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows, ensuring their songs remain relevant in pop culture.
As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Nazareth had persevered as a rock band with an enduring legacy. They maintained a loyal fan base and continued to perform live. Their history is a testament to their enduring rock and roll spirit and their ability to adapt to changing musical landscapes while staying true to their signature sound.