The strangness of their previous effort showed that, for all the NAZARETH's regular versatility, it would be hard to cling on to their past and embrace the future at the same time - a fool circle, indeed. But while many of their contemporaries fizzled out in the early '80s or lost their soul, the stoic Dunfermline bunch persevered to make the boldest move of their career and deliver a true smash. It's as glossy as its belle epoque dictated but it's brimful of NAZ's spirit.
The streamline opener "Dressed To Kill", sprinkled with John Locke's piano, states it all rather impudently - a "Razamanaz" for the new decade - and "Every Young Man's Dream" hurls itself on the dancefloor thanks to Darrell Sweet's straight beat against' the lads' posh harmonies, whereas "Little Part Of You" takes a disco thing too seriously. But then, the anti-nuclear "Pop The Silo", bristling with Pete Agnew's bass under the web of acoustic guitars from Manny Charlton, rages transparent yet wild, and the desperate chorus of "Another Year" pitches even more sharp anxiety into the wavy drift.
The record shakes its hidden political agenda in the blissful reggae of "Let Me Be Your Leader" and the sparkling tension builder "We Are The People", yet its closer, "Victoria", slides to close to THE KINKS' song of the same name, so even the BEACH BOYS quote in it doesn't bring a smile. But "Moonlight Eyes" is arguably Dan McCafferty's most soulful moment: threatening to go too lachrymose, the singer's Wilson Pickett tone makes the ballad a gem. Still, this falls in the shadow of "Cocaine", the best cover of J.J. Cale's classic ever, that catches the group in their zingy concert element, all acoustic strings blazing and the crowd going mad (the studio cut seems not to exist)
The definitive reissue features the whole of "Nazareth Live" EP, but though it's interesting to hear early renditions of "Talkin' To One Of The Boys" and "Heart's Grown Cold", it doesn't have as much energy as typical NAZ gig has... perhaps, the momentum was being saved for the band's next move.
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