Nazareth are a Scottish hard rock band formed in Dunfermline in 1968 that had several hits in the United Kingdom, as well as in several other Western European countries in the early 1970s. They established an international audience with their 1975 album Hair of the Dog, which featured their hits “Hair of the Dog” and a cover of the ballad “Love Hurts”. The band continues to record and tour.
Nazareth formed in December 1968 in Dunfermline, Scotland, from the remaining members of semi-professional local group The Shadettes (formed in 1961) by vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bassist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet. They were inspired by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Nazareth took their name from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, which is cited in the first line of The Band’s classic song “The Weight” (“I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead…”).
The band moved to London, England in 1970 and released their eponymous debut album in 1971. After getting some attention with their second album Exercises, released in 1972, Nazareth supported Deep Purple on tour, and issued the Roger Glover-produced Razamanaz, in early 1973. This collection spawned two UK Top Ten hits, “Broken Down Angel” and “Bad Bad Boy”. This was followed by Loud ‘N’ Proud in late 1973, which contained another hit single with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s song “This Flight Tonight”. Then came another album Rampant, in 1974, that was equally successful although its only single, “Shanghai’d in Shanghai”, narrowly missed the British Top 40. A non-album song, again a cover version, this time of Tomorrow’s “My White Bicycle”, was a UK Top 20 entry in 1975.
Hair of the Dog was released in April 1975 and was produced by Manny Charlton, ending Roger Glover’s association with the band. The title track of that album (popularly, though incorrectly, known as “Son of a Bitch” due to its hook lyric) became a staple of 1970s rock radio. The American version of the album included a song originally recorded by The Everly Brothers, the melodic Boudleaux Bryant-penned ballad “Love Hurts”, that was released as a hit single in the UK and in the US, where it went platinum. The track became the band’s only US Top Ten hit and was also a top 10 hit in nine other countries, reaching number 1 in six of them. The song was on the Norwegian chart for 60 weeks.
In 1979, second guitarist Zal Cleminson was added to the line-up, remaining for two albums, No Mean City and Malice in Wonderland, and contributing numerous compositions. Malice in Wonderland contained the single “Holiday”. In 1981, they contributed the song “Crazy (A Suitable Case for Treatment)” to the soundtrack to the film, Heavy Metal.
Various Nazareth line-ups continued to make studio albums and tour throughout the 1980s and 1990s, although their popularity had declined such that some albums no longer received either a UK or a US release. They remained popular in Europe, particularly Germany, where “Dream On” became a hit single. In 1991, Billy Rankin returned to replace Manny Charlton on the No Jive album, remaining with the band until 1994.
A tribute came in 1993 when Guns N’ Roses covered Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” on “The Spaghetti Incident?”, consolation after they turned down Axl Rose’s request for the group to play at his wedding. Rankin departed again in 1994, but with Jimmy Murrison and keyboard player Ronnie Leahy, Nazareth maintained a live following in Europe and the US.
Nazareth continued touring after Rankin’s departure, with Jimmy Murrison and keyboard player Ronnie Leahy. While on tour in 1999, original drummer Darrell Sweet died at age 51 of a heart attack. He was replaced by bassist Pete Agnew’s son Lee for later editions of the band.
On 4 August 2006, John Locke, the former keyboardist of the band, died from cancer at the age of 62.
In February 2008, The Newz was released on the Hamburg-based label, Edel Entertainment. The release of the album coincided with Nazareth’s fortieth anniversary tour, which started on 25 January in Sweden and visited most of Europe, finished on 4 November 2008 in Norway. A follow up album, Big Dogz, was released on 15 April 2011.
Nazareth announced McCafferty’s retirement from the band due to ill health on 28 August 2013, leaving Pete Agnew as the last remaining original member of the band. On 22 February 2014, it was announced that Scottish singer Linton Osborne was chosen as McCafferty’s replacement, with the former singer’s blessing. In December 2014, Nazareth announced the cancellation of several shows, and later postponement of their UK tour, due to Osborne contracting a virus that left him unable to perform. In a post on his Facebook page 16 January 2015, Osborne announced his departure from the band.
On 13 February 2015, the band announced that Carl Sentance, formerly of Persian Risk, Geezer Butler Band, and Krokus, was their new lead vocalist.
In October 2018, the album Tattooed on My Brain, was released via Frontiers Records. ‘The 50th Anniversary Tour’ followed, spanning 2018 and 2019, along with German hard rock band Formosa as support. Original guitarist Manny Charlton died on 5 July 2022, aged 80.
On 8 November 2022, Dan McCafferty died at the age of 76.
William Daniel McCafferty (14 October 1946 – 8 November 2022) was a Scottish vocalist, best known as the lead singer for the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth from its founding in 1968 to his retirement from touring with the band in 2013.
Dan McCafferty was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. Under the influence of artists such as Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Otis Redding, he became one of the founding members of Nazareth in 1968. He appeared on all of Nazareth’s albums up to 2014 and toured with them for 45 years. He co-wrote some of the big Nazareth hits, including “Broken Down Angel”, and “Bad Bad Boy”. He released three solo albums.
On 29 August 2013, Nazareth announced McCafferty’s retirement from touring with the band due to health issues. He elaborated on the specifics of the health issues and the state of his situation in an interview with the UK music magazine, Classic Rock. He stated that he had not suffered a stroke as had been reported in the press. He said that his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that has “worsened in recent years” had made him leave the stage in Switzerland in late August 2013 after only three songs, indicating that, “You don’t know when it’s going to come on, but suddenly you can’t breathe.” Commenting about his most recent episode, at the Swiss festival, McCafferty maintained, “if you can’t do the job you shouldn’t be there — Nazareth’s too big for that.” McCafferty also revealed that another health problem was responsible for his onstage collapse at a concert in Canada in July 2013 – a burst stomach ulcer. He stated reflecting back on the incident, “I thought I’d be fine, but you lose so much blood when that happens.” In addition McCafferty said that he expected Nazareth to continue on without him. “I really hope they get someone else,” he declared. “I’m sure they will.”
Although McCafferty retired from performing, Nazareth fans can still hear his voice on their 2014 album Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone. The singer also revealed that he could record more new music, either with Nazareth or as a solo artist. He clarified: “To go into a studio and sing isn’t like doing a gig. I could always make another record, but getting up to do an hour and three-quarters, and get people to pay money to come and see me — I can’t do that.” McCafferty expressed his appreciation to his fans near the end of the interview by saying: “Let everyone know I appreciate they’ve been there for all these years.” He continued to sing live around the world and record on occasion. On 21 June 2019, he released a new music video titled “Tell Me”. It was from the solo album Last Testament, released on 18 October 2019, McCafferty’s first solo album since 1987’s Into The Ring.
McCafferty was married and had two children. He died on 8 November 2022, at the age of 76. wikipedia)
Nazareth is the debut album by the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, released in 1971. The album featured the hit single “Dear John,” and a cover of “Morning Dew.”
This 1971 self-titled debut may stun fans who are accustomed to the hard-driving rock and gritty power ballads that characterize Nazareth’s more popular work. Nazareth is a diverse collection of songs that points the way towards the pop leanings that would dominate the group’s later output. Although it lacks the consistency of later albums like Hair of the Dog and Expect No Mercy, fans of 1970s rock will find plenty to enjoy on this surprisingly adventurous disc. The overall sound is softer than the hard rock the group is best known for, but that doesn’t mean the album isn’t lacking in good old-fashioned rock & roll. “Witchdoctor Woman” is a moody rocker built on a slow, spooky fuzz guitar riff, and the group’s sinister cover of “Morning Dew” transforms this folk classic into a hard rock epic that provides a powerful showcase for Manny Charlton’s powerful but imaginative guitar work.
A lot of time is also devoted to country-styled ballads like “I Had a Dream” and “Country Girl,” which set dreamy melodies against a gentle backdrop of keyboards and steel guitar. The most surprising thing about Nazareth is the experimental, effects-laden approach used to bring the songs to life; the best example is the use of a voice box guitar for the much of the vocal on “Fat Man,” which enhances the loneliness of the lyrics. There are also touches of orchestration, the most interesting use appearing on “Red Light Lady,” a song that starts off as a steamy, guitar-heavy rocker but transforms midway through into a stately ballad driven by a powerful string arrangement. All in all, Nazareth tries out too many different styles to ever cohere, but it does effectively show off the chops and songwriting skills of this oft-underrated band. It is a necessary listen for the group’s fans and may even win over ’70s rock fans who wouldn’t normally go for the Nazareth sound. (by Donald A. Guarisco )
But … “Witchdoctor Woman” is a killer and their version of “Morning Dew” is one of the best versions I have ever heard !
Pete Agnew (bass, guitar, background vocals, vocals on 04.)
Manny Charlton (guitar, backgrond vocals)
Dan McCafferty (vocals)
Darrell Sweet (drums, background vocals)
B.J. Cole (slide guitar on 07.)
Dave Stewart (organ on 05.)
Pete Wingfield (piano on 02. + 07.)
Pete York (percussion on 08.)
01. Witchdoctor Woman 4.07
02. Dear John 3.46
03. Empty Arms, Empty Heart 3.13
04. I Had A Dream 3.25
05. Red Light Lady (Part 2 & 2) 5.59
06. Fat Man 3.27
07. Country Girl 4.04
08. Morning Dew 7.04
09. King Is Dead 4.46
10. Friends (single B-side) 3.24
11. Dear John (single edit) 2.42
12. Morning Dew (alternate edited version) 4.50
13. Friends (alternate edit of single B-side) 3.24
14. Morning Dew (extended single version) 8.06
15. Witchdoctor Woman (previously unreleased version) 4.32
16. This Flight Tonight 3.24
All songs written by Manny Charlton, Dan McCafferty, Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet
“Morning Dew” written by Bonnie Dobson
“This Flight Tonight” written by Joni Mitchell
The official website: