There’s a lot of guitar-rock bands from the '70s whose music epitomized that era, but maybe none more than Nazareth. I still remember how wicked their 1973 album Razzamanaz sounded--especially on eight-track! I also remember thinking: “Man, their two albums before this one really stink!”
The same was true of Alice Cooper. After I bought his awesome 1971 album Love it To Death I went back to check out its predecessors, Easy Action and Pretties For You, and couldn’t believe they even had his name on them! I intentionally scratched my copy of Pretties For You so I could take it back to Ritchie’s Records and Tapes in Chilliwack, pretend it was faulty, and trade it in on something decent. Of course, if Mr. Ritchie had a second copy of Pretties For You in stock, that would have foiled my evil plan. Thank god he didn’t.
But back to Nazareth. Once the Scottish rockers hit their stride with Razzamanaz they--again, just like Cooper--released several more winners: Loud ”˜n’ Proud (also from ’73), Rampant (’74), and Hair of the Dog (’75). I made the trek in to Van to see them play the PNE Forum in the mid-’70s--with Strawbs opening up--and, not surprisingly, their remake of Joni Mitchell’s “This Flight Tonight” raised the roof.
For one reason or another, though, I started to lose interest in Nazareth by the time of its 1976 album, Close Enough for Rock ”˜n’ Roll. It wasn’t close enough for me, but I quite enjoyed the boogie number “Vancouver Shakedown”--and still do. Apparently the band underwent some kind of major hassle in VanCity to be inspired to write that tune.
For the sake of rock 'n' roll, it would be nice if Nazareth played “Vancouver Shakedown” when it visits the Red Robinson Show Theatre on Thursday. They could even change the title to "Coquitlam Shakedown" if it made them feel any better. We wouldn't take it personally.
Or would we?
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