Nazareth was formed in 1968 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. The original members were vocalist Dan McCafferty, guitarist Manny Charlton, bassist Pete Agnew, and drummer Darrell Sweet. Two years later, they relocated to London, becoming part of the British hard rock scene. In 1971, they released their first album. The group’s 1973 album Razmanaz became a top ten hit. In 1974, they released two Loud ‘n’ Proud and Rampant albums, but neither was as successful as their first. Although the following year, the album Hair of the Dog cemented the group as an international pop sensation. The group continued its chart-topping success through the 70s. Then, in 1979, they added Zal Cleminson, former guitarist for the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. However, he left after recording two albums with the group; 1979’s mean city and 1980’s Malice in Wonderland.
However, they replaced him with Spirit keyboardist John Locke and released the live album’ Snaz in 1981. Locke left after it, and they added Bill Rankin on keyboards. Nazareth’s fame started to decline in the mid-80s, and they were soon without a record contract, so they went on a three-year hiatus. They released No Jive in 1992, but it received little acclaim. In 1998, they released Boogaloo. Sadly, while touring, Darrell Sweet had a heart attack and died. Agnew took over drums, and In 2008, Nazareth released The Newz on the group’s fortieth anniversary. Three years later, they released Big Dogz, followed by Rock’ n’ Roll Telephone. On their fiftieth anniversary, they released Tattooed on my Brain with vocalist Carl Sentance. With so many albums and hits, it’s hard to choose the group’s best songs. Nonetheless, these are the top ten Nazareth songs of all time.
The song opens with a classic guitar solo with intermittent pieces of eastern instrumentations. It’s a relaxing song that, like the title, feels like you’re sitting in the sunshine. The song’s lyrics are about love and feel like you’re waking up from a colder time in your life when you find someone and fall in love. The guitar solo near the end of the song adds additional depth to the music.
9. Woke Up This Morning
This song starts off with a guitar riff that sounds like an improvisation from during a jam session. There are intermittent drum punctuations before the drums start the driving groove of the song. This song showcases Nazareth’s sound. This song finishes with a combination drum and electric guitar solo that crescendos into the song’s end.
8. Broken Down Angel
Much of Nazareth’s music had a newer rock feel. Yet, this song feels more like rock music from a decade or so before they started recording. There is a lot of similarity in the instrumentation in this song, and The Band (group), whose lyrics inspired the name. The beat remains steady through the song, with brief tempo changes in the song’s bridge and near the end of the music.
7. Miss Misery
The song opens with power guitar licks and raw emotive lyrics. The lyrics are perfect against the angst-ridden guitar drum combination. The song closes with an ethereal mix of soft guitar riffs and slight touches of cymbals. Miss Misery is a song you listen to when you are frustrated in a relationship and haven’t quite gotten the nerve to leave.
6. This Flight Tonight
This song was a cover of a Joni Mitchell song from her album Blue. Nazareth released it on their Loud ‘n’ Proud album in 1973. Nazareth completely reimagined this song. Nazareth turns it into a power anthem with intense driving guitar riffs instead of an introspective folk ballad.
The opening to this song is a combination of drums and guitar that stays at full throttle throughout the entire piece. This song is rock at its best, with intense guitar solos and interspersed vocals that focus on everything in the background. Near the middle of the music are the song’s highlight and a bass guitar solo that breaks up the song’s steady rhythm.
4. Dream On
Unlike many of Nazareth’s other songs, this one opens with vocals against the sparse piano. Even as the song progresses, it remains much more mellow than other pieces in the group’s catalog. With the addition of romantic lyrics, this song feels more like a power ballad from a hair metal band. One of the best things about Nazareth is that even though they stayed well within the rock genre of their songs, there was a lot of experimentation in their music. This song shows off more varied talent than others songs.
3. Where Are You Now
This song is a bittersweet lament about losing a relationship with someone because you weren’t the best person. One of the twists in this song is that many of the lyrics are ironic. Even though everything about the song’s tone and how it’s sung are melancholy wishes for the person to come back, there are lyrics like I don’t miss all the fun we had. This song speaks to the conflicted feelings we all have during breakups and looking at everything we did wrong.
2. Hair of The Dog
This song was released in 1975 and peaked at number 44 in Germany. It enjoyed more popularity in the United States, a top 20 hit on album charts. To this day, it remains part of the playlists for classic rock stations. It was used in the movie Dumb and Dumber To when Lloyd fantasizes about Harry’s daughter.
1. Love Hurts
This song was released in 1975 and was one of the singles from the album Hair of the Dog. According to Songfacts, this song was initially released by The Everly Brothers in 1960. One of the most significant distinctions is Dan McCaffrey’s rawness, which gives the song more authenticity.