Nazareth - 1978 No Mean City

ARTIST: Nazareth
ALBUM: No Mean City
LABEL: Vertigo
SERIAL: 6370 428
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List


LINEUP: Dan McCafferty - vocals * Manny Charlton - guitars, production * Zal Cleminson - guitars * Pete Agnew - bass * Darrell Sweet - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Just To Get Into It * 02 May The Sunshine * 03 Simple Solution (Parts 1 & 2) * 04 Star * 05 Claim To Fame * 06 Whatever You Want Babe * 07 What's In It For Me * 08 No Mean City (Parts 1 & 2)

WEBLINK: Site Link


Much of Nazareth's 70's discography was reissued with many bonus tracks around about 2007 and 2008.

When I was growing up there was the odd album in the family collection including this one, with the awesome Lord Of The Rings/Tolkien inspired cover art from Rodney Matthews.

The Scottish band were quite prolific during this period, and there is still much of their back catalogue yet to discover and sample.

The original album came with just 8 tracks, though the aforementioned reissues contained many bonus tracks bolted on.

The Songs

The album gets off to a raucous start thanks to 'Just To Get Into It'. Charlton and Cleminson's guitar work is particularly effective so early on.

'May The Sunshine' allows for inclusion of acoustic guitar plus some slide guitar. The song itself has a nice singalong chorus, but it is a creation of two halves; rough hewn verses meets smooth anthemic choruses.

'Simple Solution (Parts 1 and 2)' is a shady rocker benefitting from a compelling lead vocal from McCafferty, numerous handclaps and some slinky dual guitar work.

My favourite track here is the melodic 'Star'. The band have been known to thrown in the odd gem on their albums and this track is one of those.

The Naz get back into some rough house rock with 'Claim To Fame', borrowing some lyrics (to my ears at least) from the Thin White Duke. claim to fame, what's your name..

'Whatever You Want Babe' is quite a pleasant track, assisted by some jangly acoustic guitar which helps lighten the musical payload.

'What's In For Me' is trademark rollicking fare from the Scots, containing a locker full of slide guitar plus a drum beat sourced from the Chinn/Chapman glam rock handbook of 1973!

'No Mean City (Parts 1 and 2)' is the six minute closer where more shade is thrown out rather than light. McCafferty turns this into a story rather than a song.

The subject matter derived from the 1935 book of the same name refers to the slums and ganglands of depression era Glasgow. No mean city indeed!

In Summary

This album was Nazareth's tenth studio album, so there's lots to sift through from a back catalogue perspective.

Released in the UK during late 1978, it eventually found its US release in January 1979 on the A&M label.

The band toured with Thin Lizzy throughout 1979 and returned to the studio for 1980's follow-up 'Malice In Wonderland'.


Nazareth - Star

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gdazegod May 12 2019 99 reads 0 comments Print


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