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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone’ (Conveyor Canada)
Artist - Nazareth

As I‘m sure you are all well aware by now, Nazareth are a Scottish hard rock band founded in 1968 that had several hits in the United Kingdom in the early 1970’s. Indeed, they first established an international audience with their 1975 album Hair of the Dog, although they are probably still best-known for their massive world wide hit single, a cover of the ballad ‘Love Hurts‘ in 1975.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone is the first new album from these classic rockers since 2011‘s highly-impressive Big Dogz. Containing 11 hard-rockin‘ blues jams, as usual, the new album was actually recorded this time at The Sub Station in Rosyth, Scotland.

With the large, oh so large vocals of Dan McCafferty taking the mic once again (albeit for the very last time), the rest of the band include: Jimmy Murrison (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Lee Agnew (keyboards, drums, percussion, background vocals); and Pete Agnew (bass guitar, background vocals).

This incredible, truly wonderful new album kicks-off with the throat-pounding ‘Boom Bang Bang,’ and carries on with both the blues funk of ‘One Set of Bones’ and the counted in classic acoustic vibe of ‘Back 2B4.’ The lazy days ballad of ‘Winter Sunlight’ is next and is followed by the hard rock title track plodder ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone.’

Most people will tell you that Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone is a major improvement over their 2011 effort Big Dogz, but I don’t know. I enjoyed Big Dogz and there wasn’t really a track that went wrong on that last album. But sure, this new album does feature some more dirty blues rock tunes and allows for way more guitar licks to be brought forth. Next up is the powerhaus old school Nazareth on ‘Punch a Hole in the Sky’ which is backed by the gentle pop ballad of ‘Long Long Time’ and the slow poke crawl of ‘The Right Time.’

At their peak, the Dunfermline rock group were huge, selling vast quantities of albums and pulling in enormous crowds to their shows. Having not changed their style too much after all this time, this new album certainly goes a long way to pacifying their legion of fans. The uber heavy ‘Not Today’ is along next and is backed by both ‘Speakeasy’ and then finally ‘God of the Mountain.’

For those not in the know, Nazareth announced Dan McCafferty's retirement from the band due to ill health on the August 28th, 2013, leaving Pete Agnew as the sole remaining original member of the band. On February 22nd, 2014, it was announced that Scottish singer Linton Osborne was chosen as McCafferty's replacement, with the former singer's blessing.

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk