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APRIL 1975 (42 YEARS AGO)Nazareth: Hair of the Dog is released.# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4.5/5# Allmusic 4.5/5
Hair of the Dog is the sixth studio album by Nazareth, released in April, 1975. It reached #17 on the Billboard 200 Top LP's chart.
Although Nazareth had already broken into the big time in England with their 1973 release Razamanaz, the band had yet to crack the U.S. market. Their stateside break came two years later in the form of 1975's Hair of the Dog. By keeping to their high voltage rock formula the Scots band finally won U.S. rock fans over, though it didn't hurt that they included one slight musical departure, the melodic ballad "Love Hurts."
Besides becoming a monster worldwide hit, Nazareth (for better or worse) helped create the whole power ballad format--a style adopted wholesale by numerous other bands by the late '80s. But besides "Love Hurts," Hair of the Dog is a red-blooded hard rock set, as evidenced by songs such as the title track, "Miss Misery," "Changin' Times," and "Beggars Day."
TITLEThe album title is often considered to be a shortened form of the phrase describing a folk hangover cure, "the hair of the dog that bit you". However, according to Dan McCafferty, the title is a play on "heir of the dog", ie. a "son of a **+@!". This was the title the band had intended for the album, but the label did not approve and had the name changed, although nearly a thousand album covers were printed. The original "Heir of the Dog" album covers are very rare and worth a small fortune to collectors.
REVIEWby Donald A. Guarisco, allmusicAfter slowly but surely building a fanbase around the world with albums like Razamanaz and Loud 'N' Proud, Nazareth finally hit the big time in 1975 with Hair of the Dog. The title track sets the mood for this stark album of hard rock with its combination of relentless guitar riffs, a throbbing, cowbell-driven beat, and an angry vocal from Dan McCafferty that denounces a "heart-breaker, soul-shaker." The end result is a memorably ferocious rocker that has become a staple of hard rock radio stations. The remainder of the album divides its time between similarly pulverizing hard rock fare and some intriguing experiments with the group's sound. In the rocker category, notable tracks include "Miss Misery," a bad romance lament driven by a doomy riff worthy of Black Sabbath, and "Changin' Times," a throbbing hard rock tune driven by a hypnotic, circular-sounding guitar riff. In the experimental category, the big highlight is "Please Don't Judas Me," an epic tune about paranoia that trades heavy metal riffs for a spooky, synthesizer-dominated atmosphere that is further enhanced by some light, Pink Floyd-styled slide guitar work. The American edition of this album also included a surprise hit for the group with their power ballad reinterpretation of the Everly Brothers classic "Love Hurts." However, the album's surprise highlight is a song that bridges the gap between the straight hard rock and experimental songs, "Beggars Day/Rose in Heather"; it starts out as a stomping rocker but smoothly transforms itself midway through into a gentle and spacey instrumental where soaring synthesizer lines support some moody guitar work. All in all, Hair of the Dog is the finest album in the Nazareth catalog. It is a necessity for both the group's fans and anyone who loves 1970s hard rock.
TRACKSAll lyrics written by Manny Charlton, Dan McCafferty, Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet except indicated.Side one1. "Hair of the Dog" - 4:092. "Miss Misery" - 4:403. "Love Hurts” - 3:524. "Changin' Times" 6:03
Side two1. "Beggars Day” (Nils Lofgren) - 3:452. “Rose In The Heather" - 2:453. "Whiskey Drinkin' Woman" - 5:294. "Please Don't Judas Me" - 9:48
Bonus tracks from CDs:"Guilty" (Randy Newman) - 3:38"Down" - 3:55"Railroad Boy" - 4:07"Go Down Fighting" (US version) - 3:05"Hair Of The Dog" (single edit) - 3:21"Holy Roller" (extended alternate mix) 4:16"Love Hurts" (single) "My White Bicycle""Holy Roller" (single) "Railroad Boy" (b-side of Holy Roller) "Hair Of The Dog" (BBC live recording) "Holy Roller" (BBC live recording) "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" (BBC live recording) "This Flight Tonight" (BBC live recording) "Road Ladies" (BBC live recording)
Apr 4 17 3:11 AM
ON THIS DATE (45 YEARS AGO)March 31, 1972 – Deep Purple: Machine Head is released.# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 5/5 (MUST-HAVE!)# Allmusic 5/5# Rolling Stone (see original review below)
Machine Head is the sixth studio album by Deep Purple, released on March 31, 1972. It reached #1 on the UK Albums chart, and #7 on The Billboard 200 Top LP's chart. The legendary single, "Smoke on the Water", also charted in the UK (#21) and on the Billboard Hot 100 (#4).
A probable contender for one of hard rock's "all-time most influential albums," Deep Purple's Machine Head has all the markings of a heavy classic. It was here that the band's combination of amped-up blues, progressive instrumental prowess, screaming guitars, and thunderous rhythms was crystallized for the ages, helping to lay the foundation for hard rock and heavy metal throughout the '70s, '80s, and '90s. The lone presence of "Smoke on the Water" immediately elevates the album to essential status. The song became a long-running radio staple, and boasts one of the most instantly recognizable guitar riffs in rock history. Yet the rest of the album holds up impressively, from the adrenaline-soaked opener "Highway Star," in which organist Jon Lord and guitarist Richie Blackmore trade off dazzling solos, to the churning "Space Truckin'," another riff-driven rocker. Vocalist Ian Gillian, whose dramatic, soaring tenor set the mold for many heavy metal singers to follow, is in fine form here, as are the pyrotechnics of Blackmore and Lord. Everything from the title to the warped group photo on the album cover indicates that Machine Head will be an exercise in unabashed, brain-melting rock, and that is exactly what it delivers. It still stands in the pantheon of seminal hard rock records.
Deep Purple initially planned to record Machine Head in December 1971, at Montreux Casino in Switzerland. A mobile recording studio used by the Rolling Stones had been booked and hotel reservations made, but lead singer Ian Gillan contracted hepatitis. Cancelling a forthcoming tour of America, the band placed all their plans on hold, and Gillan was advised by his doctor to spend the next few months recuperating. Nevertheless, enthused by the new project, the band travelled to Switzerland to begin recording.The Casino was a large arena built in a complex of casinos, restaurants and other entertainment facilities. The band had performed there in May 1971 and enjoyed both the location and its owner, Claude Nobs. Amongst others, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath had all performed there. The Casino closed for refurbishments each winter, and so the band arrived there on 3 December. One last concert date remained, following which they were to have the location to themselves.
Frank Zappa's 4 December concert at the Casino was made infamous when a member of the audience fired a flare into the building's roof. Although there were no fatalities, the resultant fire ruined Deep Purple's plans. Nobs relocated the band to a nearby theatre called the Pavilion, where they recorded a riff by Ritchie Blackmore provisionally titled "Title No. 1." Bass player Roger Glover named it "Smoke on the Water", initially as a good name for a drug song, but several days later he and Gillan decided instead to use it to describe the band's experience watching the burning down of Montreux Casino. A photograph of the burning Montreux Casino would ultimately be included in the gatefold of Machine Head's album cover.
Ritchie Blackmore:"We had the Rolling Stones' mobile recording unit sitting outside in the snow, but to get there we had to run cable through two doors in the corridor into a room, through a bathroom and into another room, from which it went across a bed and out the veranda window, then ran along the balcony for about 100 feet and came back in through another bedroom window. It then went through that room's bathroom and into another corridor, then all the way down a marble staircase to the foyer reception area of the hotel, out the front door, across the courtyard and up the steps into the back of the mobile unit. I think that setup led to capturing some spontaneity, because once we got to the truck for a playback, even if we didn’t think it was a perfect take, we’d go, 'Yeah, that’s good enough.' Because we just couldn’t stand going back again."
Roger Glover on the 25th Anniversary release:"May 1997. I am in the studio with Peter Denenberg listening to the original 16 track masters of Machine Head. It's been 25 years since I've heard them. What an experience. I am intrigued to hear exactly what we all played, the details over the years being lost. I am like a kid, excited at hearing the bare bones of one of the most important periods of my life. It all seems so simple and straightforward compared to what can be done now. On the other hand its simplicity is its strength; the ideas are bold, the playing full of energy and to the point. Someone observes that it sounds fresh. That's because it was. it is. It's honest, a band playing together, not just making a record but actually playing together, each one getting off on the others' performance.
“What happened in that cold hotel corridor in 1971 shaped our lives and it is an honour and a joy to give them a second look in the harsher light of the nineties. Innocence doesn't always die, sometimes it lives forever."Roger Glover, a fan - May 1997
ORIGINAL ROLLING STONE REVIEWI just don't understand, as Ann-Margaret once sang, why an exciting band like Deep Purple, who consistently hit the top of the charts in Merrie Olde and have taken Europe by storm, remain a comparatively unknown quantity to American audiences. Especially when said audiences have wholeheartedly embraced bands with similar musical aims and not one more ampere of excitement.
It's a shame, but Deep Purple themselves are at least partially to blame. Their first two American albums on Tetragammaton were mostly uninspired, despite some good cover versions of songs like "I'm So Glad" and "Hush." The basic problem seemed to be that the group hadn't really learned to write yet, so the covers were the best way to grow without losing the audience. Except that no self-respecting late-Sixties rock band wants to put out an album with nothing but covers on it, so we were left with a bunch of boring originals, half of them instrumental. When, that is, they weren't indulging in long "improvisational" forays such as their first album's bolero rendition of "Hey Joe." Jon Lord was the main culprit here, having a background of extensive formal keyboard training which tended to make his solos at least a bit Emersonic and at most positively pompous. The pretentious side of Deep Purple found its fullest expression in their first album for Warner's, Concerto For Group and Orchestra, written by Lord land performed with the aid of Malcolm Arnold and the "Royal Philharmonic Orchestra."
It was an atrocity. A "movement" would begin with a few minutes of "symphonic" mush, then abruptly the orchestra would stop and the band wold start to play, build until you thought they were just about to really start cooking, and then -- whoosh -- drowned in string sections again. A recent Lord-Arnold collaboration on Capitol called Gemini Suite was just more of the same miscegenation.Fortunately, the band has seemingly realized that that sort of thing can get out of hand, because their last three albums have finally found a comfortably furious groove for them to work in, making them prime contenders among the most searingly loud and heavy bands on both sides of the Atlantic. Deep Purple in Rock was a dynamic, frenzied piece of work sounding not a little like the MC5 (anybody who thinks that all heavy bands put out thudding slabs of "downer" music just hasn't gotten into Deep Purple). Fireball was more of the same, if not quite as frantically effective. Machine Head bears strong similarities to both its immediate predecessors, lying qualitatively somewhere in between the two.
And like both of them, though it delivers the Sound, the rushing, grating crunch of the hard attack, it has its ups and downs compositionally. "Highway Star" is a great opening track, quite similar both structurally and thematically to "Speed King" and "Fireball," the openers of the two previous albums. The pace is blistering, almost too fast for comfort, with lyrics that take the primeval car-girl equation and turn it into something as breathtakingly homicidal as Alice Cooper's "Under My Wheels": "Nobody's gonna take my car/I'm gonna race it to the ground/Nobody gonna beat my car/It's gonna break the speed of sound/Oooh it's a killing machine/It's got everything..."
"Space Truckin'" is just as good, a sci-fi boogie that's the perfect answer to all the Kantnerian pomposities and turns out to be the missing link between them and things like Wild Man Fischer's "Rocket Rock" (lyrically) and the Doors' "Hello I Love You" (musically). Once again the lyrics are ace, and never let it be said that Deep Purple don't have a sense of humor: "We had a lot of luck on Venus/We always have a ball on Mars / Meeting all the groovy people... We'd move to the Canaveral moonstop/And everynaut would dance and sway / We got music in our solar system/We're space truckin' round the stars."
In between those two Deep Purple classics lies nothing but good, hard, socking music, although some of the lyrics may leave a bit to be desired. It says on the liner that "This album was written and recorded in Montreux, Switzerland, between 6th and 21st December, 1971," and much of it sounds like it was conceived on the fly, what with deathless lines like "You're lazy you just stay in bed/You don't want no money/You don't want no bread." There's even trials getting Machine Head recorded: it seemed that some local arsonist burned down the best recording studio in town but luckily the Rolling Stones' mobile unit was on hand to get the new D. Purple out on schedule.
Frankly, I am not offended at all by the offhand nature of those songs. Rather than either condemn or apologize for their triteness, I will merely refer you to the current issue of Who Put the Bomp magazine, where Mark Shipper makes not of the fact that Sky Saxon wrote "Pushin' Too Hard" for the Seeds in ten minutes while waiting for his girl to get out of a supermarket -- and comments that he'd rather not publish a review of any album that contains a song that took longer than ten minutes to write.
Now, I can't be that much of a purist, because I'm sure that "Highway Star" and "Space Truckin'" took at least 20 minutes to compose, but I do know that this very banality is half the fun of rock'n'roll. And I am confident that I will love the next five Deep Purple albums madly so long as they sound exactly like these last three.~ Lester Bangs (May 25, 1972)
TRACKS:All songs written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.Side one1. "Highway Star" - 6:052. "Maybe I'm a Leo" - 4:513. "Pictures of Home" - 5:034. "Never Before" - 3:56
Side two1. "Smoke on the Water" - 5:402. "Lazy" - 7:193. "Space Truckin'" - 4:31
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We have just learned that John Warren Geils, better known as J. Geils, founder of the J. Geils Band has passed away. He was 71 years old.
Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.
RIP John. Thanks for the music.
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