Jun 9, 2012

Nazareth - Classics Volume 16 (1987)

1. This Flight Tonight
2. Expect No Mercy
3. Love Hurts
4. Morning Dew
5. Carry Out Feelings
6. Hair of the Dog
7. Razamanaz
8. Love Leads to Madness
9. I Want to (Do Everything)
10. Holiday
11. Star
12. Dressed to Kill
13. Broken Down Angel
14. My White Bicycle
15. Heart's Grown Cold
16. Shanghai'd in Shanghai
17. Go Down Fighting

I could write about how for some reason critics hated Nazareth more than other hard rock bands in the 70s, or how Hair of the Dog is definitely worth checking out if you want a whole album and not just a best of (but starting here is a good idea), but I'm only really in it for This Flight Tonight

Nazareth famously covered songs by a wide range of artists (their best songs are Love Hurts and This Flight Tonight- that's The Everly Brothers and Joni Mitchell) and they were a pretty good band 'cause they rocked hard and lead singer Dan McCafferty had a raw ass voice which is real moving on Love Hurts in particular- way more moving than you'd expect from a Scottish hard rocker- but, again, it's This Flight Tonight which really gets me. Joni did what a folky does and wrote a sentimental song which because of the nature of the folky being um an artist or singer-songwriter, had listeners wondering WHO IS THIS ABOUT, JONI? WHAT BOOKS WERE YOU READING? WERE YOU ON DRUGS AND WHAT ONES? so it had to be auto-biographical- a song treated like a diary entry where the author's intention is the end of interpretation and universality and so on. It's a good song but that's what happens to folk. SO THEN NAZARETH COVER IT ON A SHITTY ALBUM. Shitty album? Yeah, that's why I got this compilation for you! NAZARETH COVER JONI? Yes!!!! Perhaps it's the fact that we know it's a cover, or perhaps it's just the heavy way Nazareth perform it, but the love song previously only related to our understanding of Joni begins to reach further- the regret she felt, the broken heart, the frustration of powers beyond her control restricting her and not letting her grab true love and never let it go------ all of it becomes the listener's  in the Nazareth version. Starting heavy (muted distortion) and dealing with the lyrical low-point (as it's meant to (forces beyond one's control stopping us achieving LOVE LOVE)), the song builds and builds with melodies and other sweet things (uh drums AND SWEET RIFFS) entering- not only do the feelings become OURS, but Nazareth have turned the melancholy into something heavy, so as the song ascends (and it does), the melancholy is buried and McCafferty makes sure that despite the regrets, he will not be defeated (AND NEITHER WILL WE). It's the same bittersweet mixture of triumph and defeat AND SO TRIUMPH AND NOT DEFEAT (bitch!) that makes The Pogues' Fairytale of New York so heartbreakingly exciting and moving every time you hear that

Oh yeah, and there's 16 other tracks too

This Flight Tonight A+++
Classics Volume B

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