Saturday, April 4, 2015

hair of the dog

 Nazareth took a lot of pain to pay their dues and took a bite out of the charts with undisguised innuendos of this hard rock harbinger.   The group formed in 1968 in Dunfermline, Scotland, taking their name from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, mentioned in the opening line of the song "The Weight"  by The Band.   Lead singer Dan McCafferty relates:  "‘I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead’ …yup, that’s where it comes from. We were sitting around in the place we used to rehearse in when we first got together and we couldn’t agree on a name, there must have been four hundred different names. We were listening to “The Weight” when it first came out and Pete Agnew our bass player said what about Nazareth …and that was it, we all agreed on that one. So any rumors that God came down and spoke to me about it would be a lie … ‘You will call your band NAZARETH!’”

They relocated to London and released their eponymous debut album in 1971 and then Exercises in 1972, leading to a tour with Deep Purple.   Roger Glover produced their next three albums; Razamanaz and Loud 'N' Proud in 1973, and Rampant, in 1974; but for their sixth album guitarist Manny Charlton took the helm.    McCafferty says: “We all wanted to have a change and Roger’s attitude was, yea, I can take that. We had done three together. The albums we did with him were all good and opened up a lot of doors.”

'Hair of the Dog' was recorded at Escape Studios in Kent and AIR Studios in London and features Dan McCafferty on lead vocals and talk box;   Manny Charlton on guitar and synthesizer;   Pete Agnew on bass and backing vocals;   and  Darrell Sweet on drums and backing vocals;   with  Max Middleton playing piano on "Guilty";  Simon Phillips adding tabla on "Please Don't Judas Me";  Vicki Brown, Liza Strike, and Barry St. John contributing backing vocals on "Guilty";  and Vicky Silva providing backing vocals on "Please Don't Judas Me".     McCafferty muses: “We wanted to call it ‘Son of A Bitch’ and A&M Records who we were with at the time said, oh no, you can’t do that, they won’t sell it. We said why won’t they sell it? We weren’t American so you see we didn’t know. It was Jerry Morris, God love him, who told us that it was a cussword here in America. So then we called it ‘Heir of the Dog’ which is ‘Son of A Bitch’ anyway, but the title eventually became ‘Hair of the Dog’ on the album. It was a good record for us and a good record anyway...(Laughing) it was never called ‘Heir of the Dog’ anywhere and never released under a different title, always ‘Hair of the Dog,’ but I guess it gives it some mystery.”

'Hair of the Dog' hit number twenty in Canada and seventeen in the US.    Charleton looks back:  "What that album did was set the band up for American success forever…Looking back I’m still trying to understand why it was so successful! I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all about the attitude of the songs, performances and the rawness of the production. This was the first album that I produced for the band ….beginner’s luck you might say?"

Written by Boudleaux Bryant, Nazareth's version of "Love Hurts" became a worldwide sensation, going to number thirty in Germany, fifteen in the UK, eight in Australia and the US, and number one in Canada and South Africa.    Pete Agnew reveals:   ""Love Hurts" is on "Hair Of The Dog", which is the big hit in America. That's the only album it's on, on the American copy of "Hair Of The Dog". All over the world on "Hair Of The Dog", the song that's on there instead of "Love Hurts" is "Guilty", the one written by Randy Newman. We did "Love Hurts" as a "B" side for a single. Every time you're in a studio and you finish your recording on an album, you could do a couple of "B" sides. You didn't want to release two singles of your album on a single. You're cutting an album down. So, you'd always take a track off an album and stick it on one of the "B" sides you'd recorded in the studio. We recorded that as a "B" side. We never intended that to be a single. It's when we brought the album over to Jerry Moss at A&M records. Jerry heard "Love Hurts" first and said "I'd like to take "Guilty" off that album and put that on." Thank God for Jerry Moss! That was the one that broke it in America for us. With "Love Hurts" back in Europe on "Razamanaz", "Loud And Proud" and "Rampant", these albums eventually became big after "Hair Of The Dog" was big in America. People went back to look at these albums. That's when it happened for us in the States. The only other albums you see "Love Hurts" on is like greatest hits compilation type things. But, it was never on any other album except the American copy of "Hair Of The Dog"...We all loved the song. We had a massive hit up in Canada and all over the world, except America with Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight", the version we did of it. It was number one in Canada. It was number one all over Europe. For a couple of months it was number one in Germany, Denmark, Holland. For some reason or another, America just did not take to it. We couldn't get it off the ground there. We often covered songs that we liked that we used to listen to on tape when we were a full-time professional band. And every now and then, we'd just go back and try to do something with one of these things. If you could change it and make it yours, we'd do it in the studio and see if we could do something about it. When we did, "Love Hurts", I believe there were 42 different versions recorded of it. Everyone from the Everlys to...and the one we used to listen to was Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, off the "Grievous Angel" album. We used to have that in our van. We used to listen to "Love Hurts". We loved the song. So, we always intended to do it. As I said, we would only do 'em if we could change 'em radically, to make 'em sound as if it's your song. We recorded "Love Hurts" as a B-side and that's how we saw it. Of course, when I hear it now, it's probably one of the best Rock ballads of all time and definitely the vocal is in the top three...Just physically painful, the actual range of the song. There's a story behind that. Dan and I went to this wedding. We were recording down in England and we came up to Scotland to a wedding of a friend of ours. We left the drummer and the guitar player in the studio. They decided they would start the backing tracks of "Love Hurts". So, when we came down the next day, they recorded it and recorded it in exactly the same key as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Of course in the octave they were singing, it's too low, far too low. Then you have to take that up an octave. So that's how it ended up being sung in that key. If we had been in the studio when they did that, it probably would never have been a hit 'cause we would have never have done it in that key." 

McCafferty considers:   "It’s an emotional song and is considered one of the first rock ballads, which I’m sure helped it get radio play at the time."

Love hurts, 
Love scars, 
Love wounds and marks
Any heart not tough or strong enough
To take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain
Love is like a cloud, it holds a lot of rain
Love hurts, 
Ooo-oo love hurts

I'm young, 
I know, 
But even so
I know a thing or two, I learned from you
I really learned a lot, really learned a lot
Love is like a flame It burns you when it's hot
Love hurts, 
Ooo-oo love hurts

Some fools think 
Of happiness, blissfulness, togetherness
Some fools fool themselves, I guess
They're not foolin' me
I know it isn't true I know it isn't true
Love is just a lie made to make you blue
Love hurts, 
Ooo-oo love hurts

I know it isn't true 
I know it isn't true
Love is just a lie made to make you blue
Love hurts, 
Ooo-oo love hurts
Ooo-oo, love hurts, Ooo-oo

'Hair of the Dog' 
full album:

All lyrics written by Manny Charlton, Dan McCafferty, Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet unless otherwise noted.

00:00 "Hair of the Dog"     4:11
04:11 "Miss Misery"     4:40
08:53 "Guilty" Randy Newman 3:38
12:33 "Changin' Times"     6:03
18:35 "Beggars Day"  Nils Lofgren
22:22 "Rose in the Heather"                      6:31
25:05 "Whiskey Drinkin' Woman"     5:29
30:36 "Please Don't Judas Me"     9:48
40:24 "Love Hurts" Boudleaux Bryant 3:53

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