Hair of the Dog

Hair of the Dog

Nazareth scorched American radio and arenas with their own Yankee-styled blooze and working-class boogie. It’s a safe bet that Guns N’ Roses wouldn’t have existed had Nazareth (and this 1975 album) never made it out of their Scottish homeland, so big a fan was Axl Rose. The Rose comparison is easy; just listen to Naz singer Dan McCafferty, whose earnest vocal shreds matched both the gnarly onslaught and (occasional) subtle gestures of the band’s guitars and songs. It was, in fact, one rather subtle gesture—the band’s cover of The Everly Brothers' tenderizing ballad “Love Hurts”—that made this band huge. Elsewhere, the title song’s Humble Pie–ish romp still stomps it out at rock radio, and “Miss Misery” nearly matches it in intensity. The dynamic “Please Don’t Judas Me” shows Pink Floyd action, and “Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman” is an amped-up folk tune with a surprising sardonic side (“Maybe if I tried some booze/I’d know what it’s about”). And you’ll swear you hear nodules form on McCafferty’s vocal cords during the band’s fist-foisting version of Nils Lofgren’s underrated “Beggar’s Day.”

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