June 30, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 70: Nazareth ~ Exercises

In addition to my vinyl LP record collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes as well. This is an entry about one of them that was for sale on eBay (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.

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reel-to-reel tape
design by CCS Associates
photo by Styrous®

The group was originally called, The Shadettes, but in 1968, the band changed their name to Nazareth, inspired by the opening lyric from The Weight, a song by The Band

Exercises is the second studio album by the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth, released in 1972. Although their music is most accurately described as "blues-tinged hardrock", this album is quite far from the band's more standard fare, featuring a number of acoustic arrangements, several songs with orchestral strings, and traditional Scottish airs. The album's 1692 (Glen Coe Massacre) is about a real incident in Scottish history, namely, the massacre of Glencoe. The album is also significant for its Roy Thomas Baker production, only his third project, and well before his breakthrough works with Queen in the mid-seventies, and its oddly 'new wave' cover-art (designed by CCS Associates). An early version of their Razamanaz song, Woke Up This Morning, also makes an appearance on Side 1.

reel-to-reel tape box back
design by CCS Associates
photo by Styrous®

Pete Agnew, bass and acoustic guitar, is one of the original founders of Nazareth, and the sole remaining original member of the band.

William Daniel "Dan" McCafferty, born on October 14, 1946, in Dunfermline, Scotland, was the lead singer for Nazareth from its founding in 1968 to his retirement from touring with the band in 2013.

reel-to-reel tape back detail
design by CCS Associates
detail photo by Styrous®

Darrell Antony Sweet, born on May 16, 1947, was the drummer for the Scottish hard rock band, Nazareth. He was a co-founder of Nazareth, which was formed in 1968. Sweet was born in Bournemouth, England. His early years were spent playing with The Burntisland Pipe band, also a member of the Shadettes. Sweet was a founding member of Nazareth playing drums from 1969 until his death on April 30, 1999. Sweet died of a heart attack as the band prepared to set out on the second leg of its U.S. tour in support of their latest album, Boogaloo. The band had arrived at Indiana's New Albany Amphitheater when the 51-year-old Sweet began to feel ill. Within minutes he had gone into cardiac arrest. He was taken to Floyd Memorial Hospital in New Albany, where doctors pronounced him dead. He played drums on Nazareth's first 20 albums.

Lee Agnew was born on January 13, 1971, in Dunfermline, Scotland. He is the son of Pete Agnew. Lee Agnew worked as a drum technician, drummer and percussionist for Nazareth, and when Darrell Sweet died in 1999, he became the permanent drummer of the band.

reel-to-reel tape back detail
design by CCS Associates
detail photo by Styrous®

The music

I Will Not Be Led has an orchestral backup with a nice, bouncy beat with some pretty dramatic vocal moments by Pete Agnew.

Cat's Eye, Apple Pie is a down-home kinda song with some cool harmonica work by Jedd Lander that laments the loss of  a love but it doesn't sound like he's really all that broke up about it.

In My Time is a slow rock-waltz that glides nicely along reminiscing about the people in the singer's life and pondering about growing old. A mellow and beautiful song.

Woke Up This Morning has a fantastic steel guitar intro that leads into a moderate-speed hard rocker of a song that is perfect for dancing. The lyrics are hysterical; Agnew sings about his dog getting shot in the head, his cat is dying, his hog was stolen and the house burnt down but he's not the least bit perturbed. A GREAT dance song and a total riot!

reel-to-reel tape
photo by Styrous®

Fool About You is a happy kind of song. It has a nice chorus back up and again, some good harmonica work.

Love Now You're Gone is a slow, I guess you could call it a dirge lamenting the loss of the loved one. The bass synthesizer by David Hentschel is a nice touch to the song.

Madelaine is a very slow melody that is dreamy and really beautiful with a really nice echo to the guitar that is quite lovely. A great love song in the tradition, hard rock style.

Sad Song has some really nice orchestral back up, string arrangements by Colin Fretcher, that is a quite nice accompaniment; it is slow, dreamy and beautiful. 

reel-to-reel tape detail
detail photo by Styrous®

1692 (Glencoe Massacre) has to be the gem of this album. It is the tale of an historical event that happened in Scotland. There is some really nice bagpipe work by Jedd Lander here. A very dramatic piece that fades out to a slow, funereal  snare drum.  

Early in the morning of February 13, 1692, in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution and the Jacobite uprising of 1689 led by John Graham of Claverhouse, a massacre took place in Glen Coe, in the Highlands of Scotland. This incident is referred to as the Massacre of Glencoe, or in Scottish Gaelic Mort Ghlinne Comhann (murder of Glen Coe). The massacre began simultaneously in three settlements along the glen—Invercoe, Inverrigan, and Achnacon—although the killing took place all over the glen as fleeing MacDonalds were pursued. Thirty-eight MacDonalds from the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed by the guests who had accepted their hospitality, on the grounds that the MacDonalds had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs, William and Mary. Another forty women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned. It is astounding and sad what man can do to each another.

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Track listing

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

No.     Title     Length    

Side 1:

1 - I Will Not Be Led - 3:03
2 - Cat's Eye, Apple Pie - 3:04
3 - In My Time - 3:28
4 - Woke Up This Morning - 3:09
5 - Called Her Name - 4:32

Side 2:

1 - Fool About You - 2:47
2 - Love Now You're Gone - 2:25
3 - Madelaine - 5:54
4 - Sad Song - 2:13
5 - 1692 (Glencoe Massacre) - 3:59


Nazareth Band members

Additional musicians

Other credits

  • Robert M. Corich - liner notes, remastering
  • Laura Vallis - design
  • Mike Brown - remastering
  • Roy Thomas Baker - producer

Nazareth ~ Exercises reel-to-reel tape is for sale on eBay 

reel-to-reel tapes on eBay

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