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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Nazareth - 1981 The Fool Circle
Nazareth - 1981 The Fool Circle

ARTIST: Nazareth
ALBUM: The Fool Circle
SERIAL: NEL 6019, SP 4844
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 2002, Eagle, EAMCD137 * 2010, Salvo, SALVOCD044


LINEUP: Dan McCafferty - vocals * Manny Charlton - guitars * Pete Agnew - bass * Darrell Sweet - drums * Jon Locke - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Dressed To Kill * 02 Another Year * 03 Moonlight Eyes * 04 Pop The Silo * 05 Let Me Be Your Leader * 06 We Are The People * 07 Every Young Mans Dream * 08 Little Part Of You * 09 Cocaine (Live) * 10 Victoria


1981 saw Scottish rockers Nazareth enter a new phase in their career. After thirteen years in existence, the band were witness to many ups and downs that the rock industry throws at you. 'The Fool Circle' admittedly, isn't one of the band's more memorable efforts. After the Americanised sheen of 1980's 'Malice In Wonderland', this effort compares as slightly more whimsical and British (or should that be Scottish?). Ironically, this album has a Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter production, renowned for his time with the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, and was recorded at Montserrat in the Caribbean, far from the Motherland.

The Songs
The music is quite literally, a mixed bag. Some good, some not so good, or should I say, some not so captivating. The opener 'Dressed To Kill' is a spritely affair. Very barroom boogie oriented. Brave for an opening cut. 'Another Year' is a straight-ahead rock attempt characterised by Dan McCafferty's roughened vocal. 'Moonlight Eyes' is a nice ballad in the same mould as Frankie Miller or Joe Cerisano's Silver Condor. 'Let Me Be Your Leader' takes on a reggae twinge, interesting but not much else to be honest. 'Every Young Mans Dream' again is straight-ahead stuff similar to Canadian outfit Trooper while a tribute to J.J Cale is made with a live rendition of his staple 'Cocaine', sounding very unlike the original!

In Summary
Perhaps 'The Fool Circle' is an album best left to the Nazareth collectors and completists among you. Soon after this album we saw the addition of new blood in guitarist Billy Rankin. He joined the band on the 1981 Fool Circle Tour throughout the USA, and then appeared on the much better '2XS' album during 1982 and then on 1983's 'Sound Elixir'. The band moved ahead and took their career into a new transition period. At this point, Nazareth are still a going-concern, and still stand tall in the classic-rock circuit around the world.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on January 06 2013 20:19:11
I have always liked the album cover to this LP, although it's by far one of Nazareth's best musically.
The CD version of this is on my wants list this year as I aim to pick up the jewel case releases issued by Eagle in 2002 that I never got round to completing. Enjoyed my newly acquired 'Expect No Mercy' earlier today actually.
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