genre: heavy psych
quality: lossless (flac, cue, log, covers)
time: 37'59" size: 247 mb
Fuzz Acid & Flowers:
Nazz were not really Todd Rundgren's first band, both he and Van Osten had earlier played with Woody's Truck Stop, who were basically a white blues band and went on to record an album in the early seventies.
Essentially a British-influenced mod band, the Philadelphia-based Nazz were quickly signed by Screen Gems Columbia who were looking for a replacement for The Monkees. 1968 saw the release of their debut album and a single Open My Eyes. Both were superb. The single was a high energy rocker with a compulsive beginning (which begged comparison to The Who's I Can't Explain), and beautifully blended harmonies. It received a lot of airplay in Britain, but inexplicably was not a hit. In the U.S. it was only a minor hit. It may well have been a much bigger hit, but many stations preferred to play its Rip side Hello It's Me, which was also a minor hit when re-issued as the 'A' side to Crowded in 1969.
The album was full of variety - aside from the stunning Open My Eyes, it contained a number of fine rock ballads such as See What You Can Be, Hello Its Me, and If That's The Way You Feel and other dynamic hard rock numbers such as Back Of Your Mind, When I Get My Plane and She's Goin' Down (the latter showing a distinct Hendrix influence). Despite its acclaim, in retrospect, as a superb album Nazz did not sell, either in the U.S. or the UK. Released at the height of the American West Coast's heyday, perhaps it cut across the general musical tide that year. However, it became a sought after collectors' item.
Nazz Nazz recorded in Los Angeles, was a more consistent album and arguably the band's best. It was originally planned as a double album, but relationships within the group, particularly between Rundgren and Mooney were beginning to deteriorate to such an extent that only a single album was possible. (Nazz III was later released after the band split and made up of left overs from the earlier recording sessions.) Opening track, Forget About It was a cohesive, melodic number. Not Wrong Long was the band's third U.S. single - the final one to be released in the UK. Under The Ice and Rain Rider were further examples of their heavier brand of rock. Gonna Cry Today and Letters Don't Count were melodic ballads, whilst Meridian Leeward was a rather strange number about a piloting human-eating pig. The final track, an eleven minute extravaganza entitled A Beautiful Song, married together all of The Nazz's musical styles as well as many of the influences on them. The album was not released in the UK, although all three Nazz albums were reissued by Rhino in 1983, making original SGC copies of this and the third (US only) album much sought-after by collectors.
Nazz III is not as good as the first two albums. It lacked the consistency of their second one, but had its moments. It contains quite a good version of Paul Revere's Kicks and a number of rock ballads, such as Only One Winner, Resolution, It's Not That Easy and You Are My Window, on which Todd sang vocals, but lacks any killer cuts. Indeed, the best of the harder rock numbers Christopher Columbus was written by Van Osten rather than Rundgren.
When Todd Rundgren left in 1970 he was replaced by Rick Nielson and Tom Petersson who were later both members of Cheap Trick.
The Nazz are certainly well worth listening to but their greatest significance is as an early musical songwriting venture for Todd Rundgren. Rhino have issued a Best Of Nazz compilation which is a good starting point for their material. Fans of the band will also be interested in the Sydney's Lunch Box 45, which contains two studio outtakes by the band, and the Nazz From Philadelphia retrospective, which compiles unreleased and alternate versions of Nazz classics. ~ (Vernon Joynson / Max Waller)
"Open My Eyes" (Rundgren) – 2:48
"Back of Your Mind" (Rundgren) – 3:48
"See What You Can Be" (Rundgren) – 3:00
"Hello It's Me" (Rundgren) – 3:57
"Wildwood Blues" (Mooney/Rundgren/Stewkey/Van Osten) – 4:39
"When I Get My Plane" (Rundgren) – 3:08
"Lemming Song" (Rundgren) – 4:26
"She's Goin' Down" (Rundgren) – 4:58
Todd Rundgren - Guitar, Vocals, String Arrangements, Mixing
Ken Perry - Remastering, Digital Remastering
Robert "Stewkey" Antoni - Keyboards, Vocals
Thom Mooney - Drums
Carson Van Osten - Bass, Vocals