It’s impossible to say which is Nazareth’s best release – they’re all so good – but Close Enough for Rock and Roll has a special place for me because it’s THE album that got me into this truly great band. Not as heavy as their best seller Hair of the Dog, it still packs an intensity that is painfully absent from so much rock music. If you listen to the seconds long samples of music offered here you will probably hear something akin to the standard blues influenced hard rock of the 70’s, which is how Nazareth is often characterized. Listening to the whole thing from beginning to end will give you a different impression. You will hear an acoustic guitar solo (Vicki), a unique reggae influenced number (Carry Out Feelings)and a sort of mini rock opera (Telegram ,which is sort of a strange one) This variety is all unified by a consistent style – yes, I suppose it’s fair to call it a blues influenced 70’s hard rock thing – and made outstanding by great musicianship, meaningful and sincere lyrics and a powerful sound, both on the emotional and physical levels. Manny Charlton is an incredible guitarist, but never shows off. Lilke the rest of the band, what he plays is always in service to the song, and all the instruments come together to form Nazareth’s own chemistry. But still, his leads are mind blowing, and he accompanies himself on rhythm guitar as well or better than any of the other people the band has hired for this position over the years. After listening to Vancouver Shakedown you would think that these guys hated the place, but in fact they loved the city so much they actually lived there for a while. With romantic themes being so over-examined in rock, it’s surprising that what Nazareth has to say about the subject in such songs as Your the Violin comes across so well, and anyone with half an awareness of what goes on in life should be able to relate to Lift the Lid. Overall, every song has something important to say and says it well. Like all their albums, Close Enough for Rock and Roll has a subtlety that gradually works it’s way into your consciousness after repeat listenings. And repeat listenings are what it’s all about for me. I must have heard this one a thousand times and I still can’t get enough of it. That’s the best proof available of a disc worth owning.