Manny Charlton obituary

Hair of the Canine was the 1975 album that put the Scottish rock band Nazareth into the massive league, and it was their first to be produced by the band’s guitarist and arranger Manny Charlton, who has died aged 80. It gave them a High 20 hit on the US album charts and a High 10 US single with their model of the Everly Brothers’ Love Hurts.

However Hair of the Canine additionally proved to be a distinct type of landmark for Charlton. When, within the late Eighties, the then little-known band Weapons N’ Roses had been engaged on materials for what would grow to be their debut album, Urge for food for Destruction, their vocalist, Axl Rose, instructed their file label, Geffen, to “get me the man who produced Nazareth’s Hair of the Dog”. The title music, with its fats, swaggering beat and raucous refrain of “now you’re messin’ with a son of a bitch”, was one in every of Axl’s all-time favourites.

On the time Charlton was engaged on Nazareth’s 1986 album, Cinema, however regardless of the poor high quality of the stay tapes Weapons N’ Roses had despatched him he agreed to fly to California to satisfy them. “If we preferred one another, and I preferred their music, it was potential that I’d produce for them,” he recalled. He did like them, they usually obtained on effectively sufficient to make demo recordings of 25 songs, together with the standout tracks Paradise Metropolis and Welcome to the Jungle. However manufacturing duties with Nazareth meant Charlton needed to fly again to Europe, and Urge for food for Destruction ended up being produced by Mike Clink. It has now offered greater than 30m copies.

“They had been only a bunch of younger guys dwelling their rock’n’roll goals and having the time of their lives,” Charlton mirrored. “I by no means foresaw that they might grow to be one of many largest bands in rock historical past.” He was by no means paid for his work on the demos, however they had been included on a reissue of Urge for food for Destruction in 2018, whereas Weapons N’ Roses’s 1993 album of canopy variations, The Spaghetti Incident?, included their model of Hair of the Canine.

Charlton was born within the Andalusian metropolis of Línea de la Concepción in Spain, to the place his Scottish mom and father had emigrated within the late Thirties. Throughout the second phrase warfare, when he was two, his dad and mom returned to their dwelling city of Dunfermline.

As a teen he was impressed by the sounds of early rock’n’roll, which led him to study the guitar earlier than busking on the Dunfermline streets after which taking part in with quite a lot of native teams. He met future Nazareth bandmates Dan McCafferty (vocals) and Pete Agnew (bass) whereas taking part in in the home band on the Kinema ballroom, and the three of them fashioned the Shadettes with drummer Darrell Sweet.

The classic Nazareth line-up, in 1976, from left to right: Darrell Sweet, Dan McCafferty, Manny Charlton and Pete Agnew.
The traditional Nazareth line-up, in 1976, from left to proper: Darrell Candy, Dan McCafferty, Manny Charlton and Pete Agnew. {Photograph}: Andre Csillag/Shutterstock

The Shadettes wore matching yellow fits and performed cowl variations of High 30 hits, however all that modified in 1968 after they altered their title to Nazareth (impressed by The Band’s music The Weight, whose opening line is “I pulled into Nazareth, I used to be feelin’ about half previous lifeless”). With steering from their supervisor, Invoice Fehilly, a Scottish bingo-halls entrepreneur who additionally went on to take care of the affairs of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, they moved to London in 1970 and launched their debut album, Nazareth, the next 12 months.

Neither that file, nor its follow-up, Workouts (1972), made a lot of an impression, however the tide started to show with Razamanaz (1973), produced by Roger Glover of Deep Purple, with whom Nazareth had been touring. By now the hard-hitting however melodic Nazareth sound was turning into discernible, and the album reached No 11 on the UK album chart, whereas spinning off the High 10 UK hit singles Broken Down Angel and Bad Bad Boy. Loud’n’Proud (1973) did one higher on the UK album charts by reaching No 10, and their rocked-up model of Joni Mitchell’s This Flight Tonight was a No 11 single.

The band’s prospects seemed promising, and it was with their their sixth album, Hair of the Canine, that main worldwide stardom beckoned. It was recorded in 9 days at Escape Studios, a transformed oast home in Kent, and in addition to the title observe, featured a few of the band’s most enduring songs. Imaginative cowl variations had been a Nazareth trademark, together with Tomorrow’s 1967 psychedelic nugget My White Bicycle, a No 14 hit. There they delivered a strikingly delicate remedy of Randy Newman’s bar-room ballad Guilty whereas making Nils Lofgren’s Beggars Day sound apocalyptic. The US model of Hair of the Canine contained the band’s grand and dramatic model of Love Hurts, an early specimen of the “energy ballad” style organized by Charlton and sung with heartrending depth by McCafferty. It gave them a High 10 hit within the US and charted world wide, serving to the album to promote greater than 2m copies internationally.

Nazareth peforming Hair of the Canine stay in 1977.

Hair of the Canine proved to be the platform for a string of profitable albums, together with the US High 30 album Shut Sufficient for Rock’n’Roll (1976), although the magic was waning by the point they launched 2XS in 1982, which was their final album to achieve Billboard’s High 200 album listings. Charlton’s final album with Nazareth was their seventeenth, Snakes n’Ladders (1989), after which he give up. “There have been simply too many private issues within the band throughout that point,” he mirrored. “We should always by no means have been within the studio at that time and I’ll take my share of the blame for all of the bullshit that went down.”

In 1998 he moved to Texas, the place he fashioned the Manny Charlton Band, with whom he recorded a few albums. He additionally made a string of solo albums, from Drool in 1999 to Solo in 2016. The compilation Creme de la Creme – A Finest Of was launched in 2018. In 2021 he celebrated his eightieth birthday by recording a brand new model of Nazareth’s 1976 music Telegram, a saga of the lifetime of a touring rock musician.

He’s survived by his daughter, Vicki. He was divorced from his spouse Isabel.

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