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Thanks for the kind words and I’m glad you enjoy the website.
Manny should always be considered No.1 guitarist in Nazareth, no debating necessary but with Zal joining I personally think they missed a trick by under-using his main attribute: His amazing soloing ability.
Every time I shared guitar duties with him (Live or in the studio) there was no doubt I was in superior company but here’s the thing: Zal is a Guitarists Guitarist. For example, like me, Manny frequently spoke highly of him and how in awe he was of his playing. Even Steve Cropper interrupted their recording of “Holiday” during Zals solo to enquire “Who the hell is playing that?” so why didn’t he get more solo parts with Nazareth?
I suppose I’m not best qualified to answer that but suffice to say when I joined, I found myself in a similar position but without Zals formidable talents as a one-off soloist.
Maybe Manny felt intimidated by Zal or perhaps, and this is only my opinion, Manny was the best guitarist for Nazareth, end of story.
Your next point regarding producers and record company influence on them, I don’t think the band ever heeded any recommendations put forward on this but regarding writing singles, that’s a definite yes.
Darrell and I wrote “Where Are You Now” because Phonogram asked for a follow up ballad to “Dream On” which it clearly wasn’t but here’s an interesting fact I’ll leave you with which Barry brought to my attention.
“Dream On” is probably the best known song by Nazareth in Europe but “Where Are You Now” overtakes it by being the 4th most popular Naz song on Spotify with over 10 million streams worldwide.
It’s a funny old game, this Rock and Roll business.
Take care and stay safe.