More Nazz

I’ve posted a Nazz song or two here and there. Was about to blargh more substantially about them, then I ran across this video, a decent overview. First I’ve heard of this YouTuber, but apparently he does a lot of these on various bands.

Not Wrong Long always reminds me of Hot Burrito #2. Both released the same year, ’68. Coincidence? Who knows? Who cares?

Pedantic correction: Nazz Nazz came out in ’69.

Rhino released a cool red vinyl Nazz Nazz some years ago (seen on the turntable in video). Not hard to find.

6 Replies to “More Nazz”

  1. I found a nice Rhino reissue of their first LP at a record fair this weekend. I have to say I never listened to them much, but have always been a closet TR fan, and may like this more than any of his other stuff.

    I like that they got discovered chatting up Roger after a Who show.

    Leroy boy, is that you…?

    1. I’ve got that Rhino reissue too. Album is all over the place: Who, Cream, Yardbirds, some pop. Second album is probably stronger overall, but it doesn’t have a song as good as “Open My Eyes.”

      TR carried on the scattersot nature of Nazz. He bounced between power pop, Laura Nyro-style soft R&B pop, and prog. He invented American power pop, and continued playing it live after he’d gone full-on prog on his albums. First time I ever heard The Move’s “Do Ya” was Todd playing it live during his Utopia prog phase.

      As for his soft R&B mega-hits (which I love), he sounded to many like a male Carol King. In truth, both he and Carol King had independently decided that they wanted to sound like Laura Nyro. Both cashed in more than did Laura herself. Not that they were clones: Carol had been writing hits for years, and Todd had already written his best Nazz song. But they borrowed Laura’s vibe.

  2. This ties so many things together for me. With references to the Cowsills, Blue Cheer, Paul Revere & the Raiders – very in tune with the overall blogtone cultivated here. Also latter-day Rundgren reminds me a bit of Anton from Brian Jonestown Massacre (see below).

    I never knew what Bowie meant with “he was the Nazz / with God-given ass” and hadn’t bothered to find out. Other than the brief mention of the Yardbirds song, it still wasn’t really explained above. My half-assed research traced “da nazz” to a Small Faces song and then to Lord Buckley – an American comedian who was a proto-beatnik and referred to Jesus of Nazareth in a bit as “The Nazz.”
    The meaning evolved into representing a magnetic, spiritually awesome being.

    **giant hook appears from offstage to pull me off pedant’s lectern**

    The perfect topper for me would have been the Nazz meeting up with Odessey&Oracle-era Zombies, but I guess we can thank England’s strict work visa (?) regulations for quashing that.

    1. Thanks for the Nazz etymology. I always just assumed that if you were “the Nazz,” you were something great. But wasn’t sure just how to take “God-given ass,” since technically that would be true of anyone. Things like this make me glad I’ve always been a music rather than lyrics guy. They can drive you nuts if you think about them too much. Generally I don’t even notice them unless they’re especially good, bad, or strange. Like the line under discussion, or “you’re squawking like a pink monkey-bird.”

      The video should have mentioned Roy Wood and the Move (maybe it did and I forgot?). They were the English equivalent of TR and the Nazz, playing power pop after after everyone else had veered off into guitar jams. They might have been the only two bands who emerged in the late sixties mostly on power pop. Both were also prog pioneers. They even covered each other live, The Move doing “Open My Eyes” and Todd playing “Do Ya.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *