One of the memorable pop events from 1968 remains the album debut of Philadelphia's power pop sensation, The NAZZ, Simply called NAZZ. The album was supported by the classic double-sided single release of "HELLO IT'S ME" and "OPEN MY EYES." these songs, as well as those from the entire catalog of NAZZ classics, sound as undated and cutting edge as they did when they were first released.
The band released three excellent albums and are considered rock classics by anyone's standards. Shindig magazine's readers voted NAZZ one of the top 100 cult bands. Both musically and fashion wise, NAZZ were light years ahead of most American bands from that period. Stewkey(leadsinger), ToddRundgren(lead guitar), Thom Mooney(drums) and Carson Van Osten(bass guitar) created something special in the city of brotherly love.
adequately prepare you for the sheer power, range, and adventure that this band possesses! Nazz, featuring original lead singer, Stewkey is not only capable of recreating searing letter-perfect 4-part harmony driven versions of Nazz classics, but the band actually has the collective creative smarts to bring the Nazz experience up to yet some other level.
NAZZ is daring enough to turn the Nazz legacy inside out whenever the muse strikes them; electric songs are done acoustically ("When I Get My Plane"), acoustic songs morph into epic atmospheric improvisational vehicles ("It's Not That Easy")...so you never quite know just how they'll approach your favorite Nazz song - and that, friends, is an essential part of the fun of hearing this vital new band!! Not surprisingly, this sense of adventure is what Nazz was all about in the first place...
Stewkey is clearly far too smart, far too creative, and has waited far too long to have merely assembled some sort of "Nazz-stalgia" act. Instead, surprising everyone, he has created a platform for ever-evolving creativity by assembling 5 ceaselessly creative individuals and allowing this creative "soup" to form its own identity. What's thrilling for the audience, is to see and experience this discovery evident on the faces of each and every band member, as they too, find themselves overcome by the surprise of their own collective invention. One gets the feeling that the songs, the walls, and even the instruments they're playing, can barely contain them! It is a rare thing indeed to witness the birth of such promise.
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A great collection of previously unreleased Mod-psych dementia from Nazz. Far from being leftovers, a lot of these songs are even better than the versions released originally. Don't think so? Try track 17 - "Sydney's Lunchbox" - this time and for the first time - with lead vocals -available exclusively from ItsAboutMusic.com - This is priceless!
"Nazz is taut Beatlesque punk and includes one of rock's great double-A-side singles: "Open My Eyes" and "Hello It's Me"...and you can hear the sprawl of genius in these tight quarters... This is the total, official Nazz -- and a total gas.
DAVID FRICKE, Music Editor
From Rolling Stone Magazine, March 20, 2003
Twice Popped - Stewkey revives The Nazz for the International Pop Overthrow
While itıs thrilling to hear The Capitol Years, Acme Rock Group, Cordalene and the Nixonıs Head/Trolleyvox continuum under one festival banner -- that of the annual traveling circus, International Pop Overthrow -- bands and audiences must worship at the altar of Stewkeyıs Nazz.
Hereıs the history: In the Upper Darby of 1967, Todd Rundgren, departed guitarist/songwriter of psych-blues band Woodyıs Truck Stop, formed what would be the 1960sı first Brit-inspired, well-dressed, good-looking "boy band," The Nazz -- for what turned out to be the start of a Anglo obsession continued today amongst men with shaggy hair. Unlike their modern descendants, The Nazz shimmered with a crystalline Anglo-pop-fizz courtesy the influence of The Kinks, The Who and The Move, songs written from within, and crisp, cutting vocals from keyboardist Robert "Stewkey" Antoni.
They made big waves with self-produced hits like "Open My Eyes," a swirling masterpiece of phase-shifted melody and heartbroken lyrics (see the new two-CD Open Our Eyes comp on Sanctuary); found themselves at odds with labels, management, each other and busted apart -- but not before a Runt-less Stewkey released Nazz III in 1970. After that he stayed on the Anglophile tip with Fuse (Rick Nielsenıs pre-Cheap Trick locals) a swanky solo CD Hello itıs Crazy Me, and songs on the Last Minute Jam Bandıs CD Minutes to Millennium.
So, why a new Nazz and why now? "One of my favorite questions from fans, old and new, that Iıve met is 'Are there any live recordings?ı" said Stewkey of the bandıs rumored sizzling showcases rarely available on rarer bootlegs. "The music is timeless. Why not give fans what they want? Live Nazz." Stewkey promises rabid, rapid-fire takes on songs written by him, Rundgren and Company and -- in anticipation of a live CD and further recording -- that his Nazz will play songs even the old unit dared not play live. "This band consists of seasoned musicians who were Nazz fans when they were young and love the music as I still do" said Stewkey proudly. "So the energy is like it used to be."
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