Musical producer

Manny Charlton, Nazareth Guitarist and Guns N’ Roses Producer, Dies

Manny Charlton, founding guitarist of Scottish hard rock band Nazareth and producer of early Guns N’ Roses demos, has died, according to a message from his grandson. No cause of death was cited; he was 80 years old.

He was Nazareth’s guitarist, producer, and co-songwriter from the band’s formation in 1968 until 1990, playing on the band’s most successful albums, including 1973’s “Razamanaz” and “Hair of the Dog.” 1975. This final album went platinum in the United States and featured the group’s biggest hit, a dramatic cover of “Love Hurts”, originally made famous by the Everly Brothers, which reached the Billboard top 10 Hot 100. The band also scored a later, less popular single with 1980s “Holiday”.

In 1986, Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose reportedly wanted “the guy who produced Nazareth’s ‘Hair of the Dog'” to produce the band’s debut album. Charlton ended up recording some 25 songs with the band at the legendary Sound City studio in Los Angeles – all of which were pirated and some of which were officially released as B-sides or bonus tracks – but gave up producing the album in because of engagements with Nazareth. The album, which was eventually recorded with producer Mike Clink, sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide and became the best-selling debut album of all time. GNR recorded “Hair of the Dog” for their 1993 album “The Spaghetti Incident?”

While he was born in Spain, Charlton’s family emigrated to Scotland when he was a child, settling in Dunfermline. He played with several local bands in the 1960s, including one called the Shadettes which changed their name to Nazareth in 1968, inspired by the lyrics of the band’s classic song “The Weight”. The band developed a gritty, distinctive sound, with Charlton’s blues-inspired guitar, Dan McCafferty’s powerful sandpaper voice – who was a major influence on Axl Rose’s style – and bassist’s high harmonies. Pete Agnew, who brought a rare melodic flair to hard rock bands. of the time.

The band gained momentum in 1971 during an opening tour for Deep Purple, whose bassist, Roger Glover, would produce many of Nazareth’s early albums. But Charlton took the helm of “Hair of the Dog” and remained in that role until 1983. Nazareth toured and recorded extensively throughout the 70s and 80s, releasing some 17 studio albums during his tenure.

He released almost as many solo albums after leaving the band in 1990, including 2014’s “Hellacious” which featured guest appearances from original GNR drummer Steven Adler, Def Leppard/Dio guitarist Vivian Campbell, Tim Bogert from Vanilla Fudge and others.

In a 2012 interview quoted in Blabbermouth, Charlton looked back with some bewilderment on the fact that “Hair of the Dog,” the first album he ever produced, was a platinum-selling success and beat Nazareth to the charts. United States.

“What this album did was set the band up for American success forever,” he said. “Looking back, I’m still trying to figure out why it was such a hit. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all about the attitude of the songs, the performances and the rawness of the production. It’s the first album I produced for the band. Beginner’s luck, you might say.