I was blown away the first time I heard “Nazz”. It is a great rockin’ album by the psychedelic rock/pop group Nazz released in 1968. In Philadelphia, the band was founded by guitarist and principal songwriter Todd Rundgren and bassist Carson Van Osten. Their name was derived from the Yardbirds’ song “The Nazz Are Blue” from the 1966 “Roger the Engineer” album.
“Open My Eyes” was released as their first single on SGC Records. It was also a promo video directed by Ray Dennis Steckler. “Hello It’s Me” was also released as a single. Todd would re-record it several years later as a solo single for his double album “Something/Anything?” reaching number 5 on Billboard.
- Todd Rundgren – Electric guitar, backing vocals, string arrangements, mixing
- Robert “Stewkey” Antoni – Keyboard, lead vocals
- Carson Van Osten – Bass guitar, backing vocals
- Thom Mooney – Drums
The Nazz have a Brit Rock sound setting the way for bands from the Raspberries to Sloan. The Nazz had their first gig in July 1967, landing an opening slot at a Doors concert. There is a consensus that the Nazz were not more popular due to mismanagement.
- “Open My Eyes” (Rundgren) – 2:48
- “Back of Your Mind” (Rundgren) – 3:48
- “See What You Can Be” (Rundgren) – 3:00
- “Hello It’s Me” (Rundgren) – 3:57
- “Wildwood Blues” (Rundgren, Thom Mooney, Robert “Stewkey” Antoni, Carson Van Osten) – 4:39
- “If That’s the Way You Feel” (Rundgren) – 4:49
- “When I Get My Plane” (Rundgren) – 3:08
- “Lemming Song” (Rundgren) – 4:26
- “Crowded” (Mooney, Stewkey) – 2:20
- “She’s Goin’ Down” (Rundgren) – 4:5
In 2011, The Bangles covered the Nazz rocker, “Open My Eyes” on their “Sweetheart of the Sun” album. The Nazz debut album was remastered and re-released in 2006 with bonus tracks by Sanctuary Records Group.
- Ray Dennis Steckler (January 25, 1938 – January 7, 2009), also known by the pseudonym Cash Flagg, was an American film director, producer, screenwriter and actor best known as the low-budget auteur of such cult films as The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.
- Sanctuary Records Group Limited was a record label based in the United Kingdom and is as of 2013 a subsidiary of BMG Rights Management solely for reissues. Until June 2007, it was the largest independent record label in the UK and the largest music management company in the world. It was also the world’s largest independent owner of music intellectual property rights, with over 160,000 songs.