The band’s extensive gig schedule brought them to the attention of Pegasus Records, who released the bands debut album in late 1971.
The Album was warmly received by the critics, it also had two singles taken from it ‘Dear John’ and ‘Morning Dew’ a brilliant song written by the lovely Bonnie Dobson (Canadian) although the American, Tim Rose is now well known to have stolen the writing credit and to Nazareth’s disgust continues to be credited on sleeve notes for their own recording of the song
‘Dear John’ made the top three in France whilst Morning Dew (although it never had a chance of being a hit single at 7 minutes long) became an instant cult hit in Germany – and this was enough to provide the band with a hectic European touring schedule throughout 1972.
In America Warner Brothers picked up on ‘Morning Dew’ and its potential given that the song was written by respected American artist Tim Rose. But sales were poor and at the time Pete Agnew had a sneaking suspicion that this might have been something to do with some hatchet work done by Warners whose good intention was to make the single more radio-friendly: Pete: “It was a seven minute track and they cut it to three. I think Warner Brothers had someone editing for them who we thought must have been a deaf mute – they must have run the tape past him and at three-and-a- half second intervals he would hit it with an axe.”
The following year’s ‘Exercises’ album, was Produced by Roy Thomas Baker (who would later work with Queen, Alice Cooper and Foreigner among many others) saw the band taking on a very different approach of a more folky sound, but more than three decades later, Pete and Dan agree that it sounds lightweight and directionless.