Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Rock group formed in Scotland '69. Lineup: Dan McCafferty, vocals; Manny Charlton, guitar; Darrel Sweet, drums; Pete Agnew, bass; all b Scotland; chose their name from lyrics to the Band's 'The Weight'. They played quasi-heavy metal and specialized in hard-rock versions of songs by people who don't write hard rock, such as Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. Scottish guitarist Zal Cleminson joined '78, left '80; in '81 they added keyboardist John Locke, guitarist Billy Rankin. The stable lineup and the fact that nearly all of their LPs charted and were still available mid-'86 (on A&M in the USA) and a dozen CD reissues and compilations ten years later testifies to audience affection. Best seller was Hair Of The Dog '75, helped by their only US single hit, top ten 'Love Hurts' (by Boudleaux Bryant); other albums incl. Sound Elixir on MCA in USA and The Catch '84 on Vertigo in UK. McCafferty did a solo album '75.