TED NUGENT: Self-titled

After leaving the Amboy Dukes and taking a three-month vacation, Nugent decided to form his own band and got together with former Amboy Duke Rob Grange on bass, Cliff Davies (ex-If) on drums and, from a local Michigan band called Scott which had opened for the Dukes previously,  singer/guitarist Derek St. Holmes. These four guys pooled their talent and created a fantastic debut album that set the tone for Nugent’s releases after this and this album also has the distinction of the last track on the album, “Queen of the Forest,” being the first rock song played by Dr. Johnny Fever on the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati.

Starting off with “Stranglehold,” a behemoth of a song with an amazing guitar riff and playing throughout, as well as a vibe that is hard to beat, this is one killer track to kick off his career with and a track that just never gets old. “Stormtroopin'” continues on with another track that is just a touch less immediate that the first song, but still is terrific. “Hey Baby” has a nice blues feel to it and of course the guitar playing is top-notch, not that the rest of the band are slouches, but Nugent sure can play! The band is tight and rocks out on every track, making for a kick ass set of songs and a performance that makes you think that they have been playing together for a lot longer than this one album. The album does sound like a ’70s album, but that’s what makes this great, it’s not over produced and it’s gritty, but beautifully played and it gives it a sheen that newer bands wish they could replicate. “Where Have You Been All Of My Life” is one of those songs that could have been a radio hit if it would have been released. The song has a rocking groove throughout, sinewy guitar playing and a chorus that sticks with you. The only song that doesn’t work for me is “You Make Me Feel Right At Home,” which sounds like a light rock band got loose and forced them to add this song to the record. Luckily, the album ends on a high note with the terrific “Queen of the Forest” to end the album on a high note and make you forget about the previous song.

While not a perfect album, the second last song being a bore, the album is still one of the best debut albums out there and still holds up after all of these years. The added plus of being remastered and sounding better than ever, as well as being on green vinyl, makes this a definite purchase that deserves to be played loud.

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