TED NUGENT: Free For All

Free For All is the second solo album from Ted Nugent and it was a different beast in a lot of ways from his first album. As the recording of the album commenced, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist Derek St. Holmes left the band, citing growing personal and creative conflicts with Nugent. Two solid years of living together on the road had taken its toll on the relationship.as well, St. Holmes was unhappy with Tom Werman’s production, saying that the producer was watering down the band’s sound. A full year before Bat Out Of Hell brought him international success, vocalist Meat Loaf was brought in by producer Werman to sing on the album. Meat Loaf was paid the sum of $1000 for his contributions to the album, which included crafting all of the vocal arrangements and two days of recording sessions. St. Holmes returned to the group after the album’s release, performing on the subsequent tour. Band management asked him to return at the request of Epic Records.

Kicking things off with the title track, the band gets started on rocking out and the song has Nugent playing some great guitar and the band sounding tighter than the first album. The next song, “Dog Eat Dog” was a single and was a great choice with the blazing guitar work, the smooth vocals from St, Holmes and the menacing sound that the band manages to put forth. With all of this, plus a great chorus, this makes for one of the best songs on the record. With “Writing On The Wall,” we get to hear Mr Loaf doing vocals and he actually fits in really well with the band, nothing like the over the top performance on his own work, instead you get a great performance from him that will blow you away. The album is actually more varied and works really well, with three different vocalists, you would think that it would sound disjointed, but the vocalists all do a great job on their songs. “Street Rats” is another song that is crunchy hard rock that should have been a single and is an ear worm for sure. “Together” is a slower song that is on the cusp of being exactly what you think of when you hear the name Meat Loaf, overblown and pompous, the only thing that saves the song is the amazing playing from the band. Thankfully, the last three songs are all rockers that take the bad taste from “Together” and coat your ears with the right medicine, hard rock deliciousness. Again, this album has been remastered and sounds amazing, so clear and clean, plus you get that cool green vinyl too.

Album number two from uncle Ted and you are still in the midst of the golden years, a band that is on top of their game and getting tighter and hungrier for the charts. Luckily, the band never went and tried to suck up to the pop charts, they just played what they loved…..hard rock, no frills and with heart and soul.

https://www.facebook.com/tednugent

http://www.tednugent.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/

Advertisements

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.

https://www.facebook.com/tednugent

http://www.tednugent.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/

TED NUGENT: State Of Shock

 

nugent-ted-lp-33-rpm-state-of-shock-green-vinyl-

Ted Nugent…..what more really needs to be said? A man who could slay with his guitar playing and crazy onstage antics, has pissed off a lot of his fans with his views, but this is just pure rock and roll. This album has been remastered, has an OBI strip and most cool of all…….is on green vinyl.

You get the Nuge still at his hungriest and most blistering playing on this album. Starting with the incredible “Paralyed,” you get an opener that has riffs aplenty and tight playing from the rest of the band that just jumps out at you from the grooves. “Take It Or Leave It” just carries on from the first song with more amazing guitar playing and is beyond catchy. “Alone” is a gentle ballad that shows the tender side of the Nuge and makes for a nice rest before getting back to the rockers. “It Don’t Matter” is one of those songs that should have been a hit song with the terrific playing and the infectious chorus. “Snake Charmer” is another song that should be played over and over again…such a fun song and great to sing along to. The only song that didn’t hit me and knock me over was “I Want To Tell You,” but that still gives you nine out of ten songs that will kick you in the ass. The remastered sound is amazing, you can hear the band’s playing better than ever, with the band’s emotions and energy coming through better than ever. Plus the vinyl looks awesome too, nothing like colored vinyl…lol.

An album that will not only sound great, but will look great being played, plus you don’t have to buy those scratched up used copies from second-hand stores to hear kick ass tunes. Whether you like the man’s ideas or not, this is an album that stands up there with all of his best and still sounds better than a ton of what’s out there now.

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/

https://www.facebook.com/tednugent

http://www.tednugent.com/

STATUS QUO: Hello! /Quo / On The Level / Blue For You

 

 

File:Hello StatusQuo.jpg

Quo Status Quo album cover.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

File:OnTheLevel StatusQuo.jpg

BlueForYou StatusQuo.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Status Quo are an English rock band whose music is characterized by their distinctive brand of boogie rock. The group originated in The Spectres, founded by schoolboys Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962. After a number of lineup changes, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969.They have had over 60 chart hits in the UK, starting with 1967’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men”, and the most recent being in 2010, which is more than any other rock group. Twenty-two of these reached the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart.

Culture Factory has remastered four of their albums to make them look like albums. with slipcases and even bonus tracks on all of them. Giving listeners the chance to hear these albums in clear, crisp versions is a real treat and makes the albums sound spectacular.

Hello! is the sixth studio album and was released in September 1973, it was the first of four Quo albums to top the UK Albums Chart. In August 1973 the only single from the album, “Caroline” was released, reaching #5. This was the group’s first single to reach the UK top five. Its B-side was a non-album track called “Joanne” and is included on this release. “Roll Over Lay Down” is a tongue-in-cheek lyrical paean to bed space. “Claudie” and “Reason for Living” have a country underbelly that was nevertheless part of Quo’s musical recipe. “Caroline” is perhaps the ultimate Status Quo song, a seemingly simple, catchy rock’n’roll song. Lastly, “Forty-Five Hundred Times” is the quintessential Quo tour-de-force, starting a bit jangly before proceeding into a propulsive, stomping song.

Quo is the seventh studio album by Status Quo from 1974, with the only track to be released as a single was “Break the Rules,” in April 1974, and it peaked in the UK at #8. On this album there is generally a harder edge to the songs and performances, with less emphasis on the more pop side of the band. “Break The Rules” is a chugging, bluesy, driving song with the instrumental section adding a honky-tonk piano solo, and a wailing harmonica. This is an album to please the rock fan, it’s an album that contains enough variation for a listener not to get bored, and instant gratification when you first pick up the disc. The CD also contains the bonus track “Lonely Night.”

On the Level is the eighth studio album and in November 1974 the band released the only single from the album, an edited version of “Down Down.” The single gave the band their only #1 hit to date. Its b-side was the Parfitt/Young album track “Nightride.” This album is one of the definitive Quo long players with every sound, from the opening bars of “Little Lady” to the closing Chuck Berry cover, “Bye Bye Johnny.” The album starts with “Little Lady” and “Most Of The Time,” the first one being a great heavy rocker, and the other one slower with more of a bluesy feel to it. “I Saw The Light” and “Over And Done” are catchy songs that stick in your ears. “Nightride” is slower in tempo,and it’s got a good solid groove to it. Then there’s probably the best-known track from the album, “Down Down.” The opening of the song is so recognisable and it’s one of those tracks that you can’t help foot-tapping along to. This is the album version which is longer and not as concise as the single version that most are familiar with. “Where I Am” is a lovely ballad which is much lighter in tone than the other more rocking tracks on the album. The album closes with the rocking cover of Chuck Berry’s “Bye Bye Johnny,” a key part of their live shows still. This release also includes the bonus tracks “Down Down (Single Version),” “Roll Over Lay Down (Live Version),” “Gerdundula (Live Version),” “Junior’s Wailing (Live Version),” and “Roadhouse Blues (Live Version).”

Blue for You is the ninth studio album by English rock band Status Quo, released in March 1976 and is both the last album to feature the “Frantic Four” lineup. “Rain”, the first single from the album, reached #7 in the UK charts after its release in February 1976. Its b-side was the non-album track “You Lost the Love.” The album was released the following month. It entered the British album chart at #1 and stayed there for three weeks, making it one of their most successful long players. An edited version of “Mystery Song” was the second single from the album and, released in July that year, peaked at #11 a few months later. “Drifting Away,” from their 1974 album Quo, served as the single’s b-side. In December that year the band decided to release a cover of “Wild Side of Life,” a song made famous by Hank Thompson and His Brazos Valley Boys. Its b-side was “All Through the Night,” which reached #9. “Is There A Better Way” has rolling bass, thrashing guitars and a very speedy little guitar solo which almost has the energy of punk rock.”Rolling Home” is another classic with dueling guitars, and wailing harmonica. Blue For You” is a restrained slice of blues/soul. “Rain” rocks really hard, almost borders on heavy metal in places. “Blue For You” retains all the crunch and pleasingly booming bass of all the other songs that came before. “That’s A Fact” has a terrific groove,  “Ease Your Mind” is a great blues boogie song , and “Mystery Song” closes out the album with another great track. The bonus songs on this CD are “You Lost The Love,” “Mystery Song (Single Version),” “Wild Side Of Life,” “All Through The Night,” and “Wild Side of Life (Demo Version).”

If you are a fan, you need to get these great looking and sounding remasters, and if you want to hear a band on top of their game, you definitely have to get these CDs. The sound of a band being everything that they could be and more, now with awesome sound and very collectible.

https://www.facebook.com/StatusQuoOfficial/#

http://www.statusquo.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/

ULTRAVOX!: Ha!-Ha!-Ha!

This was the second album by British pop group Ultravox, at that time known as “Ultravox!” with an exclamation mark, as a nod to Neu!. Although the group would later achieve fame and commercial success with lead singer Midge Ure the band was, in 1977, led by singer/songwriter John Foxx who was accompanied by guitarist Stevie Shears, drummer Warren Cann, bassist Chris Cross and keyboard/violinist Billy Currie. Ha!-Ha!-Ha! was released on 14 October 1977, and was accompanied by lead single “ROckwrok.”

This is the remastered release from Culture Factory and has six bonus tracks as well as clear, crisp sound and a replica cardboard jacket, just like it did when it was on vinyl.

The album sounds great with the beautiful remastering and you get to hear the band still in the punk style that they had before Midge Ure came in as lead singer and they became slicker and more polished. The songs are played with gust and you can hear the excitement and the experimental nature of the band, especially on “Distant Smile.” It has the atmospherics that they became known for and then blasts in a blistering track. The mix of the hard-edged punk, and the slicker new wave mix perfectly on the album with neither overpowering the other, but complimenting each other. The tide was changing in the band as well as on the charts and this still sounds amazing today. This is a collection of songs that grab you right from the start and keep a hold of you right until the end of the album. The bonus songs are a great treat too, something that makes for a longer and interesting album.

If you are a fan of later era Ultravox, you need to hear how they started out and don’t compare them, just enjoy them as almost two separate bands linked together.

 

https://www.facebook.com/ultravox

http://www.ultravox.org.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/johnfoxxmetamatic

http://www.metamatic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/

HELIX: Long Way To Heaven

Long Way to Heaven is the fifth studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Helix. This album was their third for Capitol Records, and the first single was “Deep Cuts The Knife.” The song received heavy airplay in the U.S., and in Canada it was added to heavy video play on Much Music. The second single released from the album was “The Kids Are All Shakin’,”a song inspired by a fan letter from Poland. This is the remastered re-release from Culture Factory.

Helix came out with this album and there were bigger expectations from the band after the success of the previous Walkin’ The Razor’s Edge (featuring the hit “Rock You”). The band was playing harder and this time they tried to fit in with the more commercially accepted metal bands with a ballad, “Deep Cuts The Knife,” that never really grabbed me then and still doesn’t do it for me. The good thing is that they had a lot of kick-ass songs on here to more than make up for that bump. The songs that I hit replay are; “Don’t Touch The Merchandise.” “The Kids Are All Shakin’,” “Ride The Rocket,” and “House On Fire.” Don’t think the other songs aren’t good, they are, but these are the ones I come back to a little more often. The album is another tightly played collection that now has the clean sound from Culture Factory and their crisp sounding remaster.

The band was riding a high and this is another rockin’ album for your collection and will still get your juices pumping after all these years. Grab a copy and relive your youth with the album turned up and a beer or three in you.

https://www.facebook.com/brian.vollmer.39

http://planethelix.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/

HELIX: No Rest For The Wicked

No Rest For The Wicked is Canadian heavy metal band, Helix’s third studio album, and was also their major label debut on Capitol Records. Released in 1983, it features two of the band’s biggest singles, “Heavy Metal Love” and “Never Want To Lose You.” This is the newly remastered version from Culture Factory that makes it look like the original vinyl release and greatly improves the sound.

With this album, the band went from playing more blues based hard rock, to toughening up their image and getting into leather and playing harder edged music and becoming a big time metal band with videos getting heavy rotation on Much Music, and tons of radio play. The album is tight with not one note wasted, and still as catchy as an old nickel whore with syphilis. Song after song will get you playing the air guitar and singing along to the chorus, and wishing metal was this much fun today. Of course you get the two big singles; “Heavy Metal Love” and “Never Want To Lose You,” but the album could have had more singles like “Let’s All Do It Tonight,” “No Rest for the Wicked,” and “Ain’t No High Like Rock ‘n Roll.” The band plays with conviction and he good vibes jump off the album and get burned into your ears. This is the kind of album that you would take with you on a car ride and roll the windows down, and crank it up. The remastering job has cleaned up the tracks and given them a clarity that helps bring out the raw talent and emotion that is laid down here.

An album that stands up today as good as it did over thirty years ago and makes me yearn for the days when you could turn on the radio and hear music like this coming out fresh. I’m going to take this one for a spin in the car and see if I can forget what year it is.

https://www.facebook.com/brian.vollmer.39

http://planethelix.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/