This album was originally released in september 1975, but I guess it wasn`t released in the UK before the summer of 1976. Strange to think that in those days you couldn`t get hold of an album until it was released in your country (or pay hugely by buying it on import). As we know – these days the albums get “leaked” on the internet even before they are released. How times have changed.
A very favourable review of a album that still remains one of the greatest “guitar-oriented” albums out there. There are some really classic stuff on this one, so if you haven`t already got it – buy it! It is well worth your money.
Hell on earth and a lorry-load of dollars
TED NUGENT (CBS)
By Max Bell
Once upon a time the idea of liking Ted Nugent And The Amboy Dukes was considered remarkably unhip. Poor old Ted and his boys were the butt of many a knowing jest, usually based around their supposed ineptitude and crass handling of some of rock `n ` roll`s… uh… more simple trademarks.
I always liked The Dukes myself; sure they were a rotten band, but occasionally Ted produced the goods on schedule and confounded his critics by revealing some potential lurking beneath that morass of Detroit sick grunge.
“Marriage On The Rocks”, if you ever see it, is something of a minor league classic. I picked it up for a few pesetas in a Spanish supermarket five years ago and I`ve been trying to convert the odd passer-by to its manifold merits (with nought success I might add).
Ted`s second period regeneration has been even more fruitful in terms of albums, fruitless in terms of actual success.
“Call Of The Wild” and “Tooth, Fang And Claw” are really fine examples of spreading a few ideas a long way and remarkably dense little numbers in their own way.
Recognition seemed to be a long way round the corner though until now.
Minus the Amboy Dukes moniker, but plus a host of renewed confidence, the diamond coated Nugent has finally cracked the egg and got on the good side of his public mirage. If you say you like him today no-one will show you the closet. Times change.
For those who listen “Stranglehold”, the eight-minute extravaganza opening side one, is a veritable melee of guitar prowess, killer riffs and stirring seventh wave crescendo chords.
The replacement of Vic “Bolognese” Mastrianni by Cliff Davies has added another dimension to the rhythm section, an area of Ted`s entourage which was sadly lacking sparkle previously. Here he`s left to his own devices, migration axe laid on thick and slow, moody charged energy.
He is working the same territory as John Cippolina and Gary Duncan, a vintage string of cavalry bugle call and response mechanism that leaves most competition flat on their respective floors.
The final spiel from Ted on death is a superb advert for his own madcap excess. Muscular showmanship from a man who fights off assassin squads with a burst of Gibson-drenched buckshot.
“Stormtroopin`” (Nugent`s knowledge of the English language doesn`t encompass the letter G`) continues the American high frequency signal destroyer.
Laid back is not a term often found in Ted`s handbook. Davies` heartbeat slick rock percussion, Rob Grange`s foil bass and Derek St. Holmes additional rhythm guitar all undercut the main man who makes every British flash outfit sound old and tired.
Large doses of chauvinistic macho spitfire dribble all over the disc. Lyrics about guns, arson; nothing too nasty except the vocals.
Now a H.M. group is only as good as its vocalist and here the boys fall down with the occasional thump until Nugent hauls them up again.
“Hey Baby” owes a whole lot to Free and their ilk though it lacks Rodgers and Co`s mastery of the on-off motif. They don`t so much stop and start as never let up; gets a mite wearing after a while.
“Just What The Doctor Ordered” is a similar slice of front line boogie, nothing unusual but guaranteed to get any alive audience in the world tearing down the walls.
If they`d had Nugent at Jericho the fracas could have been over immediately. He makes some acceptably horrible noises.
On the other side “Snakeskin Cowboys” (what a flair for the catchy title) is directed to the front stage murder platoons who dig this sound in the Mid West and South where Ted is already a legend.
Actually the lyrics are dreadful, but that doesn`t matter much. In the old days The Dukes battled with such philosophical problemata as “Why Is A Carrot More Orange Than An Orange” and it got them as far as zilch gulch, no paddle.
Nugent`s guitar style is all about eliciting a certain response, probably violent blood-letting hysteria, and he succeeds in unblocking most frustration taps with his standard block bar rhythm chords. The rock and roll plumber strikes again.
Nugent no longer needs to indulge in money-spinning Jack Elam leatherette guitar battles to earn his keep.
Recently the band have been supporting the largest combo in this universe, Aerosmith to you (more popular than either The Stones or Zeppelin, let me tell ya, in the States). Choice indoor gigs like an 86,000 indoor Detroit stadium. Hell on earth and a lorry load of dollars.
Prediction: by the end of this year Nugent and Bob Seger will have joined the ranks that separate small fish from huge monsters. This time he`s sharpening his teeth on broken glass.
I think you`d better get Ted Nugent before he gets you.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Michael Chapman, Roger McGuinn, The Beatles, ZZ Top, Bob Marley, Sly and the Family Stone, Eric Burdon Band, Genesis, Streetwalkers.
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