ARTIST: Ted Nugent
TITLE: Ted Nugent
YEAR RELEASED: 1976
CHART ACTION: #28 US, #56 UK
SINGLES: Where Have You Been All My Life, Hey Baby (#72 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Stranglehold, Just What the Doctor Ordered
LINEUP: Ted Nugent, Derek St. Holmes, Rob Grange, Cliff Davies
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Nugent sheds the Amboy Dukes name, goes ‘solo’ with Grange as a holdover from the last Dukes lineup, and most importantly, changes record companies.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The last couple of Amboy Dukes lineups were almost de-facto Nugent solo albums, so this shift to a solo career may have been more semantics than anything. He did bring in St. Holmes to do vocals which allowed Nugent and Grange to focus on the arrangements. Orignally it was the Ted Nugent Band, since they conceived it as a ‘band’ but that changed, somehow.
“Stranglehold”, the lead-off cut became an instant rock classic. It’s almost nine minutes long, and has a “Bolero” break, but the tracks slow burn and phased bass from Grange make an indelible impact. Grange should have received writing credit for the track – Nugent himself said that. The rest of the record is standard 70’s hard rock fare with Nugent adding tasty guitar and at times cringeworthy lyrics. (He’s no poet…) “Motor City Madhouse” has a near-punk rock speed and intensity to it.
What changed the most since the last Amboy Dukes album was the record company. Moving to Epic from DiscReet (which would fold in a couple of years) allowed Nugent to get promotion and distribution which combined with his constant touring, paid off.
NOTES & MINUTAE: The first song Johnny Fever plays on the rock-and-roll WKRP was “Queen of the Forest”.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, live cuts and an outtake.
GRADE: B: A point or two up because “Stranglehold” is just a classic. Otherwise, it’s decent 70’s arena rock.