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TED NUGENT - Discography Review

In our discography reviews we will rank all full-length studio albums from important heavy metal, hard rock and punk bands from best to worst ... with accompanying rationale and scores, of course. This time we review - Ted Nugent!

1. Cat Scratch Fever (1977)

No - not because of the title track ... although it is a more than acceptable radio-friendly rocker. Rather, it's because it has the best batch of tracks of any Nuge album and it contains his best lead guitar work. Highlights: 'Out Of Control', 'Sweet Sally', 'Wang Dang Sweet Poontang' and 'Fist Fightin' Son Of A Gun'. Classic. (10)

2. Free For All (1976)

The Motor City Madman enlists Meatloaf at the mic, along with his right-hand man Derek St. Holmes, providing a varied hard rock platter, again chock-a-block with gonzo guitar work. Check out 'Turn It Up', 'Street Rats' and 'Hammerdown'. (10)

3. Ted Nugent (1975)

Gone are The Amboy Dukes, our Michiganiac going solo on this legendary debut. Contains some of Nugent's most classic tracks, along with a mistake (the jazz infected 'You Make Me Feel Right At Home'). Suggested for consumption: 'Stormtroopin'', 'Queen Of The Forest', 'Just What The Doctor Ordered' and 'Motor City Madhouse'. The world will never be the same. (9)

4. Craveman (2002)

The comeback from outta nowhere. Craveman finds our blood-thirsty whack master in full draw. Sure there a few duds littered throughout, but goddamn, lend an ear to 'Rawdogs & Warhogs', 'Klstrphnky', 'I Won't Go Away' and 'Change My Sex' and try not to be impressed. (9)

5. Scream Dream (1980)

Containing the the most blood thirsty side of Ted Nugent Armageddon put to tape (side one) and another side of odds and ends, Uncle Ted makes sure that everyone knows that he's not going away. Not quietly anyways. Highlights: 'Violent Love', 'Flesh And Blood', 'Hard As Nails' and the title track. (9)

6. Shut Up And Jam! (2014)

Uncle Ted surprises once again with a truly superb platter late in his career. Must be the clean living he espouses. Check out the Sammy Hagar-guested 'She's Gone', instrumental 'Throttledown', 'Never Stop Believin'' and the title track. Wow! (9)

7. Nugent (1982)

Universally maligned because of an atrocious production job (completed by Ted himself), if you look underneath the light weight sound there hides a classic Nuge platter. Criminally underrated. Try out 'Bound And Gagged', 'Fightin' Words', 'Don't Push Me' and 'Good & Ready'. (8)

8. Weekend Warriors (1978)

The first recording after the demise of the classic Mach 1 lineup finds the band regurgitating some of the early material, but doing it well enough for it to be forgiven. Highlights: the OTT 'I Got The Feelin'', the smooth 'Cruisin'' and the shoulda-been-a-hit 'Good Friends & A Bottle Of Wine' (8)

9. State Of Shock (1979)

Another solid outing from the Mach 2 lineup, headlined by the fuzzed out and wah'wah'd 'Paralyzed', along with the hard boogie of 'Saddle Sore' and 'Snake Charmer'. (8)

10. Spirit Of The Wild (1995)

A correction from the abysmal mid/late eighties material, but ignored by the masses. Yep, there are more than a few unexceptional ditties loitering here, but the sound is back on target and 'Kiss My Ass', 'Just Do It Like This', 'I Shoot Back' and 'Wrong Side Of Town' kick major butt. (7)

11. Love Grenade (2007)

A step down from the immaculate Craveman due to some song quality inconsistencies, but still has a handful of strong tracks to extract. Those being 'Still Raisin' Hell', 'Stand', 'Broadside', the title track and a cover of the Amboy Dukes' 'Journey To The Centre Of The Mind'. (7)

12. Penetrator (1984)

The mid/late eighties were not kind to our famous guitar slingin', bow huntin' rocker. Gone are the sold-out stadium and arena days, replaced with a disenfranchised following. Penetrator tries to lure 'em back with a new lead singer (Brian Howe), outside writers, synthesizers and other bells and whistles, but was suitably ignored. Some of it actually worked though - 'Tied Up In Love', 'Where Do You Draw The Line' and 'Knockin' At Your Door' specifically, while 'Thunder Thighs' was classic OTT Ted fare. And Ted's guitar work was on fire here. (6.5)

13. If You Can't Lick 'Em ... Lick 'Em (1988)

Right idea to go back to the core Nugent sound, including the return of Derek St. Holmes at the mic, but the songs just weren't there. Extract 'Can't Live With 'Em', 'Skintight', 'Funlover' and 'Spread Your Wings' ... and leave the rest of 'em for the junk pile. (5)

14. Intensities In Ten Cities (1981)

Yeah, yeah, this is a live album, but it has been included herein since it is made up totally of new tracks. Unfortunately, most are flippantly made, underdeveloped and unremarkable. A cash grab after the popular Scream Dream platter. Still, 'Put Up Or Shut Up'', 'Heads Will Roll' and the almighty 'My Love Is Like A Tire Iron' show what could have been if more care was applied. Love the album title too.

Note: Original album title - I Can't Be What I Ate Or I'd Be You Baby. (5)

15. Little Miss Dangerous (1986)

The Ted Nugent discography nadir. Clickity, clackety mid-eighties radio sound in full effect, this was a heinous attempt to sellout that was universally ignored. 'Little Red Book' is irritatingly catchy though. Otherwise, 'Crazy Ladies' is pure crazed Nuge and 'Painkiller' was an atypical, well crafted builder with some fine fretwork from the Whackmaster. (4)

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