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Great Gonzos-Best of Ted Nugent

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  • While many of today’s music fans only know Ted Nugent for his pro-hunting stance and his lack of subtlety, Great Gonzos: The Best of Ted Nugent, shows the man in his best setting as an excellent guitarist who wrote several hard rock classics. This compilation covers Ted in his peak years from 1975 through 1980 when he was selling millions of records and, as Henry Rollins once stated, blowing audiences into little pieces. The excellent rockers “Just What the Doctor Ordered” and “Motor City Madhouse”, along with one of the great long tracks of the classic rock era, “Stranglehold”, are from Ted’s self-titled debut album. “Free for All” and “Dog Eat Dog” are the best tracks from his Free for All release. His most popular album, Cat Scratch Fever, is represented by the essential title track, which like Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”, is instantly identified by its opening guitar riff, and the melodic instrumental “Homebound.” The tracks “Yank Me, Crank Me”, “Baby Please Don’t Go”, and “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” are from the Double Live Gonzo release and show Ted’s stellar reputation as a live performer. “Paralyzed”, originally released on State of Shock, and “Wango Tango”, which appeared on Scream Dream, are the best tracks from those albums. The remastered version also features the strong rocker “Give Me A Little”, which actually sounds it was recorded recently, since its sound is similar to that of his latest release, Craveman. While this is a very good representation of his peak, it feels incomplete as several great rockers such as the minor hit single “Hey Baby”, the underrated melodic rocker “A Thousand Knives”, and the live version of “Stormtroopin’”, which has an absolutely wicked solo from the Nuge that must be heard to be believed, are not featured. Also worth noting is there are no tracks from the decent Weekend Warriors album. While not definitive, Great Gonzos hits most of the high points of Ted Nugent’s peak and is a good place for newcomers to start.

    Posted on December 1, 2009