The Yanks are a "supergroup"
made up of Ted Nugent, Tommy Shaw
(Styx), Jack Blades (Night Ranger) and drummer Micheal Cartellone.
Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades went on to record a disc together titled Shaw
Blades, with Micheal Cartellone performing as a guest drummer. Shaw and
Blades aslo teamed up to write many songs for other famous artists including Aerosmith. Ted
Nugent successfully resurrected his solo career releasing several new
CDs as well as headlining and co-headlining several tours.
Damn Yankees (Warner Bros.) 1990
of Age" (4:21)
2. "Bad Reputation" (4:29)
3. "Runaway" (4:02)
4. "High Enough" (4:43)
5. "Damn Yankees" (4:37)
6. "Come Again" (5:38)
7. "Mystified" (4:14)
8. "Rock City" (4:28)
9. "Tell Me How You Want It" (4:32)
10. "Piledriver" (4:18)
Damn Yankees LP |
interest in this band was, of course, that Ted
Nugent was their guitarist. Unfortunately, Ted's influence on the band's
sound wasn't what I had hoped and this album sounds more like the polished,
radio-ready, hard rock of Night Ranger than anything the whackmaster
would crank out. In spots, however, Nugent's
influence is apparent. "Piledriver" especially sounds like a Ted
Nugent song. This is the only song that Ted handles the lead vocals, although
his voice can be heard in various parts of other songs as well. There are excellent
vocal melodies throughout (ala Styx) as Shaw seems to handle the majority
of the lead vox. Opener "Coming of Age" rocks with a hard, crunchy chorus. "Bad
Reputation" and "Damn Yankees" also sport heavy riffs and some infectious, sing-along
choruses. ("Bad Reputation" was used in Gremlins 2 in the scene where the little
green gremlins were tearing the room to bits.) "High Enough" is one of the mellower
moments on the album. This ballad gave the Yankees a good amount of radio airplay
and pushed this album to sell double platinum. "Rock City" is typical of 80's
hard rock both in sound and in the lyrics. However, having grown up in that
musical time period, I didn't mind the lyrics at all. So, while this CD was
initially a letdown due to my preconceived ideas, I quickly grew to like and
appreciate this disc. Shaw and Blades are an excellent songwriting team.
story regarding this CD. I was flipping through the used CDs at a local shop
and listening to the kid next to me in the Korn shirt have a discussion with
his friend who was wearing a Metallica t-shirt.
They picked up a used copy of this CD and laughed. The kid in the Korn shirt said of Ted Nugent, who is
simply wearing jeans and a black t-shirt, "ah, he's just trying to copy Metallica
when they were an 80's band." Shows how ignorant the trend following kids are
today that they don't even know the roots of their own music. This is a band
of rock legends, especially Ted Nugent,
who has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid in grade school in the 70's.
(My mom bought me "Double Live Gonzo" as a new release. If she would've actually
heard the album she would have flipped.)
Damn Yankees - Don't Tread (Warner Bros.) 1992
Tread on Me" (5:08)
2. "Fifteen Minutes of Fame" (4:50)
3. "Where You Goin' Now" (4:40)
4. "Dirty Dog" (4:54)
5. "Mister Please" (4:19)
6. "Silence Is Broken" (5:03)
7. "Firefly" (4:57)
8. "Someone to Believe" (4:57)
9. "This Side of Hell" (4:00)
10. "Double Coyote" (4:44)
11. "Uprising" (5:31)
Yankees backstage passes |
Tommy Shaw & Jack Blades
A bit heavier
than their debut. "Don't Tread On Me" starts off with what sounds
like a Ted Nugent inspired riff
before breaking into a semi-heavy melodic metal song continuing right into another
rocker "Fifteen Minutes of Fame." The rest of the album follows in
a similar pattern to the debut with radio ready ballads and hard rock anthems.
Not really up to par with anything Ted
Nugent did as a solo artist in my opinion.
Damn Yankees - Uprising (Warner Bros./Rhino) 1992
1. "Damn Yankees"
3. "High Enough"
4. "Don't Tread On Me"
5. "Where You Going Now"
6. "Fifteen Minutes Of Fame"
7. "Come Again"
8. "Coming Of Age"
10. "Cat Scratch Fever"
11. "Rock In America"
A live DVD filmed in Denver, CO in 1992. The Damn Yankees were, of
course, the "supergroup" made up of Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades
of Night Ranger, Michael Cartellone and the one and only Ted Nugent.
The band is in top form. Their vocal harmonies are outstanding. I
sort of wonder is they are doctored in the studio or not. There is
one scene in the video where three fourths of the band is in a
restroom singing and the harmony is perfect, so perhaps the live
stuff isn't given the studio treatment. Frankly, it's hard to tell.
The set list includes most of the essential from the two Damn Yankees
albums as well as Renegade (Styx), Cat Scratch Fever (Nugent), and
Rock In America (Night Ranger). While the studio versions of the Damn
Yankees material is highly produced, to the point of sounding more
like glossy pop than rock and roll, the live versions of these songs
give them a boost of energy that makes them much more enjoyable.
Frankly, I'd like to see this show released on CD.
The behind the scenes footage that is sprinkled throughout the set is
a lot of fun to watch. Ted is a character for sure and makes watching
the DVD a ton of fun. He tends to tick people off with his pro-guns,
pro-hunting, shoot 'em and grill 'em remarks, but frankly, I find him
to be downright fun. Of course, this is coming from a guy who has
been a Nugent fanatic since the 70's
Damn Yankees - Extended Versions (Sony) 2008
1. Damn Yankees (4:45)
2. Uprising (5:35)
3. High Enough (4:55)
4. Don't Tread On Me (5:28)
5. Where You Goin' Now (4:36)
6. Fifteen Minutes Of Fame (6:52)
7. Come Again (5:56)
8. Coming Of Age (7:05)
9. Renegade (4:43)
10. Cat Scratch Fever (5:21)
11. Rock In America (5:14)
As part of the Sony budget "Extended Versions" series, the Damn Yankees CD is a repackaging of the "Uprising Live!" DVD. Since the DVD was never released on CD, it's nice to finally have an officially released live CD from the band, even if the packaging is beyond cheap. The single-sided booklet offers little information other than it is "Recorded Live".
The show was actually recorded in Denver, Colorado in 1992 at the Rocky Mountain Jam. The Yanks were in top form at this point. The vocals and harmonies are nearly flawless, despite the live setting. The set list includes most of the essentials from the two Damn Yankees albums. The first two tracks are fire-y in this live setting. Without the studio sheen, the songs come off a bit heavier. "High Enough" was the band's big hit at the time and is a powerful, melodic ballad. Ted Nugent's guitar fury can felt much on this live setting. The recording really manages to capture that live energy that cannot usually be duplicated in a studio. Unfortunately the recording is censored, so some of Ted's colorful banter in between songs is slurred ridiculously. Frankly, I would have rather they just remove the talking rather than distort it like they did. The set is finished off with one song each from the three of the members former bands, Renegade (Styx), Cat Scratch Fever (Nugent), and Rock In America (Night Ranger). While most of the "Extended Versions" CDs are worthless repackaging of other live albums there are a few like this CD that are welcomed.
Ted Nugent | Shaw
Blades | Night Ranger | Styx