An Armoury Classics reissue CD pack, this is two live albums from 'Mr Marmite' himself, Ted Nugent. I was first introduced to him, via the track 'Cat Scratch Fever', on the compilation album 'Axe Attack' that I was given in late 1982. He was one of the first rock artists I heard on the long and winding metal journey that I have taken for thirty plus years, and I went on to collect many of his albums on vinyl (he was also one quarter of the awesome Damn Yankees), so a part of me has always had a soft spot for the Detroit Madman. Of course, back in my younger days, I wasn't aware of what a controversial character he can be and I'll admit that I'm not a fan of his views or the outspoken way in which he announces them. I finally got to see him live at the Monsters Of Rock Festival, when it returned for one year at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 2006. Musically he was superb, but watching him ruin it with a political tirade, aimed at completely the wrong audience, which resulted in almost total silence and tumbleweed blowing across the front of the stage, was a cringe worthy to say the least!
Anyway, this 2CD set is interesting to me because I hadn't previously owned, or heard, either of these albums before. First up is 'Motor City Mayhem: The 6,000th Concert'. This was recorded in Detroit in 2008 and sees him celebrate not only the 4th July but the supposed milestone mentioned in the title. I would, however, like to meet the person that counted all of his gigs to make sure it was indeed his 6,000th! All the usual suspects - 'Stranglehold', 'Wango Tango', 'Stormtroopin' and of course 'Cat Scratch Fever' - are present and correct as well as a pretty good version of 'Baby Please Don't Go'. We also get an overlong, self congratulatory intro and a version of the 'Star Spangled Banner' so coated in US syrup that I almost choked! The second CD is Nugent's set from the Sweden Rock Festival recorded in 2006 and his voice sounds slightly better on this recording. I think this was pretty much the set that I witnessed live the same year. There are a few changes from the Detroit gig and a different running order but it wouldn't be a Ted Nugent show if certain songs weren't included, so the backbone of both sets is identical.
In summary, both recordings are good, when Mr Nugent sticks to playing the songs. His guitar work is always excellent and his two cohorts, whoever they may be at a particular time, are as tight as a really tight thing. What grates though is the love Ted has for his own voice. Granted, he doesn't go on a long rant about something (or if he did it's been cut from the recording) but I lost count of the times he says 'Yeah Baby', 'Uncle Ted', 'Cowboys', 'Freedom' or 'The American Dream' (whatever that is) as well as lots of other repetitive stuff, and it all gets a bit tedious. This set is well worth picking up, even if the separate albums are still readily available at a good price, but I'm more inclined to listen to Nugent's studio output because on those I don't have to hear him waffle!
MOTOR CITY MAYHEM + SWEDEN ROCKS
Review by Rick Tilley
70:04 & 65:49
20th Jan 2014
MOTOR CITY MAYHEM: 1) Ted Nugent Intro; 2) Star Spangled Banner; 3) Motor City Madhouse; 4) Wango Tango; 5) Free for All; 6) Stormtroopin'; 7) Dog Eat Dog; 8) Weekend Warrior; 9) Wang Dang Sweet Poontang; 10) Bo Diddley/Lay With Me; 11) Baby Please Don't Go; 12) Cat Scratch Fever; 13) Stranglehold; 14) Great White Buffalo
SWEDEN ROCKS: 1) Stormtroopin'; 2) Wango Tango; 3) Snakeskin Cowboys; 4) Free For All; 5) Wang Dang Sweet Poontang; 6) Raw Dogs & War Hogs; 7) Soul Man; 8) Hey Baby; 9) Dog Eat Dog; 10) Still Raising Hell; 11) Cat Scratch Fever;...13) Great White Buffalo
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...both recordings are good, when Mr Nugent sticks to playing the songs."