Album Review: Ted Nugent – Free-For-All (1976 Canadian LP)

We all heard the awful news this week that Meatloaf had died. Supposedly he felt that even though he had asthma, he didn’t want to be vaccinated or wear a mask. I don’t want to make this post a political rant so even though I disagree with Meatloaf’s stance and pretty much everything Ted Nugent says or does, I will say they both make great music.

During the recording for this album Derek St. Holmes had recorded vocals for 3 of the songs but disagreed in the direction of the recording. He walked out and left the band holding the bag. Producer Tom Werman suggested Meatloaf to be his replacement. Meatloaf was most famously known at that point as a musical theater actor with chops. Many felt his style was not suited for this album, however Ted knew Meatloaf from his earlier days of opening for The Amboy Dukes shows with his band Stoney & Meatloaf. Meatloaf was only given 2 days (with no musical accompaniment or arrangement) and $1000 to record the vocals for 5 of the songs. This tight schedule suited him fine since he was already 2 years into the recording of his soon to be released debut album Bat Out Of Hell. You will soon find out if Meatloaf was up to the task.

Free-For-All – This is the only song on the album sung by Ted Nugent. It’s a pretty sweet tune in an Aerosmith vein. This combination of 3 vocalists on the album gives listeners an amazing mix of greatness.

Dog Eat Dog – The mix of amazing guitars, thumping bass, pounding drums, banshee screaming and cool Derek St. Holmes vocals propel the status of this song up with the top shelf liquor.

Writing On The Wall – The first Meatloaf song is a wicked tune that would easily have fit onto Bat Out Of Hell, except with better guitar work, and a harder edged rockin’ slab o’ Meatloaf.

Turn It Up – I will do that in tribute to Meatloaf

Street Rats – The 2nd Meatloaf song has some Stranglehold-like drumming and Meatloaf playing a more straight edged rocker than his theatrical background would suggest.

Together – A bit softer, but with wicked guitar wails and just simply amazing vocal prowess from our man Meatloaf. A really great song that could run note for note with any of the Bat Out Of Hell songs.

Light My Way – Derek St. Holmes returns for the last time on this album and does a great job in this faster paced rocker that has an early Rod Stewart meets Aerosmith feel.

Hammerdown – Meatloaf reads the title and mashes the throttle right to the floor on this one.

I Love You So I Told You A Lie – Kind of like me telling my wife I didn’t buy any new music. Or by telling you that Meatloaf doesn’t completely rule.

R.I.P. Meatloaf. Your music will be missed.

9.5/10

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15 thoughts on “Album Review: Ted Nugent – Free-For-All (1976 Canadian LP)

  1. Agreed Bop. Let the music do the talking. This is a good album and if I ever come across it in the wild I would grab it.
    “I Love You So I Told You A Lie – Kind of like me telling my wife I didn’t buy any new music. Or by telling you that Meatloaf doesn’t completely rule.”
    Love this ..glad to see you back writing dude!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I grew up with all the Nuge tunes about sex and loved them in my pre-teen/teenage years. The first 2 albums I found later but they are actually his best.
      This one is right up there with the first one in my books.
      Thanks dude. It unfortunately seems to take a death or some anniversary to get back into it.
      I don’t know how you guys put out a post every day, but I commend you for it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I cannot do posts everyday anymore. Once a week at best. No time right now unfortunately to do anything as our house is undergoing Reno’s!
        I still have great memories of when Nugent played here back in ’81 and ’86. Ted came here when many at the time didn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ted came across as outdoorsy/redneck so his music appealed to rural people.
        He wasn’t a L.A./NYC guy like many were so he probably felt a connection and knew these were the people that bought his albums so he played all the smaller cities.
        Plus his popularity had probably slipped a bit so he maybe had to play the smaller venues.
        Either way it worked out for you.

        I hope all the renos work out. I know it brings stress into the household.
        Not sure about up there, but down here everyone wanted renos during covid so contractors are sometimes backed up for months or even a year.

        Like

  2. My mate used to have this one and I liked it, never bought it though. I couldn’t agree more with your opening para, it made me really sad when I found out what Meat’s stance had been on pandemic related things.

    Liked by 1 person

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