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Amboy Dukes
"The Amboy Dukes Featuring Ted Nugent"

© Mainstream Records
< Year of Release: 1968

track listing
  • Baby Please Don't Go
  • I Feel Free
  • Young Love
  • Psalms Of Aftermath
  • Colors
  • Let's Go Get Stoned
  • Down On
    Phillips Escalator
  • The Lovely Lady
  • Night Time
  • It's Not True
  • Gimme Love
  • J.B. Special
  • Sobbin' In My
    Mug Of Beer

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    Amboy Dukes
    "The Amboy Dukes Featuring Ted Nugent"

    In the late 1960s, many bands were focusing on a more harder rock style. By the year 1968, the music world was introduced to the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and The Yardbirds, where their talents merged rock and blues, with a harder edge. In that style, a group by the name of The Amboy Dukes emerged, and from this band was a little-known guitar player, by the name of Ted Nugent. Their debut album, The Amboy Dukes featuring Ted Nugent, is an excellent album, and for those who enjoy the 1960s rock, blues and psychedelic, this will definitely be a must.

    "Baby Please Don't Go" is a song where many bands in the late Sixties were covering, like Them (featuring Van Morrison) and the early Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green). The Amboy Dukes' version is definitely cool, where the guitar works by Nugent and Steve Farmer showcases some unique and fantastic listening. Another cover, Cream's "I Feel Free" is not as energetic as Cream's version (main vocals), but the music does capture a good atmosphere. And we all can't help but sing along with the "bump-bump-bump-de-bump-bump"s.

    "Young Love", written by guitarists Nugent and Farmer, has a 1960s British rock sound, "Psalms Of Aftermath", another Nugent/Farmer composition, is a mellow song, compared to the mellow 1960s sounds of The Moody Blues, with a sitar-sounding guitar providing the backdrop. "Colors", co-written by Nugent and Farmer, is rock/blues psychedelic, as in songs by Cream and The Yardbirds.

    "Let's Go Get Stoned", the Ray Charles cover, and also covered by Joe Cocker, has the 1960s blues sound, as heard by the early Rolling Stones and Them. Nugent and Farmer's "Down On Phillips Escalator" is another British Sixties sounding number, as in groups like the early Kinks and the early Who. "The Lovely Lady", a song solely written by Steve Farmer, has the sound of another British Sixties band, The Hollies. "Night Time", another Nugent/Farmer tune, has the early Rolling Stones sound with Hollies' harmonies and psychedelic Hendrix-sounding guitar. "It's Not True", written by Pete Townshend, definitely has the early Who sound, with its harmonies and pop sound. Nugent and Farmer's songwriting returns with "Gimme Love", another rock styled song, with its British sound, and hard rocking guitars.

    The CD of The Amboy Dukes has two bonus tracks. "J.B. Special" and "Sobbin' In My Mug Of Beer". Both songs were written by Nugent and Farmer, as both songs rock in their common style in previous Nugent/Farmer compositions. "J.B. Special" has a Kinks-rock style, and "Sobbin' In My Mug Of Beer" can be compared to the early Kinks and/or the early Who.

    For the late Sixties British invasion fan, The Amboy Dukes featuring Ted Nugent will definitely be appreciated. A lot of bands during this time were discovering the British Invasion and developed their sound based on their sound, likewise the sound of the blues, mixed with rock. Ted Nugent only played guitar with the Dukes on this album, as the vocals were handled by John Drake. Both guitarists of this band (Ted Nugent and Steve Farmer) were the primary songwriters for this album, and their songwriting abilities were extremely exceptional, in the area of rock mixed with blues. The guitar solos truly stand out in each song on this album, where many British bands of the Sixties can easily be compared.

    In conclusion, the debut of The Amboy Dukes is truly exceptional. It would be their next album, Journey To The Center Of The Mind (the title track written by Nugent and Farmer), would become their best well-known song. Little did Nugent know that this song would be written about drugs, Nugent would later voice his opinion (among other things) about the dangers of drugs and how it can and will destroy people's lives.

    The rest is history: Ted Nugent would become one of rock's unique and exceptional guitarists. His glory days were in the 1970s, but even so, he still performs today (I recently saw him perform at the World Music Theatre, along with Slaughter, Quiet Riot, and Night Ranger -- Nugent put on an excellent show...) Nugent is very opinionated, whether it be his speeches on anti-drugs and pro-guns, Nugent is the kind of person you would not want to piss off. Watch VH-1's biography of Nugent on Behind The Music, and you'll see why.

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    Previous Review: #653
    Ramsey Lewis--Golden Hits
    Next Review: #655
    Vangelis--Chariots Of Fire