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Album Review

Ted Nugent's sophomore release for Atlantic makes a classic case in point for an artist trying to catch up to the times. On Penetrator, the Nuge enlisted two-thirds of Billy Squier's backup band, which at one time included longtime Squier keyboard player Alan St. John and veteran drummer Bobby Chouinard. Nugent also hired future Bad Company frontman Brian Howe to handle vocal duties along with Doors bassist Doug Lubahn. Together, this odd mix of arena rockers would enter New York's Power Station to cut basic tracks for what would emerge to be Nugent's Penetrator. The album clearly emulates the production of Billy Squier's '80s albums. The rhythm tracks are virtual blueprints for Squier's Emotions in Motion and Signs of Life, which, ironically, was released the same year as Penetrator. Includes "Tied Up in Love," "Knockin' at Your Door," "Thunder Thighs," "Lean Mean R&R Machine," and the melancholic ballad "Take Me Home." Curiously, the ensuing tour would see Nugent playing mid-sized theaters with vocalist Brian Howe once again at the helm. In a live setting, these songs (minus the studio mucky muck) would fit neatly into a set that highlighted Nugent's past hits.


Born: 13 December 1948 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Throughout his lengthy career, guitar wildman Ted Nugent has reveled in the controversy and criticism that always seems to follow in his path. While there's no denying his exceptional talent on the six-string, his knack for penning arena rock anthems, or his standing as one of rock's top live acts, it's his non-musical endeavors that have caused the most condemnation from his detractors (his pro-right wing beliefs, pro-gun advocacy, appreciation of hunting animals, etc.). But by the same token, Nugent...
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