Ted Nugent “Free For All”, (released in 1976), is an album of Hard Rock songs that I slap the label of greatness on. There is no one you can compare Ted Nugent to… he was and still is his own Rock and Roll Warrior. Meat Loaf’s vocals and Ted Nugent’s guitar are a double dose of Classic Hard Rock superiority on this album. Meat Loaf is the lead vocalist on the songs: “Writing On The Wall”, “Street Rats”, “Together”, “Hammerdown” and “I Love You So I Told You A Lie”. Meat Loaf is the real deal vocally, on these songs. “Free For All” was an accomplishment of incredible songs that just continue to knock me over to this day. This album just carries me off into the thunderous land of Hard Rock glory. Ted Nugent is truly an originator of 1970’s Hard Rock guitar… listening to the guitar play of this legend makes me want to stand atop a crowd of onlookers and scream hell yeah!! In my Metal opinion, Ted Nugent and “Free For All” is all about 1970’s Hard Rock in it’s most genuine and heaviest state. An uncompromising group of songs that are Hard Rock personified, aimed at stirring up a good time and feeling the Ted Nugent power of guitar cool. I finally had my first introduction to this album and other Ted Nugent albums at that, in the early 1980’s. Ted Nugent quickly made me aware that Hard Rock music should never be watered down, it should be hard driven and fostered with head turning guitar licks aplenty. With “Free For All”, there are so many Hard Rock attributes happening that this album could easily be labeled as The Great Reference Book of Hard Rock, in my Metal opinion.
The album opener “Free For All” plays out as such… a Hard Rock song that sounds heavier than it really is, a Hard Rock song that highlights the fusion and importance of a bass driven flow. “Free For All” the song, when played at the recommended loud volume, makes me feel like the world is a wonderful globe of Rock and Roll beings. “Dog Eat Dog” is just another Ted Nugent classic… it powers forward without making a single pit stop, so be forewarned… this is a Hard Rock song that should never, ever, be turned off until it is rightfully over. “Street Rats” takes a back seat to no other Hard Rock song, in all of Hard Rock history. This song has never failed at it’s goal to Rock me out senseless… never. The word mellow just does not coincide with the persona or music of Ted Nugent. However, “Together” is a song that I consider to be toned down enough for the dreaded mellow adjective to come out and play. Hey, I am going to say that this song is one of my favorites of the entire catalog of Ted Nugent albums. “Together” is a song that is hard enough to not be a bona fide ballad, yet it comes across rather soothing, based on the Ted Nugent heaviness scale.
“Light My Way” is the one song on this album that I feel legitimized why Ted Nugent was/is such a great guitar player, he jams like a Hard Rock guru meets Southern Hard Rock legend. “Hammerdown” does not stray away from the Ted Nugent guitar lead and solo laden blueprint that makes this entire album – a 1970’s Classic Hard Rock album of upmost legitimacy. “I Love You So I Told You A Lie” could very well have been a song on a future Meat Loaf album, in my Metal opinion. Meat Loaf truly bestowed his vocal brilliance on this Ted Nugent album. Add Meat Loaf into the mix of songs on “Free For All” and this album has and always will satisfy any Classic Hard Rock hunger fits, that I may encounter. For the record, I have listened to this album non-stop today, it just has the Hard Rock groove and vibe I was hankering for.
Derek St. Holmes was the lead vocalist on the songs: “Turn It Up”, “Light My Way” and “Dog Eat Dog”, while Ted Nugent is the lead vocalist on the title song “Free For All”.