Sweden Rocks - TED NUGENT

Following the release of the CD version of TED NUGENT's appearance at the 2006 Sweden Rock Festival, the "Sweden Rocks" DVD better captures the overall feel of a performance by the Motor City Madman. The sound is crystal clear, the visuals strong, and the trio of Uncle Ted, Barry Sparks (bass/backing vocals), and Mick Brown (drums/backing vocals) giving the fans (and viewers) their money's worth.

Without simply regurgitating my assessment of the set list included in my review of the CD on this site (you can read it yourself), I'll just reiterate that the bulk of the material unsurprisingly comes from the first three studio albums (the 1975 self-titled release, 1976's "Free-For-All", and 1977's "Cat Scratch Fever"). The trio is tight and Ted demonstrates yet again that at nearly 60 years of age, he is still one hell of a guitarist, incorporating '60s R&B with his own brand of Gonzo histrionics; the man makes that Gibson walk, talk, jump, shimmy, crawl, and bounce. Aside from his usual shotgun banter and politically incorrect diatribes, his donning of a full Native American headdress during the cracking version of "The Great White Buffalo" won't gain him any liberal supporters. One of the biggest selling points of the DVD, compared to the CD, is the inclusion of the full set on the former. "Klstrphnky" (from "Craveman") and "Motor City Madhouse" are not included on the CD, the latter featuring Ted and the "Funk Brothers" (Barry and Mick) busting out "Baby, Please Don't Go" in the middle of the song.

The bonus features add to the DVD's value, rather than serving as mere filler. A 2007 performance, this time with Greg Smith on bass/backing vocals, at 4 Bears Musicfest in North Dakota has the band performing "Journey to the Center of the Mind", "Love Grenade", and "Weekend Warriors". Here again, the visual/audio quality is good. Brief interviews with Barry Sparks and fellow Detroiter and ALICE COOPER/ROB ZOMBIE drummer Tommy Clufetos have the duo offering their insights into working with Uncle Ted during the recording of "Love Grenade" in Waco, Texas. Two separate segments called "Bow Hunting with Ted" and "Ted on the Gun Range" feature Nugent demonstrating the finer points of compound bows and firearms to band and family members; it is great fun, not to mention rather interesting.

While I've still not seen the 2001 "Full Bluntal Nugity" DVD, I can say that "Sweden Rocks" is a nicely packaged product from top to bottom. Nugent fans in particular are strongly advised to purchase it immediately upon its release.

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