Damn Yankees: Damn Yankees

Blending for the Yankee dollar.

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The critics sneered “another Asia”’ when Damn Yankees’ self-titled debut was released in 1990. It certainly seemed like a match made in a major-label A&R department, bringing together commercially declining stars Ted Nugent and Styx’s Tommy Shaw for one more throw of the dice. But, like Asia, the chemistry results had already come back positive.

With producer Ron Nevison giving it a contemporary sound, Damn Yankees – who also included ex-Night Ranger bassist Jack Blades and drummer Michael Cartellone – got the balance of heavy rock and sweet vocals just right, as the controlled hard rock of the opening Coming Of Age clearly shows. And they got that vital radio breakthrough with the melodic power ballad High Enough.

Unusually, Nugent is a relatively restrained team player here, content to churn out chords and blend his vocals in with the others – at least until the final Piledriver, by which time it scarcely matters./o:p

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.