Ted Nugent: ‘Little Miss Dangerous’

Ted Nugent CD coverTED NUGENT
Released in March 1986 (Atlantic)

It’s been 30 years since Ted Nugent delivered Little Miss Dangerous to the masses. I have been following Nugent since 1981 when he rolled into Thunder Bay that summer with his three guitarists (himself included), bassist and drummer. They looked like a commando unit decked out in head to toe camouflaged gear.

1982 saw the release of the self-titled Nugent album with the lead single “Bound And Gagged” which was mediocre at best. 1984 saw the release of Penetrator with Brian Howe singing lead and Nugent ended bashing this record for various reasons. I skipped this one myself and 1982’s Nugent album entirely.

It was Nugent‘s appearance on the hit TV show Miami Vice — where Nugent playing a drug dealer no less — that the title track (“Little Miss Dangerous”) was broadcasted during one of the TV scenes. Being a fan of Miami Vice, I thought “Well, if Nugent‘s on a hit TV show, perhaps it’s time to dabble once again with some Nugent product.” So I went and purchased the full Little Miss Dangerous album and well, let’s say I purchased some damaged goods! What I mean is that the goods here in Nugent‘s Little Miss Dangerously album weren’t delivered to me sonically as a 19-year-old back in 1986.

The production of this album sounds sterile and treble to my ears now when I play it back. It’s like Nugent was going for the ZZ Top Afterburner sound but to do that, you need the songs and they are a mixed bag of some good tunes and some not so good tunes. Nugent basically did the album himself with Dave Amato joining Nugent in the singing and guitar playing department. As for the drumming, I think the culprit was a drum machine or it sounds like one.

Little Miss Dangerous did have some great songs like “High Heels In Motion”, “Strangers”, “Savage Dancers” and especially “Take Me Away” which featured Amato on lead vocals. Moreover, “Painkiller” has such a dope sick beginning that’s just so good even 30 years later! There’s also some misses such as “Little Red Book” (a Burt Bacharach cover) and the cheesy “When Your Body Talks.” I don’t know if Nugent‘s creative gas tank started running on empty by the end of the recording of this album.

Revisiting this album all these years later was alright but man, that production job is just not happening. It’s too bad as if Nugent would have just made the drums sound real and the production had a little more bottom end, Little Miss Dangerous would have been perhaps one of his better ’80s outputs.

Track List:
01. High Heels in Motion
02. Strangers
03. Little Miss Dangerous
04. Savage Dancer
05. Crazy Ladies
06. When Your Body Talks
07. Little Red Book
08. Take Me Away
09. Angry Young Man
10. Painkiller

Band Members:
Ted Nugent – guitars, bass, 6-string bass, percussion, lead and backing vocals
Dave Amato – rhythm guitar, guitar synthesizer, synthesizer, lead and backing vocals

Additional Musicians:
Patrick Leonard – keyboards and synthesizers
David “Hawk” Wolinski – keyboards and synthesizers
Lawrence Dermer – keyboards and synthesizers
Ricky Phillips – bass, background vocals
Jay Ferguson – bass
Michael Mason – drums and percussion, background vocals
Joe Galdo – drums and percussion
Duane Hitchings – drums and percussion
Rick Baron – background vocals
Tommy Thayer – background vocals
Sandy Slavin – background vocals
Bobby Colomby – background vocals
Robby Weaver – background vocals
Jaime St. James – background vocals
Carmine Appice – background vocals
Doug Banker – background vocals

Produced by Peter Solley, Michael Verdick and Ted Nugent
Engineered by Peter Solley, Michael Verdick and Jim Sessody
Mixed by Peter Solley and Ted Nugent
Mastered by Dennis King
Assistant engineer: Patrice Levinsohn 
Executive producer: Doug Banker
2001 edition digital remastering by Eric Conn

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Deke for Sleaze Roxx, March 2016