Did You Know Meat Loaf Sang Lead on Ted Nugent’s Free For All Album?

Meat Loaf Ted Nugent

Photo: By H. Michael Karshis from San Antonio, USA (Ted Nugent) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Before Meat Loaf’s career exploded with his mega hit album Bat Out Of Hell, the singer had made the rounds in various projects in the studio and on the silver screen. It’s a safe bet that most music fans know that Meat Loaf played a role in the iconic cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The silver screen was not the only place Meat Loaf practiced his acting chops, the iconic singer had also appeared in the Broadway play Hair.

While Meat Loaf was practicing his art in the theater and on-screen, he was also involved in various musical projects. One of Meat Loaf’s first bands was a group called Popcorn Blizzard and Floating Circus. The band had actually opened up for some of classic rock’s most legendary groups including The Who, The Stooges, and the MC5. Meat Loaf would eventually record an album with one of the former cast members of Hair. The album entitled Stoney & Meatloaf  would lead to another tour once again opening for The Who and other acts such as Bob Seger, and Alice Cooper.

In 1976, Derek St. Holmes who had been performing lead vocals for Ted Nugent quit the band due to what Derek St Homes described as personal issues. The leave would only prove to be temporary, yet it was done during the recording of what would become Ted Nugent’s breakout album Free For All. Derek St. Holmes had already recorded a few tracks with Ted Nugent for the album but was quoted as being unhappy with the artistic direction of the record and the way it was being produced. The album’s producer Tom Werman contacted Meat Loaf and asked if the singer would come into the sessions and sing lead on many of the album tracks.

Ted Nugent’s Free For All album was released in October of 1976. On the album Ted Nugent sang lead for the album’s opening title track “Free For All.” Derek St Holmes performed the lead vocals on “Dog Eat Gog,” “Turn It Up,” and “Light My Way.” Meat Loaf performed the lead vocals on the albums remaining five tracks, “Writing on the Wall,” “Street Rats,” “Together,” “Hammerdown,” and “I Love You So I Told You a Lie. ” Most of Meat Loaf’s vocals were straight ahead performances far removed from what he would do on the Bat Out Of Hell album. If one was not very familiar with the tonal qualities of Meat Loaf’s voice, you would never really know it was Meat Loaf.

The first track to appear on the Free For All album that featured Meat Loaf on lead vocals was the album’s third track, “Writing on the Wall.” The track “Writing On The Wall,” is a great song, buts it’s all about Ted Nugent. Yup, Ted Nugent is all about Ted Nugent and that pretty much sums it all up. Meat Loaf hits some really high notes on the song, but Ted’s guitar knocks it out of the park.

Another great track on the album that featured Meat Loaf on the record was the album’s eighth track “Hammerdown.” Ted Nugent’s Free For All was such a great record and having Meat Loaf sing lead vocals on five of the albums tracks makes it just a little more special, for Meat Loaf fans at least. Once the album was released Derek St Holmes came back on board and toured with Ted Nugent promoting the record. A year later Meat Loaf would release the legendary Bat Out Of Hell album and you know the rest.

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