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Articles Home » 1992 Articles » Damn Yankees - 1992 Don't Tread
Damn Yankees - 1992 Don't Tread

ARTIST: Damn Yankees
ALBUM: Don't Tread
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: 9362-45025-2
YEAR: 1992


LINEUP: Jack Blades - vocals, bass * Tommy Shaw - vocals, guitars * Ted Nugent - vocals, guitars * Michael Cartellone - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Tread On Me * 02 Fifteen Minutes Of Fame * 03 Where You Goin' Now * 04 Dirty Dog * 05 Mister Please * 06 Silence Is Broken * 07 Firefly * 08 Someone To Believe * 09 This Side Of Hell * 10 Double Coyote * 11 Uprising

The first Damn Yankees album from 1990 was a pretty decent hit-out from a band full of celebrity musicians. Going double-platinum, the album was played everywhere during the first half of 1990 and deservedly so. It took two years for the follow-up 'Don't Tread' to resurface, and with the changing landscape in melodic rock at the time, the CD got less airtime than it should have. I think everyone that has heard both Damn Yankees albums will prefer the debut, but take nothing away from 'Don't Tread', it contains a brace of excellent songs, and if you play the thing often enough, you might find it difficult to take it out of your CD player. The songs seem to mirror the individual personalities of the the three principal band members: Blades, Shaw and Nugent, and you'll surely pick up on this as you navigate your way through the album.

The Songs
'Don't Tread On Me' is classic U.S hard rock, a stomping drum-line from Cartellone and razing guitar work from Nugent kicks this one off in no uncertain terms. 'Fifteen Minutes Of Fame' continues the forthright drum-work, a high-roller of a tune that bruises the ear-drums with Blades and Shaw combining mightily on the chorus. 'Where You Goin' Now' features Tommy Shaw's high falsetto, a sweeping orchestrated ballad in the vein of 'High Enough' from the debut. 'Dirty Dog' is a raucous as the songtitle suggests. A back-alley rocker with the classic lyric 'stop sniffin' around my bitches!'. 'Mister Please' fades in gently upon a calm vocal and some harmony acoustic guitar. DY kick the door down 1 min 25 sec later, guitars on overload though still highly melodic. The song isn't representative of the personnel's past bands, though the acoustic work of Shw comes closest to early Styx. 'Silence Is Broken' is simply gorgeous stuff, Tommy Shaw's lead vocal is killer on this one, and I'd have no hesitation in declaring this my favourite track on the CD. 'Firefly' turns on the firepower, with a hard driving rhythm section not heard since Dokken's 'We're Illegal'. Great stuff. 'Someone To Believe' goes down a hard rocking southern route. A touch of Tangier but perhaps slightly heavier, this sounds wonderful; Nugent having a fun time with some six string magic applied. 'This Side Of Hell' is trademark Damn Yankees all over. Big, brash and in your face, no doubting this would sound great in a live context. Loud and proud as they say. When I first heard 'Double Coyote', I was reminded of Van Halen's 'Ice Cream Man', the bluesy smokey sound a near perfect doppelganger. Finishing up with the 5 and half minute 'Uprising', Damn Yankees is a relentless and breathless rocker, no half measures given, Cartellone keeping the metronome strong all the way through with no lapses or breathers. A strong way to end the album.

In Summary
Given the industry circumstances of the day, 'Don't Tread' did well to reach high into the Billboard album charts (#22), going platinum as well. The album spawned three singles in 1992: 'Don't Tread On Me' (with an accompanying video), 'Mister Please' and the excellent 'Where You Goin' Now'. In 1993, the band issued 'Silence Is Broken', keeping the momentum going a year after the album's release. To wrap, I believe the combination of Blades, Shaw and Nugent made for some compelling hard rock. Their individual styles combining for DY might not have convinced industry critics at the start, but it definitely produced results that listeners enjoyed. It goes to show that at the end of the day, it's the listeners that rule the roost and not the critics. As for the future, anything's possible, and maybe in the 21st Century, we can expect to see a new (third) Damn Yankees album..

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#1 | jeffrey343 on October 19 2013 05:06:29
The first DY album was the soundtrack to 1990 for me, and I played it a bunch, plus it got a lot of radio action. My musical preferences had changed somewhat by 1992, as I was listening to a lot of country by then since rock radio just wasn't playing the music I liked. I really looked forward to this album, but it just didn't do it for me. I did like 'Where You Goin' Now', 'Silence Is Broken', and 'Someone To Believe', and I do recall that first one making it to radio. But the rest of the songs were just a bit too much 'Nugey' for me, and I could not get into the album as a whole. I've given it a few more tries the past few years, but I still can't get into much other than those three songs.

After writing the above, I checked my comments on that first one, and I pretty much said the exact same thing 3.5 years ago as I stated above. At least I'm consistent...
#2 | gdazegod on October 19 2013 05:09:01
I thought Nugent's input was a good contrast. And as I was more or less bought up on Nugent's solo albums, it was an ok fit for me; less so for others obviously.
#3 | jeffrey343 on October 19 2013 05:11:57
Nugent always worked better for me in measured doses. Never was a fan of his singing. His 'Penetrator' album was quite good, but Brian Howe sang all the songs on it that I like. For this group, I think I need a lot of Blades, a good amount of Shaw, and a smaller amount of the Nuge.
#4 | george_the_jack on October 23 2013 02:23:22
I have always been a fan of the Damn Yankees ballads. Wouldn't say the same for their ''rockier'' stuff though. Excuse the pun, but too ''rustic'' for my taste.
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