Ted Nugent – Cat Scratch Fever

Bolstered with confidence from my recent experience with Friday Music’s remaster of Robin Trower’s Bridge of Sighs, I decided to give the label’s offerings another spin, especially considering it just pulled another one of my 70s favorites out of the vault: Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever, the record that in 1977 made the Nuge an ubiquitous presence on rock radio.

A quick switch between the Friday version and my early stamper original reveals the former being quieter and smoother—definitely a job well done by Kevin Gray this time. While most of us have heard the title track more than enough, Cat Scratch Fever boasts a handful of great tunes that did not get much airplay before 10 p.m. Thanks to the extra air on “Death By Misadventure,” you’ll now hear more drumming finesse as well as a few extra layers of background vocals where, previously, there was only one fat background vocal track. And “Live it Up” has way more cowbell than on the original. (I’m not kidding.)

Combine these improvements with dead-quiet surfaces and zero inner-groove distortion, and the results maximize the heaviness of this rock classic; Friday’s edition is a major success. Let’s hope Gray and Co. soon get their hands on Free For All and Ted Nugent. That said, the packaging is sub par. The cover is dreadfully reproduced, very yellow with so much contrast it looks like the color separations were made from a color copy made at Kinko’s. But I’m guessing you aren’t buying a remastered copy of Cat Scratch Fever for the album art.  – Jeff Dorgay

Friday Music, 180g LP