Under The Radar: Damn Yankees (1990)
Updated: Mar 25
Damn Yankees were formed in 1989 and consisted of Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Ted Nugent of The Amboy Dukes and Michael Cartellone (then an unknown drummer who would later join Lynyrd Skyward).
Their self titled debut record was released in 1990 and was produced by Ron Nevison (Heart, Kiss, Ozzy Osborne). Their debut album went double platinum and spawned two hit singles Coming of Age and High Enough.
Being a fan of both Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades, I was looking forward to this new Damn Yankees project. I enjoyed their debut album. I thought that Tommy and Jack sang well together, and their harmonies were the best that I heard in a long time.
The sound of the record was that of a guitar-oriented version of Journey with a hint of Aerosmith.
My only minor issue with their debut album was the production. Yes, producer Ron Nevison had a solid track record up to that point with giving Heart, Kiss and Ozzy some of their biggest radio hits, and giving them platinum selling records, but it came at a price. When you have proficient players like the members of Damn Yankees, you want someone who can capture that band vibe or bring out that live feeling. Granted Ron Nevison’s studio savvy gets them played on the radio but the overall sound of the record is a little flat.
Still, their debut album is an entertaining listen with the songs being catchy and melodic.
So if you like bands like Aerosmith, Night Ranger, Journey and Styx, you owe it to yourself to give Damn Yankees a listen.