Tired of the Amboy Dukes lack of effort and discipline, Nugent decided he had enough and left the group. He took a three month vacation (his first ever) clearing his head in the Colorado wilderness, spending his time deer hunting and enjoying the outdoors.
Renewed, Nugent returned to civilization in search of a new direction and a new band. Joining him in the Ted Nugent band would be former Amboy Duke Rob Grange on bass, along with Cliff Davies (ex-If) on drums and finally, from a local Michigan band called Scott which had opened for the Dukes previously, a singer/guitarist named Derek St. Holmes.
The new group hit the road and then the studio, forming the songs which would send their first album into the Billboard Top 30 and into the multi-platinum range. The first track, "Stranglehold", would set the stage for Nugent's career, an eight minute plus guitar attack with vocals by St. Holmes and Nugent, a healthy dose of a Gibson Byrdland guitar, a famous guitar solo recorded in one take and a unique phase bass guitar effect by Rob Grange. Songs such as "Stormtroopin'", "Hey Baby", "Just What the Doctor Ordered" and "Snakeskin Cowboys" (features an 8-string Hagstrom bass played by Rob Grange), (with St. Holmes providing lead vocals on all of them) would prove to be staples of the band's wild concert tours for years to come. "Motor City Madhouse" is an ode to Ted's hometown of Detroit.
The album was produced by former If-manager Lew Futterman and Tom Werman. Ted said about the album, "If anyone wanted to know what rock 'n roll was all about, that's the only album they'd need".