Lightning was an offshoot of Minneapolis ’60s legends Litter that featured guitar wizard Tom “Zippy” Caplan. After recording the Litter’s 1966 garage classic Distortions and 1968 psych masterpiece $100 Fine, Caplan split from the Litter and formed Lightning.
The band started out as a power trio and cut one fierce Cream-inspired single “William” b/w “Of Paupers And Poets” in 1968 under the White Lightning moniker with Twin Cities record producer Warren Kendrick. The band regrouped into a quintet and scored a record deal with P.I.P. which issued their eight-song album. That album has since become a highly collectable LP.
Lightning became one of the Midwest’s hardest working rock acts and toured extensively throughout the region during their three-year tenure. This authorized CD reissue includes their entire LP, the aforementioned 45, plus six additional bonus tracks (including edited 45 mixes of two album tracks) all wrapped in an archival 12-page booklet with lots of photos and liner notes by Litter-scribe Doug Sheppard.
Between this package and Arf Arf’s White Lightning Strikes Twice [1968-1969] release, the band’s entire musical legacy has been properly archived. Fans of Blue Cheer, Cream, Hendrix, and Arf Arf’s four psychedelic Dose comps will really dig this new disc.
“Zippy Caplan’s post-Litter [band] made music close enough to Cream to fool you if you weren’t listening hard enough…a hidden treasure that deserves a wider listen.”
by Cub Koda
1. Prelude to Opus IV (Woodrich, Caplan, Stanhope) - 4:05
2. Hideaway (Woodrich, Stanhope) - 4:00
3. When a Man Could Be Free (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 4:27
4. Madame Sunrise (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 6:00
5. 1930 (Roberts, Stanhope, Caplan) - 4:12
6. Freedom (Is Life with Living) (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 5:46
7. They've Got the Time (Woodrich, Stanhope) - 5:51
8. (Ghost) Riders in the Sky (Stan Jones) - 5:32
9. William (Caplan, Woodrich, Struthers) - 2:06
10.Of Paupers and Poets (Kendrick) - 2:33
11.(Under the Screaming Double) Eagle (Caplan, Waite, Woodrich) - 3:56
12.What Have I Now (Lindlay, Caplan) - 3:21
13.Rat (Caplan, Woodrich, Stanhope, Roberts, Pershey) - 4:18
14.Hideaway (single mix) (Woodrich, Stanhope) - 3:13
15.Freedom (single mix) (Stanhope, Caplan, Woodrich) - 3:40
16.William Tell Overture (The Lone Ranger Theme) (Rosini) - 2:40
*Ronn Roberts - Vocals, Guitar
*Tom "Zippy" Caplan - Guitar
*Bernie Pershey - Drums
*Woody Woodrich - Bass
*Mickey Stanhope - Vocals, Drums
the Free Text