Monday, April 05, 2021

The Litter: Distortions 1967 ( Definitive Edition - Reissue 1999)

Legendary 60's Garage - Rock From Minneapolis.
The Litter was an American psychedelic and garage rock band, formed in 1966 in Minneapolis,

Minnesota, United States. They are best remembered for their 1967 debut single, "Action Woman". The group recorded three albums in the late 1960s before disbanding, but they re-united in 1990, 1992, and again in 1998, when they recorded a new studio album consisting of both old and new material. All of their Minneapolis recorded material was produced by Warren Kendrick, who owned the Scotty and Warick and Hexagon labels.

One of Minneapolis' most popular '60s bands, the Litter are most well-known for their classic 1967 garage rock single "Action Woman." With its demonic fuzz/feedback guitar riffs and cocky, snarling lead vocal, it was an archetype of the tough '60s garage rock favored by fans of the Pebbles reissue

series. In fact, the single, which got some airplay in Minnesota in early 1967 and then was largely forgotten, didn't reach an international audience until it became cut one,  Side One on Volume One of Pebbles in the late '70s. It now has a place of honor on the Nuggets box set. The Litter were a little more successful and long-lived than the average regional garage band, recording a few albums, the last one for a major label, and evolving into a more progressive hard rock outfit before disbanding around the end of the '60s.

Four members of the original lineup, Jim Kane, Bill Strandlof, Denny Waite, and Dan Rinaldi formed

the band in 1966 from the remains of two popular Minneapolis bands: The Victors and The Tabs.
Tom Murray joined as a result from a successful band audition. Their group name was presented by Jim Kane and accepted over other suggestions like "The Mustys".

Heavily influenced by the bands of the British Invasion, the group recorded their debut single "Action Woman/"A Legal Matter"in late 1966. "Action Woman" proved to be their most impactful single and became a garage rock classic. Bill Strandlof, lead guitarist for the single, was replaced by Tom Caplan just before their debut album Distortions was released in the summer of 1967. Distortions leaned on cover songs, but became a classic that would be re-released when garage rock was revived.

Their debut single, "Action Woman"/"A Legal Matter," with local producer Warren Kendrick in late 1966. "Action Woman," in fact, was not a Litter original, but a Kendrick composition. Bill Strandlof, who had played the searing guitar lead on "Action Woman," was replaced by Tom "Zippy" Caplan in the spring of 1967, just before they recorded most of the tracks that comprised their debut album.

Like many bands in the late '60s, the Litter subsequently went into a more psychedelic/hard rock direction. Their second album, $100 Fine, put more weight on original material, although their sound

was growing more generic. Around this time, the Litter missed out on some potentially big opportunities, turning down offers from both Elektra and Columbia. By 1968, the band had shifted to the psychedelic rock scene. Their second album, $100 Fine, included original input from the band and British-influenced cover material. Although the album did not chart nationally, it did chart at number 10 on the Twin Cities chart.

In 1969, the band finally signed to a major label. Their third album, Emerge was released on the ABC Records label and became their most successful to date. It peaked at number 175 on the Billboard 200. The group continued to tour with several different line-ups sporadically thereafter and released an album of new material in 1998.

The Litter – Distortions
Label: Arf! Arf! – AA-077
Format: CD, Album, Reissue 1999
Country: US
Released: 1967
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock


01. Action Woman    2:32
02. Whatcha Gonna Do About It    2:27
03. Codine    4:30
04. Somebody Help Me    1:55
05. Substitute    2:36
06. The Mummy    1:25
07. I'm So Glad    3:47
08. A Legal Matter    2:47
09. Rack My Mind    3:41
10. Soul-Searchin'    2:47
11. I'm A Man    4:00


12. Hey Joe    4:08
13. Harpsichord Sonata #1    0:25

Live At The Electric Theatre [8/18/68]
14. Here I Go Again    2:37
15. The Egyptian    2:52
16. (Under The Screaming Double) Eagle    3:01
17. Confessions (Of A Traveler Through Time)    2:23
18. Blues One    4:03
19. She's Not There    7:53
20. Pegasus    3:19

1-11 Original Album Sequence
12-13 Outtakes From Album Session
14-20 Recorded Live At The Electric Theatre 8/18/68

Bass Guitar, Vocals, Organ, Other [Special Effects] – James Worthington Kane III
Drums, Percussion  – Tom Murray (3)
Lead Guitar, Vocals, Other [Special Effects], Arranged By [ Arrangements] – Tom "Zippy" Caplan
Lead Vocals, Keyboards, Harp  – Denny Waite
Producer – Warren Kendrick
Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Other [Special Effects] – Dan Rinaldi


The achin' in my stomach got created in my head
I feel like I'm dyin' and I wish I were dead.
If my will comes tomorrow it will be a long time
And I'll rise, not fall, and I'll die on Codine.

And it's real, and it's real
One more time.

When I was a young boy,
I learned not to kill
For whiskey and colic,
I happened to swear.

My mother and father
Said whiskey's cursed.
But the fate that they had
Was a million times worse.

And it's real, and it's real
One more time.

Stay away from the city
Stay away from the town
Stay away from the men
Pushing Codine around.

Stay away from the stores
Where the remedies you will find
For better your pain
Than be caught on Codine.

And it's real, and it's real
One more time.

CODINE (Codeine) is an opiate and prodrug of Morphine used to treat pain, coughing, and diarrhea, sometimes called a narcotic and is commonly abused. It is found naturally in the sap of the opium poppy (‘’’Papaver somniferum’’’. It is typically used to treat mild to moderate degrees of pain.

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