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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Jun. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arf! Arf!
  • ASIN: B00000J7AD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,160 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Action Woman DISTORTIONS [1966]
2. Whatcha Gonna Do About It DISTORTIONS [1966]
3. Codine DISTORTIONS [1966]
4. Somebody Help Me DISTORTIONS [1966]
5. Substitute DISTORTIONS [1966]
6. The Mummy DISTORTIONS [1966]
7. I'm So Glad DISTORTIONS [1966]
8. A Legal Matter DISTORTIONS [1966]
9. Rack My Mind DISTORTIONS [1966]
10. Soul-Searchin' DISTORTIONS [1966]
11. I'm A Man DISTORTIONS [1966]
12. Hey Joe* DISTORTIONS [1966]
13. Harpsichord Sonata#* DISTORTIONS [1966]
14. Here I Go Again# LIVE AT ELECTRIC THEATRE [8/18/68]
15. The Egyptian# LIVE AT ELECTRIC THEATRE [8/18/68]
18. Blues One LIVE AT ELECTRIC THEATRE [8/18/68]
19. She's Not There# LIVE AT ELECTRIC THEATRE [8/18/68]
20. Pegasus# LIVE AT ELECTRIC THEATRE [8/18/68]

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Bloss on 25 Oct. 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album is worth it just for "Action Woman" - from it's 2000 volt intro to it's crashing chorus - it's fantastic and an all time garage classic.
Some of the other tracks aren't of such a high calibre but overall this is a band that were a cut above the rest cranking out garage and fuzz guitar tunes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Whitehead on 26 Feb. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Distortions was the first album by the band and, like so many debut albums by garage/r'n'b bands in the mid '60s, it's largely an album of covers. However what sets this album apart from many others is the standard of musicianship (which is superb) and the choice of songs...

Whereas many garage / r'n'b bands played a repertoire of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Chicago blues covers (Let it Rock, Boom Boom, Mona...) plus garage standards of the day (Gloria, Money... ) The Litter mainly focused on British Invasion bands - and the album includes some blistering cover versions of songs like A Legal Matter (The Who), Whatcha Gonna Do About It (Small Faces) and I'm So Glad (Cream). Add to these other *classics* like a very moody version of Buffy Sainte Marie's Codeine (one of my faves), The Mummy, a short (very) but fun instrumental based on the theme to the horror film of the same name and the incendiary opener - Action Woman - and you have in my opinion the core of this fab album...

But hey how can I forget their take on the Bo Diddley's I'm a Man? OK, they based it on the Yardbird's version, but it's even more crazy than theirs... This should have closed the album in my view, as it's so demented and freaked out that you could imagine the men in their white coats arriving to take the band away as the song builds to its gloriously cacophonous climax..

The album also includes a handful of songs the band recorded as part of the film soundtrack (alas they didn't appear in it). These songs are pretty hot too, but show the band having moved on musically to more of a late 60s hard rock band. Some of the songs remind me of early Blue Oyster Cult, which is no bad thing in my book. My faves are The Egyptian and Under the Screaming Double-Headed Eagle; the latter of which I prefer to the studio version later cut for their next album $100 Fine..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Early LOUD psychedelia at it's best 6 Jun. 2006
By Rimshot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Since there are a few comments from people who discovered the Litter through Pebbles etc., I thought I would weigh in with the perspective of someone who saw them many times and bought the original vinyl when it first came out. I was fourteen, lived in MN, and the Litter played at the local armory once a month or so for several years. At the time I didn't even know that many of the tracks were covers. The Who? Remember it was three long years before the Woodstock movie would make them HUGE.

The Litter played LOUD. We studied their clothes, we copied their amps - yes, we formed a band. We learned every song on Distortions - the Litter versions! Aside from the ear numbing bliss surrounding their frenzied and pounding performances, I will never forget when Rinaldi appeared one night playing a semi-hollow body Rickenbacker with the body hacked away - leaving just a block of wood and the pickups in tact, but the switches and knobs dangling below - really cool! The music stripped down to the feedback howling essentials. Caplan may have had the chops, but Rinaldi was the guitarded electric soul of the band (and in later years, I think - the last remaining original member). As I recall, their violent pyschedelic explorations were a lot longer in concert - sometimes I'm A Man spinning out of control for more than 15 minutes.

Just thought I would share. My vinyl is still around - beat up and full of pops. I'm glad to have a clear recording of the Litter - the CD is great. BTW - $100 Fine just never captured the band as far out (man). Although it does contain several cool cuts - three or four out of ten? I own worse.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
thanks from Denny Waite 12 Dec. 2011
By Denny Waite - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As a member of the Litter, I can't be very objective. All I can say is that playing like maniacs was liberating, cathartic, crazy and fun. I agree with the above reviewer that playing all those covers shouldn't have worked, but somehow it did. The need to express our adolescent rebelliousness found a perfect channel in this music, if I may say so myself.
Thanks for the kind words.
Denny Waite-(lead vocals)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Top-notch 60s garage rock 16 Mar. 2000
By hyperbolium - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A classic from the 60's resurfaces! Thirteen great tracks of Voxx wah-wah'd guitars and garage grunge blues. "It's the Now Sound... it's what's happening!" The Litter reminds me a lot of Chicago's Shadows of Knight, both in their approach to garage-punk blues, and in Dennis Waite's lead vocals.
This LP is bookended with two of the best tracks ever to appear on Pebbles compilations, the original "Action Woman" (rendered here from the original master tapes, sans the skip that invaded the 7" used to master the Pebbles version), and a screeching cover of "I'm a Man." In between is another excellent original ("Soul Searchin'") which the Pandoras, er, uh, borrowed a riff or two from, and a bunch of great covers, including the Spencer Davis Group's "Somebody Help Me", Buffy St. Marie's "Codine", a couple of Townshend songs ("Substitute" and "A Legal Matter"), Skip James' "I'm So Glad", the Yardbird's "Rack My Mind" and more.
I've never heard a copy of the original LP, so I can't really compare the CD's sound quality to that. There are two bonus tracks on this CD issue, "The Egyptian" and "Blues One", the latter recorded live in Chicago. Overall it's very listenable, though perhaps not the best recorded LP of its era. But it wasn't about the recording technology, it was about the garage, and this one's got plenty of buzzing, vibrating MOPAR muscle parked in it.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
glorious garage rock 6 May 2001
By Sean M. Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
With the advent of the Beatles, the British Invasion, and the emerging psychedelic movement, garage bands from all over the country were coming to various small studios to put their ventures on tape for the world to (hopefully) hear. While San Francisco, L.A., and Austin got the bulk of the national exposure, all parts of the country had excellent, if mostly unknown, acts that made top quality music.
The Midwest bands tended to offer a workman's approach to their music, with heavy, riffed guitars, powerful drumming, and lyrics to match. The popular acts from this era, such as the MC5, Stooges, SRC, Frijid Pink, Shadows of Knight, and Del-Vetts, all fell into this category. Many of the bands from Minneapolis also fell in this category- bands such as Calico Wall, Electras, C.A. Quintet, Trashmen...and the Litter.
The Litter formed from 2 bands, the Tabs, and the Victors, and showed incredible promise, as their debut lp, "Distortions," shows. The band, led by vocalist Denny Waite and guitar virtuoso Tom "Zippy" Caplan, showed off their high energy psychedelic chops on this offering, taking on many classic songs, including 2 by Pete Townshend, ("A Legal Matter," and "Substitute") Small Faces, (their brilliant cover of "Whatcha Gonna Do About It") Yardbirds, ("Rack My Mind") Spencer Davis Group, ("Somebody Help Me") and Buffy St. Marie (the oft covered "Codine"), to name most.
The highlights of this lp include the minor cult hit "Action Woman," which was released twice as a single in 1967. (backed 1st by "Legal Matter" as single 6710 on the small Scotty Label, then backed by "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" as Warick single 6712. Both versions in prime condition command great money on the open market) The frenzy of Zippy Caplan and Dan Rinaldi's guitars make this single sizzle from start to finish, and is completed by Waite's snarling vocals. The low end rhythm of bassist Jim Kane and drummer Tom Murray, consistent throughout the lp (save on "Substitute," where they never quite get on track), is also excellent on this track.
The true highlight of the lp is the over the top psychedelic frenzy on the staple "I'm A Man," which offers quite possibly one of the greatest uses of controlled feedback (this side of the Velvet Underground) I have ever heard. Once the jam commences, Caplan and Rinaldi take over the show for the final minute and a half of pure ecstacy. The 2 trade off riffs, blissfully fuzzed out Syd Barrett-esque solos, complete with superb studio effects. Murray's thrashing of his drums only add to the high octane. The track must be heard to be believed. 4 of the greatest minutes of recorded garage music ever.
The band's 2nd lp, the amazing "$100 Fine" would pick up where this debut lp ended and go in wonderful directions, but for my money, "Distortions" is their finest effort, and one of the best psychedelic/garage lps of the era. Prime lp copies of "Distortions" (on the Warrick label, release #671) have been sold for thousands of dollars on the market, both for its groovy cover, as well as the extraordinary music contained within. Why all the hype? Get this lp and find out. An excellently crafted lp and one of the finest lps of its day.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Contains one of the greatest rock tracks, ever. 14 Oct. 2004
By Griff Heartfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Not that crazy about a number of tracks here: so-so covers. But if you like 'garage' music / 60s punk-psychedelia at all this is a must-have. Two stand-out tracks. Action Woman, an original, also available on the Nuggets anthology, is one of the great lost rock singles. Had there been any justice it would have / could have been a top ten hit.

But the cover of the Yardbirds cover of 'I'm a Man' is even better.

Sean's review has it pegged when he calls this "4 of the greatest minutes of recorded garage music ever." I'll go farther: it may be THE 4 greatest minutes of hard rock, period. The Litter charge through the body of the song at maybe half-again the pace of the Yardbirds already pilled-up version, with much nastier guitar textures and more aggressive playing - - proto-punk in the best sense - - and then comes the freak-out. This extends the Yardbirds' frenzy by quantum leaps, and runs it through more-Townsend-than-Townsend sonic breakdowns on the way to a mutilstage climax that keeps playing 'can you top this' with itself, and winning.

That's the great thing about rock and roll. On the one hand, this record is completely derivitive. Talented as this disc shows them to be, no-one will ever mistake the guys in the Litter for Great Artistes as Clapton and Townsend have oft been annointed. There's no pretense to blues tradition or pop-art intelligence in the Litter's emulation of their Brit-idols. They just go for the Noise, but somehow they get it, and it's beyond perfect. What we hear in the Litter's I'm a Man is not the genius of individuals, but the genius of an art form as a whole, that somehow found an expression of its essence in four-minutes of spirited emulation by some guys you've never heard of from the middle-of-nowhere.

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