Lenny Kaye Presents Lightning Striking Various Artists (Lenny Kaye)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP2 1606

There are probably fewer pundits more qualified to opine upon popular music’s past than Lenny Kaye. A keen observer of, and participant within, rock music’s continued manifestations since its birth pangs in the early 1950s, Kaye’s deep knowledge, erudite analysis and infectious enthusiasm for the many tributaries whence and to where this behemoth of popular culture has flowed is something any aficionado should pay attention to.

There is no better place to start than “Lightning Striking”, Kaye’s new book that is part history, part memoir and one hundred percent engaging from start to finish. It is not the generalist flip through rock’s back pages, but instead surfs the flashpoints of inception and development that have lightning-struck Lenny the most. Each section devours the history and excitement of specific moments in rock’n’roll evolution, and with chapter headers such as “Memphis 1954”, “Detroit 1969” or “Seattle 1991”, the thrust of “Lightning Striking” is unequivocally, unapologetically concerned with rock’n’roll in its most basic and thrilling incarnations.

In collaboration with Ace’s Alec Palao, Lenny has also assembled an Original Soundtrack to “Lightning Striking”; the perfect playlist to spin whilst one peruses the pages. Like the book, it is a mixture of the familiar but essential and the fascinatingly unpredictable: in other words, not dissimilar to Kayes’s curatorial triumph of yore “Nuggets”, the compilation that established the garage rock genre. The earliest entry is the Boswell Sisters’ 1934 prophetic ‘Rock And Roll’, the most recent ‘Gimme Chocolate!” by hard rock/J Pop hybrid Babymetal. In-between we hear a nuanced selection of the finest vintage R&B, pop, psychedelia, punk rock and heavy metal, from an intriguingly diverse selection of bedfellows.

 The sound quality is second to none, with plenty of ear-wrenching rarities – for instance, the unissued stereo take of the MC5’s blitzkrieg ‘Looking At You’ peels paint faster than even the original mono A-Square single. Not to mention curios like ‘Crazy Like A Fox’, the author’s very own 1966 “nugget if you dug it”. Yes, “Lightning Striking” is the perfect companion to the tale Lenny tells, but it is also an energizing, inspiring listen in of itself, and a reminder once again of the life-affirming power of the music we all know and love. Hail, hail rock’n’roll!

Alec Palao


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Lightnin' Strikes (Album version) - Lou Christie

  • 02 Preview Rock And Roll - The Boswell Sisters with Jimmy Grier & His Orchestra

  • 03 Preview Sixty Minute Man - The Dominoes

  • 04 Preview I'm So Happy - Danny Cobb with the Paul Williams Orchestra

  • 05 Preview That's All Right - Elvis Presley

  • 06 Preview I'm Gonna Murder My Baby aka Cheating And Lying Blues - Pat Hare

  • 07 Preview Dog Me Around aka How Many More Years - Howling Wolf

  • 08 Preview High School Confidential - Jerry Lee Lewis & His Pumping Piano

  • 09 Preview Good Rockin' Tonight - Roy Brown with Bob Ogden & Orchestra

  • 10 Preview Look What You're Doin' To Me (Ooh-Wee, Baby) - Professor Longhair

  • 11 Preview Tutti-Frutti - Little Richard & His Band

  • 12 Preview Walking To New Orleans - Fats Domino

  • 13 Preview Marcella - The Castelles

  • 14 Preview Tiger - Fabian

  • 15 Preview A Boy Without A Girl - Frankie Avalon

  • 16 Preview Move It! - Cliff Richard & The Drifters

  • 17 Preview I Hear A New World - Joe Meek & The Blue Men

  • 18 Preview Cavern Stomp - The Big Three

  • 19 Preview Stupidity - The Undertakers

  • 20 Preview Ferry Cross The Mersey - Gerry & The Pacemakers

  • 21 Preview Pride Of Man (Demo) - Quicksilver Messenger Service

  • 22 Preview Someone To Love - The Great! Society

  • 23 Preview 3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds - Jefferson Airplane

  • 24 Preview Cream Puff War - The Grateful Dead

  • 25 Preview Coo Coo - Big Brother & The Holding Company

  • 26 Preview Crazy Like A Fox - Link Cromwell

Side 2

  • 01 Preview Looking At You (Stereo version) - MC5

  • 02 Preview Leavin' Here (Version 1) - The Rationals

  • 03 Preview Black Sheep - SRC

  • 04 Preview 1969 - The Stooges

  • 05 Preview Piss Factory - Patti Smith

  • 06 Preview Rockin' On The Bowery - Startoon

  • 07 Preview Beat On The Brat - Ramones

  • 08 Preview Down At The Rock and Roll Club (Alternate) - Richard Hell & The Voidoids

  • 09 Preview Once I Had A Love (aka The Disco Song) (1975 version) - Blondie

  • 10 Preview Orgasm Addict - Buzzcocks

  • 11 Preview Your Generation - Generation X

  • 12 Preview Oh Bondage Up Yours! - X-Ray Spex

  • 13 Preview Garageland - The Clash

  • 14 Preview Lightnin' Strikes Again - Dokken

  • 15 Preview Edge Of A Broken Heart (Album version) - Vixen

  • 16 Preview Freezing Moon - Mayhem

  • 17 Preview Gimme Chocolate!! - Babymetal

  • 18 Preview Touch Me I'm Sick - Mudhoney

  • 19 Preview Anaconda - Melvins

  • 20 Preview Jinx - TAD

  • 21 Preview Where Did You Sleep Last Night - Mark Lanegan

  • 22 Preview So You Want To Be (A Rock 'n' Roll Star) - Patti Smith Group

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