Call Me Lightning

Pete Townshend

About Call Me Lightning

"Call Me Lightning" is a 1968 song by British rock band The Who, written by guitarist Pete Townshend. It appears on their fourth American album Magic Bus: The Who on Tour and the compilation album The Ultimate Collection. In the United States, it was the follow-up single to their first U. S. Top 10 hit "I Can See for Miles" and reached No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 4 May 1968, their 16th most successful single on the Hot 100. A promo video was made for the song, and this video was featured in the 1979 documentary The Kids Are Alright. The song was released in the United Kingdom as the B-side of "Dogs". The B-side, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", had been considered as a possible single release, along with "Call Me Lightning," but it was released as the B-side of "Call Me Lightning" instead. The song received mediocre reception from the Who and their fans, and biographer John Atkins feels that "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was a better song than "Call Me Lightning", even though its horror film imagery was unsuitable for a single. The song was behind the naming of the rock group Call Me Lightning. 


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See that girl who's smiling so brightly,
Well I reckon she's cool and I reckon rightly,
She's good looking and I ain't frightened,
I'm gonna show you why they call me lightning.

Hey little girl who's dancing so lightly,
My XKE is shining brightly,
The loose around us is slowly tightening,
I'm gonna show you why they call me lightning.

Hey little girl who's dancing so lightly,
My XKE is shining brightly,
The loose around us is slowly tightening,
I'm gonna show you why they call me lightning.

You can't catch me, I'm as fast as can be,
Call me lightning, I'm as fast as can be,
No you can't catch me, no you can't catch me.

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Pete Townshend

Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend (born 19 May 1945) is an English rock guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and author, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group The Who, as well as for his own solo career. His career with The Who spans more than 40 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential bands of the 1960s and 1970s, and, according to Eddie Vedder, "possibly the greatest live band ever." more »

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Lyrics © Spirit Music Group, Abkco Music Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

12 facts about this song

Song Origination
"Call Me Lightning" was originally written and recorded by The Who, a prominent British rock band formed in 1964.
Song Writer
The song was penned by Pete Townshend, the lead guitarist and main songwriter for The Who, known for his dynamic and bold style of composition.
Despite being a less-known song from the band’s catalog, "Call Me Lightning" has often charmed audiences for its upbeat rhythm and capturing melody.
Album Detail
The song featured on the album "Magic Bus: The Who on Tour," released in the U.S. in 1968 by Decca Records. However, this album was not a live album, and the name was more of a marketing strategy.
Song Genre
"Call Me Lightning" is classified under the genres of Rock and British Invasion, showcasing the general atmosphere of the British rock music scene during the 1960s.
Single Release
The song was released as a single in the U.S. In the UK it was included on the EP "Dogs."
U.S. Chart Performance
Though not as revered as other hits by The Who, "Call Me Lightning" had some success in the U.S., reaching #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.
Video Creation
There is a promotional video for "Call Me Lightning," where Roger Daltrey, the lead vocalist, portrays a housewife and Keith Moon, the drummer, plays a mischievous child.
Live Performances
Despite its popularity, "Call Me Lightning" is one of the songs by The Who that has seldom been performed in the band's live performances.
Instrumental Feature
One of the primary features in "Call Me Lightning" is an organ played by Pete Townshend, accompanying his energetic guitar riffs.
Lyric Content
The song's lyrics are a playful, humorous take on the band's electrifying performances, with Pete Townshend once jokingly saying that he wrote "Call Me Lightning" in response to his girlfriend asking him about the sensation of playing the electric guitar.
Cover Versions
Several other artists have covered "Call Me Lightning," including The New Duncan Imperials and Fastball, showing the song's lasting influence within the rock music genre.

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