Modern Classic: Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

The Go! Team made a bit of a splash in the indie music scene in the mid 2000s. They were a part of the mini British invasion of that decade, along with bands like Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, The Kooks, The Fratellis, and Franz Ferdinand, and their debut album, Thunder, Lighting, Strike is one of my favorite albums of all time.

Panther Dash (preview)

Thunder, Lighting, Strike doesn’t waste any time getting out of the gate, with album opener “Panther Dash” really giving you a good idea of what you’re in for over the next 40-or-so minutes: pure, feel-good energy. I still listen to this album over a decade after its initial release because I just love its insistence that I have a good time. It doesn’t matter how my day is going, or how much I have on my mind, all that melts away when this record comes on and everything seems okay.

The Power is On (preview)

Get it Together (preview)

If you don’t know this album, you have probably heard “The Power is On” which was their biggest hit. It was most notably used in the NFL’s Play60 campaign where, you guessed it, it was used for its infectious energy. The song “Get it Together” was used in an early trailer for the PS3 game LittleBigPlanet, causing more than a few gamers to perk their ears up and ask “what is that awesome song?”

And while I enjoy every song on this album, the one that stands out the most is “Huddle Information,” a song that is so good I struggle to explain my love for it. Just listen:

Huddle Information (full)

Now while I am generally comfortable with the all-streaming world we live in today, this is an album that I’m happy to have in MP3 format. The album was originally released in the UK in 2004, but had to be edited for copyright concerns before its 2005 US release. I have the British version of the album, and the samples are just a little better than the US release. Pitchfork touched on this in their review:

These wondrous abilities are what had me dreading the American reissue of the Go! Team’s excellent debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike. If you haven’t heard the backstory, this lawyer-stuffed country made it difficult for the Go! Team to clear the original album’s samples for domestic release, forcing the band to slightly tweak the material in order to purge the recordings of legal pitfalls.

So yes, the album you can stream right now on Apple Music, Spotify, and everywhere else is the slightly less, but still amazing US version[1], but that’s okay. If you only ever hear the US version, forget I ever said this and you’ll never know the difference.

Thunder, Lightning, Strike is one of the best albums I have ever heard, and after 12 years it is still one of the records I keep coming back to over and over. Set aside all the hype over new albums coming out right now and find room for this in your rotation. I think you’ll be happy you did.

Listen to Thunder, Lightning, Strike on Apple Music, Spotify, or buy it directly from the band.

  1. I don’t know if the UK version of the album is streaming on your music services.  ↩