Patti Smith – Dream Of Life (1988)

FrontCover1.jpgDream of Life is the fifth studio album by Patti Smith, released in June 1988 on Arista Records. It was her first album after the dissolution of The Patti Smith Group. Lead single “People Have the Power” received some album-oriented rock airplay at the time, and later was revived by Bruce Springsteen as a theme song for the 2004 Vote for Change concerts. Songs from this album were performed live for the first time in a show on December 29, 2006 in New York City’s Bowery Ballroom. “Paths That Cross” is dedicated to the memory of Samuel J. Wagstaff. The cover photograph is by Robert Mapplethorpe.

The album was ranked number 49 on Sounds magazine list of the best albums of the year.

The big difference between Patti Smith’s four 1970s albums and this return to action after nine years lies in the choice of collaborator. Where Smith’s main associate earlier had been Lenny Kaye, a deliberately simple guitarist, here her co-writer and co-producer (with Jimmy Iovine) was her husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith, formerly of the MC5, who played guitar with a conventional rock competence and who lent his talents to each of the tracks, giving them a mainstream flavor. In a sense, however, these polished love songs, lullabies, and political statements are not to be compared to the poetic ramblings of Smith’s first decade of music-making — she’s so much…calmer this time out.

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But you can’t help it. Where the Patti Smith of Horses inspired a generation of female rockers, the Patti Smith of Dream of Life sounds like she’s been listening to later Pretenders albums and taking tips from Chrissie Hynde, one of her spiritual daughters. Dream of Life is the record of someone who is simply showing the flag, trying to keep her hand in, rather than announcing her comeback. Not surprisingly, having made it, Smith retreated from the public eye again until the ’90s. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Jay Dee Daugherty (drums, keyboards)
Fred “Sonic” Smith – guitar)
Patti Smith (vocals)
Richard Sohl (keyboards)
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Errol “Crusher” Bennett (percussion on 07.)
Hearn Gadbois (percussion)
Bob Glaub (bass on 06.)
Jesse Levy (cello on 08.)
Robin Nash (background vocals on 06.)
Andi Ostrowe (background vocals)
Gary Rasmussen (bass)
Margaret Ross (harp on 08.)
Kasim Sulton (bass)
Malcolm West (bass on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. People Have The Power 5.10
02. Up There Down There 4.47
03. Paths That Cross 4.20
04. Dream Of Life 4.37
05. Where Duty Calls 7.45
06. Going Under 5.57
07. Looking For You (I Was) 4.04
08. The Jackson Song 5.23
09. As the Night Goes By (bonus track) – 5:04

All songs were written by Patti Smith and Fred “Sonic” Smith

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2 thoughts on “Patti Smith – Dream Of Life (1988)

  1. I bought this record in 1990 out of a “crabblekist of ladenhüters” , that were send in the eastgerman recordshops at that time, to show the albino-askaris behind the Elbe-River the fine Art of US-Capitalism. 🙂 People have the power… this faith was dyin’ in the following Treuhandyears in many many heads.
    I think, Peter Frampton comes a live and this one are the first 2 Albums, I was buying with D-Mark.

    Like

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