Patti Smith – Horses (1975)

FrontCover1Horses is the debut studio album by American musician Patti Smith, released on December 13, 1975 on Arista Records. Smith, a fixture of the then-burgeoning New York punk rock music scene, began recording Horses with her band in 1975 after being signed to Arista Records, with John Cale being enlisted to produce the album. With its fusion of simplistic rock and roll structures and Smith’s freeform, Beat poetry-infused lyrics, Horses was met with widespread critical acclaim upon its initial release. Despite a lack of airplay or a popular single to support the album, it nonetheless experienced modest commercial success, managing a top 50 placing on the US Billboard 200.

Horses has since been viewed by critics as one of the greatest and most influential albums in the history of American punk rock movement, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time. Horses has also been cited as a key influence on a number of succeeding punk, post-punk, and alternative rock acts, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, R.E.M., The Smiths, and Garbage.

At the time she recorded Horses, Patti Smith and her band were favorites in the New York underground club scene along with acts such as Blondie and the Ramones.

According to Smith, Horses was a conscious attempt “to make a record that would make a certain type of person not feel alone. People who were like me, different… I wasn’t targeting the whole world. I wasn’t trying to make a hit record.” Guest musicians on the album included Tom Verlaine of Television and Allen Lanier of Blue Öyster Cult.

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In Smith’s own words, Horses was conceived as “three-chord rock merged with the power of the word”. Steve Huey of AllMusic calls Horses “essentially the first art punk album.” Smith and her band’s sound, spearheaded by the rudimentary guitar work of Lenny Kaye, drew on the simple aesthetics of garage rock, and the group’s use of simplistic chord structures was emblematic of the punk rock scene associated with the band. Smith, however, used such structures as a basis for lyrical and musical improvisation in the album’s songs, diverging from other contemporary punk acts who generally shied away from solos. Horses drew on genres such as rock and roll, reggae, and jazz. “Redondo Beach” features a reggae backing track, while “Birdland” owed more to jazz, which Smith’s mother enjoyed, than to the influence of punk. When recording the latter song, which was improvised by the band in Electric Lady Studios, Smith has said she imagined the spirit of Jimi Hendrix watching her.

Reflecting Smith’s background as a poet, the album’s lyrics channel the French Symbolism movement, incorporating influences from the works of Charles Baudelaire, William Blake, and Smith’s long-time idol Arthur Rimbaud,[8] and recall the “revolutionary spirit” of Rimbaud and resonate with the energy of Beat poetry, according to CMJ’s Steve Klinge. Several of the album’s songs—”Redondo Beach”, “Free Money”, “Kimberly”—were inspired by moments with members of Smith’s family, while others—”Break It Up”, “Elegie”—were written about her idols. “Break It Up” was about Jim Morrison, deceased lead singer of The Doors, and it was a combination of Smith’s dream about him and her visit of Morrison’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris.[10] The lyrics of “Birdland” are based upon A Book of Dreams, a 1973 memoir of Wilhelm Reich by his son Peter. Horses features two adaptations of songs by other artists: “Gloria”, a radical retake on the Them song incorporating verses from Smith’s own poem “Oath”,[6] and “Land”, already a live favorite, which features the first verse of Chris Kenner’s “Land of a Thousand Dances” and contains a tribute to Arthur Rimbaud.

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The cover photograph for Horses was taken using natural light by American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, a close friend of Smith’s, at the Greenwich Village penthouse apartment of his partner Sam Wagstaff. Smith is depicted wearing a plain white shirt which she had purchased at the Salvation Army on the Bowery and slinging a black jacket over her shoulder and her favorite black ribbon around her collar. Embedded on the jacket is a horse pin that Smith’s friend Allen Lanier had given her. Smith has described her pose on the cover as “a mix of Baudelaire and Sinatra.” The record company wanted to make various changes to the photo, but Smith overruled such attempts. The black and white treatment and unisex pose were a departure from the typical promotional images of “girl singers” of the time, but Smith maintains that she “wasn’t making a big statement. That’s just the way I dressed.”

Writer Camille Paglia described the album’s cover as “one of the greatest pictures ever taken of a woman.”

Upon initial release, Horses was met with near-universal acclaim from music critics and publications. In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, John Rockwell wrote that Horses is “wonderful in large measure because it recognizes the over-whelming importance of words” in Smith’s work, covering a range of concerns “far beyond what most rock records even dream of”, and highlighted Smith’s adaptions of rock standards as the most striking songs on the record. Robert Christgau gave Horses an A– grade in The Village Voice and remarked that while the album does not capture Smith’s humor, it “gets the minimalist fury of her band and the revolutionary dimension of her singing just fine.” He later ranked it at number 38 on his list of the best albums of the 1970s.

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Patti Smith in recording studio recording her debut album, Horses, 1975, NYC

Horses’ mix of philosophical elements in Smith’s songwriting and rock and roll elements in its music attracted some polarizing reactions, however. Reaction to the album from the British music press in particular was mixed. A review of Horses from Melody Maker dismissed the album as “precisely what’s wrong with rock and roll right now.” On the other hand, Jonh Ingham of Sounds published a five-star review of Horses, naming it “the record of the year” and “one of the most stunning, commanding, engrossing platters to come down the turnpike since John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band”. Charles Shaar Murray of NME called it “an album in a thousand” and “an important album in terms of what rock can encompass without losing its identity as a musical form, in that it introduces an artist of greater vision than has been seen in rock for far too long.”

At the end of 1975, Horses was voted the second best album of the year, behind Bob Dylan and The Band’s The Basement Tapes, in the Pazz & Jop, an annual poll of American critics nationwide, published in The Village Voice. NME placed it at number thirteen on their year-end list of 1975’s best albums. Commercially, the album performed modestly well, managing a top 50 peak on the Billboard 200 chart despite receiving virtually no airplay.

Chris Jones of BBC Music wrote that the album was a “shock to the system” at the time of its release and still “retains its power to this day.” Horses established Smith as one of the biggest names of the New York punk rock scene, alongside contemporary acts such as the Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads, and it has since been cited as the first significant punk rock album.[38] Horses is considered one of the key recordings of the early punk rock movement[39] and a landmark for punk and new wave music in general, inspiring a “raw, almost amateurish energy for the former and critical, engaging reflexivity for the latter,” according to writer Chris Smith in his book 101 Albums That Changed Popular Music.[25] AllMusic’s William Ruhlmann said that it “isn’t hard to make the case for Patti Smith as a punk rock progenitor based on Horses”, while Greg Simpson of Punknews.org called the album a “raw yet poetic slice of the CBGB’s scene from a woman who beat the Ramones in releasing the first ‘punk’ record.”

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Single: “Gloria” bw “My Generation”

Q magazine included it in its list of the 100 greatest punk albums. NME put Horses at first place in its list of “20 Near-as-Damn-It Perfect Initial Efforts”, and it has also ranked on various lists of the greatest albums of the 1970s. In addition to these accolades, Horses has also been considered one of the finest albums in recorded music history. In 2003, the album was ranked number 44 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2006, Time named it as one of the All-TIME 100 Albums, and three years later, it was preserved by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Various recording artists have specifically named Horses as an influence on their music. English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees said that the song “Carcass” from their album The Scream, was inspired by Horses. Michael Stipe of R.E.M. bought the album as a high school student and says that it “tore [his] limbs off and put them back on in a whole different order,” citing Smith as his primary inspiration for becoming a musician. Morrissey and Johnny Marr shared an appreciation for the record, and one of their early compositions for The Smiths, “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle”, is a reworking of “Kimberly”. Courtney Love of Hole has stated that Horses helped inspire her to become a rock musician. (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Jay Dee Daugherty (drums)
Lenny Kaye (guitar, bass guitar, background vocals)
Ivan Kral (bass, guitar, background vocals)
Patti Smith (vocals, guitar)
Richard Sohl (keyboards)
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John Cale (bass on 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Gloria (In Excelsis Deo/Gloria (Version) (Smith/Morrison) 5.57
02. Redondo Beach (Smith/Sohl/Kaye) 3.26
03. Birdland (Smith/Sohl/Kaye/Kral) 9.15
04. Free Money (Smith/Kaye) 3.52
05. Kimberly (Smith/Lanier/Kral) 4.27
06. Break It Up  (Smith/Verlaine) 4.04
07. Land (Part I: “Horses”; Part II: “Land of a Thousand Dances”; Part III: “La Mer(de)”)     Smith (Parts I and III), Chris Kenner (Part II), Fats Domino (Part II)     9:25
08, Elegie (Smith/Lanier) 2.57
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09. My Generation (live at the Agora, Cleveland, Ohio, on January 26, 1976) (Townshend)    3.16

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Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine
Meltin’ in a pot of thieves
Wild card up my sleeve
Thick heart of stone
My sins my own
They belong to me, me

People say ‘beware!’
But I don’t care
The words are just
Rules and regulations to me, me

I-i walk in a room, you know I look so proud
I’m movin’ in this here atmosphere, well, anything’s allowed
And I go to this here party and I just get bored
Until I look out the window, see a sweet young thing
Humpin’ on the parking meter, leanin’ on the parking meter
Oh, she looks so good, oh, she looks so fine
And I got this crazy feeling and then I’m gonna ah-ah make her mine
Ooh I’ll put my spell on her

Here she comes
Walkin’ down the street
Here she comes
Comin’ through my door
Here she comes
Crawlin’ up my stair
Here she comes
Waltzin’ through the hall
In a pretty red dress
And oh, she looks so good, oh, she looks so fine
And I got this crazy feeling that I’m gonna ah-ah make her mine

And then I hear this knockin’ on my door
Hear this knockin’ on my door
And I look up into the big tower clock
And say, ‘oh my God here’s midnight!’
And my baby is walkin’ through the door
Leanin’ on my couch she whispers to me and I take the big plunge
And oh, she was so good and oh, she was so fine
And I’m gonna tell the world that I just ah-ah made her mine

And I said darling, tell me your name, she told me her name
She whispered to me, she told me her name
And her name is, and her name is, and her name is, and her name is G-l-o-are-i-a

I was at the stadium
There were twenty thousand girls called their names out to me
Marie and Ruth but to tell you the truth
I didn’t hear them I didn’t see
I let my eyes rise to the big tower clock
And I heard those bells chimin’ in my heart
Going ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong.
Ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong
Counting the time, then you came to my room
And you whispered to me and we took the big plunge
And oh. you were so good, oh, you were so fine
And I gotta tell the world that I make her mine make her mine
Make her mine make her mine make her mine make her mine

G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria

And the tower bells chime, ‘ding dong’ they chime
They’re singing, ‘Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.’

Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a Gloria G-l-o-are-i-a,

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Patti Smith – Live In Berlin (2015)

FrontCover1This was a real rare performance by the great Patti Smith.

This CD was recorded live at the Apostle Paulus Church in Berlin on February 13, 2014.

By the way, in case you haven’t noticed, Patti Smith has never sounded better. She was always amazing live, but here she´s in top form.

Check out the awesome noir guitar from Patti’s son Jackson.

And you can hear Patti reading from William S. Burroughs book “The Wild Boys”. This is the lyrical side of Patti Smith and this a wonderful side of her !

It must be a magic night and hear you can hear some tracks from this evening. This CD is private edition by Patti Smith and was sold during their gigs in Germany. I guess this is the first official live album from Patti Smth ever and and it´s a brilliant one !

And we have an unusual line-up (without Lenny Kaye and Jay Dee Daugherty) !

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Personnel:
Sebastian Rochford (drums)
Tony Shanahan (piano, bass, vocals)
Jackson Smith (guitar, bass, vocals)
Patti Smith (vocals, guitar)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Wild Boys (Burroughs/J.Smith) 7.45
02. Wing (Smith) 6.19
03. Redondo Beach (Smith/Sohl/Kaye) 4.17
04. Birdland (Smith/Sohl/Kaye/Kral) 9.27
05. Bertolt (Smith) 3.47
06. My Blakean Year (Smith) 5.08
07. Capital Letter (Smith) 3.57
08. Beneath The Southern Cross (Smith/Kaye) 8.41
09. People Have The Power (P.Smith/F.Smith) 5.54

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Patti Smith – Glastonbury (feat. Dalai Lama) (2015)

FrontCover1Patti Smith welcomed His Holiness The Dalai Lama onto the Pyramid Stage during her Glastonbury Festival set on June 28, 2015. Addressing the crowd after her fifth song, ‘Pissing In A River’ – which she dedicated to “all our friends in Wikileaks”, Smith explained that it was the spiritual leader’s 80th birthday on July 6. “We are grateful to him for all his love of humanity and making people aware of the importance of saving the planet,” she said, before reading a poem she had written for him. Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis then brought The Dalai Lama onto the stage to huge cheers from the crowd. “I think it would be nice if Glastonbury wished The Dalai Lama a happy birthday,” said Smith, before leading the audience in a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.

SmithLama01The Dalai Lama then blew out a single candle on a cake made of fruit, before cutting it. “Thank you, thank you,” he said. “Dear brothers and sisters, I really appreciate so many people’s expression of warm feeling.” He then went on to joke about the age of Smith and her band. “These singers and musicians have white hair, but they look very youthful! That gives me encouragement, I should be more like you – more active!”

As well as playing ‘People Have The Power’, ‘Land’/’Gloria’ and ‘Redondo Beach’, Patti Smith covered The Who’s ‘My Generation’ as the final song of her hour long set. During the song she accidentally tripped up and fell over. “Yeah, I fell on my fucking arse at Glastonbury,” she beamed. “That’s because I’m a fucking animal!”

“This is the most awesome and beautiful sight,” she said early on. “We’ve been on tour for a month and a half and this is the moment I’ve been dreaming of. I’m afraid I’m losing my voice, but I promise I’ll give you the last bit of voice that I have.” (by nme.com)

At the end of her set, Smith threw rose petals in the air.

Recorded live at Glastonbury, Pyramid Stage, Worthy Farm, Pilton, UK; June 28, 2015. Very good audio, extracted from webcast.

Thanks to indykid for sharing the webcast at Dime.

PattiSmithGlastonbury2015Personnel:
Jay Dee Daugherty (drums)
Lenny Kaye (guitar, vocals)
Tony Shanahan (bass, keyboards)
Patti Smith (vocals, guitar)

SmithLama03Tracklist:
01. Intro/Privilege (Set Me Free) (London/Leander) 4:37
02. Redondo Beach (Smith/Sohl/Kaye) 4.28
03. Ain’t It Strange (Smith/Kral) 6.29
04. Beneath The Southern Cross (Smith/Kaye) 9.39
05. Pissing In A River (Smith/Kral) 4.27
06. Dalai Lama (80th birthday celebration) 9:30
07. People Have The Power (P.Smith/F.Smith) 6.16
08. Land/Gloria (Smith/Kenner/Morrison) 12.38
09. My Generation (Townshend) 6.55

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SmithLama02Patti Smith defies Beijing, invites Dalai Lama to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. The most touching scene is not the cutting of the cake but of the Dalai Lama blessing the khata (scarf) and then drapping it on Patti, and then Patti responding with a kiss on the Dalai Lama’s forehead.

Patti Smith Group – Easter (1978)

PattiSmithEasterFCPatti Smith came back from the year-and-a-half break caused by her fall from a stage in January 1977 without having resolved the art-versus-commerce argument that had marred her second album, Radio Ethiopia. In fact, that argument was in some ways the theme of her third. Easter, produced by Bruce Springsteen associate Jimmy Iovine, was Smith’s most commercial-sounding effort yet and, due to the inclusion of Springsteen’s “Because the Night” (with Smith’s revised lyrics), a Top Ten hit, it became her biggest seller, staying in the charts more than five months and getting into the Top 20 LPs. But Smith hadn’t so much sold out as she had learned to use her poetic gifts within an album rock context. Certainly, a song that proclaimed, “Love is an angel disguised as lust/Here in our bed until the morning comes,” was pushing the limits of pop radio, and on “Babelogue,” Smith returned to her days of declaiming poetry on New York’s Lower East Side. That rant (significantly ending, “I have not sold my soul to God”) led into the provocative “Rock n Roll Nigger,” a charged rocker with a chorus that went, “Outside of society/Is where I want to be.” Smith made the theme from the ’60s British rock movie Privilege her own and even got into the U.K. charts with it. And on songs like “25th Floor,” Iovine, Smith, and her group were able to accommodate both the urge to rock out and the need to expound. So, Easter turned out to be the best compromise Smith achieved between her artistic and commercial aspirations. by William Ruhlmann )

PattiSmithEasterPersonnel:
Bruce Brody (keyboards, synthesizer)
Jay Dee Daugherty (drums, percussion)
Lenny Kaye (guitar, bass, vocals)
Ivan Kral (guitar, bass, vocals)
Patti Smith (vocals, guitar)
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John Paul Fetta (bass on 01. + 07.)
Allen Lanier (keyboards on 02.)
Jim Maxwell  (bagpipes)
Andi Ostrowe  (percussion on 04.)
Richard Sohl (keyboads on 02.)

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Tracklist:
01. Till Victory (Kaye/Smith) 2.50
02. Space Monkey (Král/Smith/Verlaine) 4.06
03. Because The Night (Smith/Springsteen) 3.25
04. Ghost Dance (Kaye/Smith) 4.44
05. Babelogue (Smith) 1.30
06. Rock N Roll Nigger (Kaye/Smith) 3.25
07. Privilege (Set Me Free) (Leander/London) 3.29
08. We Three (Smith) 4.18
09. 25th Floor (Král/Smith) 4.02
10. High On Rebellion (Smith) 2.37
11. Easter (Daugherty/Smith) 6.15
12. Godspeed (Král/Smith) 6.09

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