One of the earliest and most important influences on punk rock (not to mention on post-punk songwriters like PJ Harvey), Patti Smith mated French Symbolist poetry with rock & roll, creating a musical style to match. In the process, she further shattered rock's gender barrier. Her 1975 album, HORSES, is one of the most seminal, acclaimed rock records of all time. Ironically, her biggest hit came with a 1978 version of Bruce Springsteen's "Because the Night." Smith spent much of the '80s and '90s away from the music business, but re-entered the fray in earnest starting with 1996's lauded GONE AGAIN.
Japanese only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD - playable on all CD players) pressing includes one bonus track. BMG. 2008.
On her 1975 debut, Smith was full of piss and vinegar, seriously interested in bringing together high art and low three-chord rock & roll. As a result, her free-form poetry meshes with covers of "Gloria" and "Land of a Thousand Dances," and the album centers on two long, highfalutin'' pieces, including the three-part suite (warning! warning! art!) "Land." (The CD version appends a messy live take on The Who''s "My Generation.") Led by Richard Sohl''s piano, the arrangements don''t exactly rock, and some of Smith''s songwriting gets buried in its stylistic affectations (there''s a great song under "Redondo Beach"''s fake reggae). But the point of Horses was Smith''s persona of volume, cunning and exile, and it comes through distinctly. --Douglas Wolk
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