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Editors’ Notes

Patti Smith’s 1975 debut album serves as the ultimate precursor to the punk-new wave onslaught of the late '70s. From the opening salvo of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” where, over gentle piano chords, Smith intones, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine,” Horses announces itself as an unapologetic and artistically audacious album. It's a one-of-a-kind free thinking, stream-of-consciousness collection of tunes that pays homage to rock 'n’ roll’s short history while defining its own creative ground. She uses her voice strategically, slipping into a fast-rapping sing-speak that combines poetic images with a hipster’s gait, eventually climaxing with the multiple vocal tracks that drive the nine-minute “Birdland.” “Free Money” builds to a thunderous garage rock vamp, while Wilson Pickett’s “Land of a Thousand Dances” is turned from an uptempo R&B dance number into a dark, foreboding piece of post-Jim Morrison psychedelic horror. This edition adds her live cover of The Who’s “My Generation” that appeared as the B-side to “Gloria.”

Customer Reviews

She is a Rock n Roll Goddess

I am originally from Chicago, and saw Patti Smith perform there too many times to count. I have photos, pins, a drum stick, and other concert memorabilia....but my best memories are of the positive energy flowing through the venue she was inhabiting at the moment. Buy her music, listen and participate. She effected my life in wonderful ways. For some she is an acquired taste, for others, like myself....she was the voice I was waiting to hear. Remember the Aragon Ballroom, Patti? You rocked.

Patti Smith- HORSES

If youre into classic rock, punk rock, psychedelic rock... actually any rocknroll, you need this album. Patti Smith is like a female bob dylan. Buy it! Buy it! Its a Classic! You dont know anything til youve heard this. no debating.

Horses! Horses! Coming In All Directions! White, Shining...

In those days (1975), starting off a song, or any debut album, for that matter, with the a sarcastic line such as "Jesus died for somebody's sins/But not mine..." was unheard of. But that was Patti Smith's goal, to create something that nobody had ever heard of before. And with her debut (and best) album, Horses, she achieved that goal. Horses, though it only has eight songs (Nine counting the bonus track on the newly remastered version), deserves a firm place in the history of punk rock music thanks to Smith's band's talent and her Jim Morrison-esque beatnik lyrics. "Gloria," the album's opener, is probably one of the best covers of Van Morrison's original 1964 single. However, instead of the normal cover versions of "Gloria," Smith added a beginning that was denouncing her religion (See first paragraph), as well as several intense lyrics that are backed with simple piano chords and whining electric guitar. But the glory of Horses doesn't stop there. "Redondo Beach" and "Free Money" demonstrate more of her soulful lyrics. The nine-and-a-half-minute "Land" is separated into three parts ("Horses," "Land of a Thousand Dances," and "La Mer (De)," in case you're wondering), each one a stirring punk shock treatment. Horses comes to its end with the poignant "Elegie," which is forgettable. Also, listeners should probably avoid the freakish nine minute "Birdland." This newly remastered version contains a brilliant bonus track: Smith's crazed cover version of The Who's "My Generation," which includes, in addition to a lot more swear words, some great bass solos from The Velvet Underground's John Cale, who also produced the album. From the chants of "Gloria" to the mutters of "Elegie", Patti Smith's Horses is nearly perfect all the way through. Great for people who are being introduced to punk music. Of course, back in 1975, that was pretty much everybody. Recommended Tracks: "Gloria" "Redondo Beach" "Free Money" "Land"


Born: December 30, 1946 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Punk rock's poet laureate Patti Smith ranks among the most influential female rock & rollers of all time. Ambitious, unconventional, and challenging, Smith's music was hailed as the most exciting fusion of rock and poetry since Bob Dylan's heyday. If that hybrid remained distinctly uncommercial for much of her career, it wasn't a statement against accessibility so much as the simple fact that Smith followed her own muse wherever it took her — from structured rock songs to free-form experimentalism,...
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