Patti Smith - Horses - 1975 Poetry Punk Art Rock - Sealed 180 Gram LP
Patti Smith - Horses
Legacy / We Are Vinyl 88691960281
Format: 180 Grm Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Style: Art Rock
A1.1 In Excelsis Deo
Written-By P. Smith
A1.2 Gloria (Version)
Written-By Van Morrison
A2 Redondo Beach
Written-By L. Kaye, P. Smith, R. Sohl
Written-By I. Kral, L. Kaye, P. Smith, R. Sohl
A4 Free Money
Written-By L. Kaye, P. Smith
Written-By A. Lanier, I. Kral, P. Smith
B2 Break It Up
Guitar Tom Verlaine Written-By P. Smith, T. Verlaine
Written-By P. Smith
B3.2 Land, Of A Thousand Dances
Written-By Chris Kenner, Antoine Dominoe
B3.3 La Mer (De)
Written-By P. Smith
Guitar Allen Lanier Written-By A. Lanier, P. Smith
Phonographic Copyright (p) RCA Records
Copyright (c) RCA Records
Mastered At Sterling Sound
Marketed By Sony Music Entertainment
Distributed By Sony Music Entertainment
Lacquer Cut at Cohearent Audio
Pressed By United Record Pressing
Design Bob Heimall
Drums Jay Dee Daugherty
Engineer Bernie Kirsh
Engineer [Assistant] Frank D'Augusta
Guitar, Bass Ivan Kral
Lacquer Cut By MZ
Lead Guitar Lenny Kaye
Mastered By Bernie Kirsh, Bob Ludwig
Photography By Robert Mapplethorpe
Piano Richard Sohl
Producer John Cale
Executive Producer: Wartoke Records Inc.
Recorded and mixed at Electric Lady Studios NYC
"Birdland" was inspired by Peter Reich and Huey Smith.
Rock and Roll, Punk and the NY City Art Scene
Patti Smith introduces herself and her band as the tortured poetic souls of the Punk era. Beat poet meats Garage Band in the 1970's.
Patti Smith has a liquid, effortless way with words that moves you, and paints a portrait of her eternal friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe. Just Kids illustrates why Patti Smith is the punk icon that she is, her unjudgemental love for Robert Mapplethorpe transcends his sexual awakening and moves beyond mortal love to something beyond the carnal.
Patti was like no other Rock Women that had come before and it's what I love most about her. She was a gender-switching (in terms of her work here) rock poet/sage. Perhaps the Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick was the closest thing we had of being a powerful female presence (Janis was a powerful singer but obviously had issues that weakened her).
"Horses" is a seminal document of the `70's. Opening with the infamous line "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine" from "Gloria: In Excelsis Deo" which in its punk sacrilege excited me to no end as a lapsed-Catholic, it starts off languidly and builds from there courtesy of Patti's excellent band with a core of guitarist and original coconspirator Lenny Kaye, keyboard player Richard Sohl, guitarist Ivan Kral and drummer Jay Dee Daugherty with help from guests Tom Verlaine (one of Television's guitarists), Alan Lanier (from Blue Oyster Cult and Patti's paramour at the time) and producer John Cale from the Velvet Undergound which was a huge influence on Patti but was reportedly difficult to work with.
Thieves, lost boys, extraterrestrial activity, altered consciousness and death are the main themes that permeate "Horses".
Patti switches genders back and forth throughout "Gloria" and the rest of the album with dramatic effect. Her cabaret background allows her to do this fluently and naturally.
After "Gloria: In Excelsis Deo", the gears switch to the pseudo-reggae of "Redondo Beach" in which Patti sings of "sweet suicide", which could be interpreted as one of many references to her heroes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and especially Jim Morrison.
In the jazz-inflected, transcendent "Birdland" Patti speaks/sings about a boy's fourth encounter with an alien (among other things). This is also one of the many songs that concerns itself with alternate forms of consciousness. The lyrics alone are enough to transport one into another state of mind with the music perfectly capturing a feeling of disorientation, especially the spacey, effects-laden guitars.
"Free Money" rocks wildly, a poor person's dream possibly inspired by Patti's background and the financial problems she and friend/lover Robert Mapplethorpe experienced before they became famous.
"Kimberly", named after her sister, is a funky little song featuring the great lines "I feel like some misplaced Joan of Arc" and "bats with their baby vein faces".
With its splitting skies and colliding planets, it seems to be a meditation on the creative and destructive forces inherent in this life. For additional sonic drama, Patti actually pounds rhythmically on her chest while singing passages of the triumphant "Break It Up" with the guitar echoing the vocals on the chorus beautifully.
Horses, horses, horses- you can almost hear them galloping on "Land", a suite that leads off with "horses", with alter ego Johnny dipping into the sea of possibilities and death; segues into "land of a thousand dances" with multiple Pattis speak/singing over one another hypnotically, creating another disorienting effect on the listener.
The suite ends with "la mer (de)", a delightfully playful pun of `murder'. The album ends with the funereal "Elegie", a lovely, melancholy farewell to Patti's (and my) tragic rock heroes.
"three chords merged with the power of the word" is how she put it in her recent, exquisitely written memoir "Just Kids". Believe it.
Patti Smith - Gloria -----
coolest thing about Patti...whoever she meets, and however brief, when she shakes your hand, she looks deep in your eyes. You feel love, you feel part of her.
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Patti Smith - Birdland
We'll just be dreaming of animation night and day
And won't let up, won't let up and I see them coming in,
Oh, I couldn't hear them before, but I hear 'em now,
It's a radar scope in all silver and all platinum lights
Moving in like black ships, they were moving in, streams of them,
And he put up his hands and he said, "It's me, it's me,
I'll give you my eyes, take me up, oh now please take me up,
I'm helium raven waitin' for you, please take me up,
Don't leave me here!"
The son, the sign, the cross,
Like the shape of a tortured woman, the true shape of a tortured woman,
The mother standing in the doorway letting her sons
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Patti Smith - Land - Horses
The album was a huge influence on the New York punk scene (Not every punk band sounds like The Sex Pistols.)
While most punk expounded a pragmatic ethos, with simple instrumentals, short songs, simple lyrics, deriving power through repetition like a protest, Patti used complex arrangements and varied instrumental accompaniments and ambiguous lyrics.
Anyway, all that music history and theory bullshit aside, this song rocks!
I made the video from The Tracey Fragments, a film made by Bruce McDonald, (starring Ellen Page) a slightly avant-garde Canadian director, who made all the material for the film available to download and welcomed fans of his to edit the film into whatever they wanted.
P.s Ellen is apparently a huge fan of Patti!
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|LP, 180 Gram