Viewport width =
March 19, 2007 | by  | in Music |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

An Album You Should Own If You Don’t Already

Horses by Patti Smith

Far too many people I talk to have not heard of Patti Smith.

Patti Smith was one of the pioneering figures of the New York CBGB’s punk scene, often regarded as the ‘poet laureate of punk rock.’ She is my absolute musical hero – and her debut 1975 release, Horses, is my favourite album of all time.

While the cover – featuring an androgynous looking Smith with jacket slung over shoulder, looking into the camera with a defiant stare – physically epitomized ‘cool’, the music inside it was – and still is – daring, fresh and passionately raw.

Horses covers a range of themes such as suicide, lesbian love affairs, UFOs, religion, personal loss, social defiance and escapism. All of which Smith articulates in her empow- ered, original and unchallenged way.

From the opening sentence of the first track, ‘Gloria’ (a Van Morrison cover/the best cover song ever written), the album screams rebellious, literate beauty.

The controversial opening line, “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine,” later followed by “People say beware/but I don’t care/their words are just rules and regulations to me,” defined the punk attitude she was so essential in influencing.

‘Land,’ another masterpiece on the album, is about a brutal school murder. The commanding, frantic and dizzyingly layered track features lyrics from ‘Land of a Thousand Dances.’

The last track, the live cover of The Who’s ‘My Generation’ is also a contender for best cover ever written. It’s a loud ‘fuck you’ to the world; extremely applicable to any defiant generation.

Patti Smith’s far reaching influence cannot be overstated, and if you haven’t listened to Horses – do it now. My words cannot do it justice. I’ve loved Horses ever since picking it up as a typically rebellious 17 years old, and my heart still beats faster every time I hear it.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments (1)

Trackback URL / Comments RSS Feed

  1. elle h. says:

    i quite agree. free money should have gotten a mention though.

Recent posts

  1. An (im)possible dream: Living Wage for Vic Books
  2. Salient and VUW tussle over Official Information Act requests
  3. One Ocean
  4. Orphanage voluntourism a harmful exercise
  5. Interview with Grayson Gilmour
  6. Political Round Up
  7. A Town Like Alice — Nevil Shute
  8. Presidential Address
  9. Do You Ever Feel Like a Plastic Bag?
  10. Sport
1

Editor's Pick

In Which a Boy Leaves

: - SPONSORED - I’ve always been a fairly lucky kid. I essentially lucked out at birth, being born white, male, heterosexual, to a well off family. My life was never going to be particularly hard. And so my tale begins, with another stroke of sheer luck. After my girlfriend sugge