Monday, November 8, 2010


with her first album, playwright and performance artist patti smith merged a garage sound with her poetry in an engagingly emotional experience that pioneered punk in the new york musical underground and made her the high priestess of rock. her intense and provocative lyrics and the dramatic rhythm of her voice set the furious pace for the band to follow from a whisper to a scream. go rimbaud!

patti chose john cale to produce the album. "my picking john was about as arbitrary as picking rimbaud. i saw the cover of illuminations with rimbaud's face, y'know, he looked so cool, just like bob dylan. so rimbaud became my favorite poet. i looked at the cover of fear and i said, 'now there's a set of cheekbones.' my mind i picked him because his records sounded good. but i hired the wrong guy. all i was really looking for was a technical person. instead, i got a total maniac artist. i went to pick out an expensive watercolor painting and instead i got a mirror. it was really like a season in hell, for both of us. but inspiration doesn't always have to be someone sending me half a dozen american beauty roses. there's a lotta inspiration going on between the murderer and the victim. and he had me so nuts i wound up doing this nine-minute cut ["birdland"] that transcended anything i ever did before."

full album:

Side one
1. "Gloria" (Part I: "In Excelsis Deo"; Part II: "Gloria (Version)") Patti Smith (Part I), Van Morrison (Part II) 5:57
2. "Redondo Beach"   Smith, Richard Sohl, Lenny Kaye 3:26
3. "Birdland"   Smith, Sohl, Kaye, Ivan Kral 9:15
4. "Free Money"   Smith, Kaye 3:52
Side two
1. "Kimberly"   Smith, Allen Lanier, Kral 4:27
2. "Break It Up"   Smith, Tom Verlaine 4:04
3. "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
4. "Elegie"   Smith, Lanier 2:57

from the liner notes:

"compacted awareness...gems flattening...long streams of resin tools...kool system of destine wax sculpt...drums tongue and waves slapping...the feel of horses long before horses enter the scene...molten tar stud dead w/bones and glass and the teeth of women...veins filled w/existance...beyond race gender baptism mathematics politricks...assassinating rythum...c-rude transending...soul-ar energy in the shape of a laughing pack of scarabs dressed in coats of milk armour...grace greased w/merc and wires...neither the desire nor the ability to stop i plop on the bed pink electric immediate some human light bulb these bands around my neck should i reveal what state i'm in...only history (gentle rocking mona lisa) seals...only histoire is responsible for the ultimate for me i am truly totally ready to go...

sonic klein man its me my shape burnt in the sky its me the memoire of me racing thru the eye of the mer thru the eye of the sea thru the arm of the needle merging and jacking new filaments new risks etched forever in a cold system of wax...horses groping for a sign for a breath...

charms, sweet angels - you have made me no longer afraid of death."

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