Patti Smith - Horses (Vinyl)

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'Horses' is the debut studio album by American musician Patti Smith, released in November 1975. It isn't hard to make the case for Patti Smith as a punk rock progenitor based on her debut album, which anticipated the new wave by a year or so: the simple, crudely played rock & roll, featuring Lenny Kaye's rudimentary guitar work, the anarchic spirit of Smith's vocals, and the emotional and imaginative nature of her lyrics -- all prefigure the coming movement as it evolved on both sides of the Atlantic. Producer John Cale respected Smith's primitivism in a way that later producers did not, and the loose, improvisatory song structures worked with her free verse to create something like a new spoken word/musical art form: Horses was a hybrid, the sound of a post-Beat poet, as she put it, 'dancing around to the simple rock & roll song'.


During the late 1990′s, in my young teenage years, I fell deeply into your standard “punk” phase. Naturally I was well aware from day one that “Horses” stood as some sort of ultimate classic among the genre’s first outpour. Teachers would tell you this, parents, Rolling Stone magazine. As a young idiot, i would agree. Maybe out of guilt for not “getting it”. I realize now that that’s total bullshit. “Horses” is not a great punk album. Not anymore. Not to a kid. It is, however, one of the finest rock albums ever crafted. Perfect 70′s, in-the-pocket, electric guitar music stretched across unchained, stream of conscience song writing. It’s so genius in the way that Patti Smith seems to understand that the groove of rudimentary rock music is in itself high art. No need to delude it with prog timing or bloated arrangements. Yet as organic as the record sounds, it still comes across like some wild audio painting with no concrete rules or limits. The way that the band speeds up and slows down through tracks like “free money” or the title track, is so natural, so jammin’, that i find myself uncontrollably shaking my hips with every listen, including right now behind the counter at Jive Time. Now that’s a true monument to American culture, counter or otherwise. For fans of The Stones, The Velvets, or American high art in general. Not for punks.
Reviewed by: Jivetime

Side 1
1 Gloria: In Excelsis Deo
2 Redondo Beach
3 Birdland
4 Free Money
Side 2
1 Kimberly
2 Break It Up
3 Land: Horses / Land of a Thousand Dances / La Mer(de)
4 Elegie


special thanks to jane friedman who knew . . .
de l'ame pour l'ame

℗ 1975 Arista Records, LLC © 1975, 2015 Arista Records, LLC. —Alex