gullbuy music review

Patti Smith






Patti Smith 'Horses'When this album came out in 1975 it blew people's minds. The Max's and CBGB scenes in NY were growing, and first wave punk bands like Television, Blondie, Ramones, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and Dead Boys were scoring record deals. In the NY punk scene bands were part of an extended family, though different muses drove them all. No one sounded like her. She was a link between the hippies Johnny Rotten despised, the beat poets Richard Hell idolized, and the sound of the streets exploding everywhere. Her sound was stripped down, and the emphasis was on feel not technique.

In 2002 it is more important then ever for the gullbuy to review this record. Patti was silent for many years, but she has put out a bunch of CDs in the last 5 years. Though I respect her still as an artist, to me the new records have been nothing worth listening to. By reviewing 'Horses' and 'Radio Ethiopia' I hope to bring attention to two incredible records which came out before most gullbuy readers were born.

Gloria starts off the record prickling with intensity. You can't imagine that anyone could make a Van Morrison cover so dangerous.
Redondo Beach is an upbeat reggae song with lyrics covering a suicide by drowning at a lesbian beach in CA.
Birdland introduced us to Patti's stream of consciousness trips to the edge of no return, dipping a foot over the edge then returning to tell about it.
Free Money starts with Richard Sohl's piano - this CD reissue is dedicated to Richard Sohl (who passed away). Free Money builds up, getting faster and faster till it becomes the albums rocker, almost like a Jefferson Airplane song in spots.
Kimberly is a song she wrote about her daughter. It is sensitive buy no ballad.
Break It Up is another of the intense songs like Birdland. Break It Up and Birdland are the songs I like least now in 2002. They are great tracks but are a bit dramatic for me.
My favorite track on this record is Land, a 9:26 track that is unreal! I truly believe that no one has topped this cut. It is divided into three sections: horses, land of a thousand dances, and la mer(de). If you have never heard this cut please do so.
The record ends with Elegie. Elegie is a haunting track that really shows off the John Cale production of the record. The CD reissue has a bonus track, the live version of The Who's My Generation with John Cale playing bass. It was released as the B-side of the 'Gloria' single.

Every song has its place on this LP. None are weak.

---Carl, March 26, 2002