Gung Ho

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Age certainly hasn't mellowed this first-wave punk revolutionary, in either spirit or sound, as evidenced by this bracing collection of fierce individualist declarations. The passionate rocker keeps one foot in mystical territory which yields songs like "Strange Messengers" and "China Bird" and uses the other to kick up sociopolitical dust on tunes like the opening "One Voice" an animated entreaty for human unity. Musically, GUNG HO is, well, a bit less gungho than much of Smith's work -- and better for it. Not that there aren't big guitars -- powerful riffs abound. But delicate textures and hooky guitar interplay between longtime collaborator Lenny Kaye and Oliver Ray...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Age certainly hasn't mellowed this first-wave punk revolutionary, in either spirit or sound, as evidenced by this bracing collection of fierce individualist declarations. The passionate rocker keeps one foot in mystical territory which yields songs like "Strange Messengers" and "China Bird" and uses the other to kick up sociopolitical dust on tunes like the opening "One Voice" an animated entreaty for human unity. Musically, GUNG HO is, well, a bit less gungho than much of Smith's work -- and better for it. Not that there aren't big guitars -- powerful riffs abound. But delicate textures and hooky guitar interplay between longtime collaborator Lenny Kaye and Oliver Ray make this one of her most melodic efforts ever. When things lock in, as on the angular pop rock of "Glitter in Their Eyes," which features cameos by Michael Stipe and fellow '70s stalwart Tom Verlaine, Smith actually sounds radio-ready. Still, the singer can't shed her iconoclast edge. GUNG HO's cover bears a World War II-era photo of her late father in full army regalia and a song dedicated to Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh. And while that's a scope broad enough to spin heads even in these postmodern times, the music is very focused. For fans that yearn for the Patti of yore, this is the album you've been awaiting.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Patti Smith's late-'90s comeback was devoted to reflective, intensely emotional music that explored her life in seclusion and the losses that forced her to reconnect with the larger world. They were acclaimed, ambitious, successful records, but they steered away from Smith's angry, activist muse, plus her penchant for visceral music. She rediscovers both on Gung Ho, her most immediate album in years. "Immediate" doesn't necessarily mean rock & roll, though. At times, she does reconnect with garage punk, notably on the Farifisa-fueled "Persuasion" and "Glitter in Their Eyes," which is graced by the guitar of Tom Verlaine, but her remarkable band -- featuring guitarists Lenny Kaye and Oliver Ray, bassist Tony Shanahan, and drummer Jay Dee Daugherty -- sounds direct and forceful even on the mid-tempo cuts that dominate the album. Smith doesn't shy away from the personal -- after all, the cover shot features her father, Grant, and the title track appears to deal with his war experiences -- but she works on a broader plane throughout the album, concentrating on larger, social messages even in the more intimate moments. The result may not be as haunting as Gone Again, but it's superficially nervier, reminiscent of a subdued, mature version of Easter. In other words, it's another handsome, shaded, and satisfying work from an artist who has reconnected with her muse.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/21/2000
  • Label: Arista
  • UPC: 078221461825
  • Catalog Number: 14618

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 One Voice (4:04)
  2. 2 Lo and Beholden (4:43)
  3. 3 Boy Cried Wolf (4:51)
  4. 4 Persuasion (4:33)
  5. 5 Gone Pie (4:04)
  6. 6 China Bird (4:07)
  7. 7 Glitter in Their Eyes (3:03)
  8. 8 Strange Messengers (8:02)
  9. 9 Grateful (4:29)
  10. 10 Upright Come (2:58)
  11. 11 New Party (4:30)
  12. 12 Libbie's Song (3:26)
  13. 13 Gung Ho (11:41)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Patti Smith Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Grant Hart Piano, farfisa organ
Tom Verlaine Electric Guitar
Wade Raley Background Vocals
Jay Dee Daugherty Drums
Skaila Kanga Harp
Lenny Kaye Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Tony Shanahan Bass, Keyboards
Michael Stipe Background Vocals
Oliver Ray Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Rebecca Weiner Violin
Kimberly Smith Mandolin
Jackson Smith Electric Guitar
Technical Credits
Paul Angelli Mastering
Ted Jensen Mastering
Gil Norton Producer
Grant Smith Cover Image
Danton Supple Engineer
Margery Greenspan Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hurricaine Patti

    Patti Smith is, without, question, the most energetic, driven, force in music today. Her recent performance of 'People Have the Power,' from 1988's 'Dream of Life,' on the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame induction, was a just a taste of what I would experience on her eight and latest CD, 'Gung Ho.' Assuming that 'Horses,' is truly among the best rock albums of all time; Patti Smith delivers the strongest, most positive, and musically tight effort yet. Every song on this CD is a winner. I especially like the opening track, 'One Voice,' in which Smith delivers in her own strong voice some stirring vision of helping our fellow man. There are two obvious rock and roll numbers here, in 'Persuasion,' and 'Glitter in Their Eyes.' Just play those and try not to get up and dance! Patti Smith offers some moving historical perspective in 'Strange Messengers,' a damning of our country's period of slavery; and a wonderful saga of Ho Chi Minh's Vietnam. On the first of these long epistles, she sings, 'History sends us such strange messengers/They come down through time/To embrace to enrage.' Patti Smith has evolved since her debut in 1975; and it is amazing to hear this CD and realize that the poetic and visionary artist has gotten better. If you want proof, go see Patti Smith live. I saw her in Washington earlier this month at the 930 Club; and it was amazing to watch this legend give a three-hour, non-stop hurricaine of a show. I almost forgot about the time I saw her more than 20 years ago when 'Because the Night' made it to the Top 40. Patti Smith is fresh and original, after all these years. Her two other CDs this decade, 'Gone,' and 'Peace and Noise' do not compare to 'Gung Ho.' Her latest CD belongs with the classics of rock. Can she be far from joining the inductees in the Rock and Roll Hame of Fame?

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