Horses [30th Anniversary Legacy Edition]

Horses [30th Anniversary Legacy Edition]

by Patti Smith
     
 

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Thirty years after its release, Patti Smith's Horses, widely considered to be the first major-label album to emerge from New York City's then-embryonic punk scene, is every bit as fascinating and exhilarating as ever. Chalk that up to Smith's wildly stroboscopic poetry -- "lyrics," by and large, is too simplistic a term for what pours from her over the course

Overview

Thirty years after its release, Patti Smith's Horses, widely considered to be the first major-label album to emerge from New York City's then-embryonic punk scene, is every bit as fascinating and exhilarating as ever. Chalk that up to Smith's wildly stroboscopic poetry -- "lyrics," by and large, is too simplistic a term for what pours from her over the course of the album -- as well as the unschooled-but-riveting playing of her band, led by guitarist Lenny Kaye, one of the era's true originals. At first blush, Horses, with its extended, psychedelia-dappled songs, wouldn't seem to fit in all that well with the three-chords-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach of Smith's peers, but acrid, edge-of-the-seat allegories like the title track and "Redondo Beach" prove she spoke the same language, albeit a bit more multisyllabically. A new mastering job does wonders in sharpening the edges of John Cale's already stark production -- a nice touch, indeed -- but the revelation here is the bonus disc, a run-through of Horses in its entirety, recorded live in London in early 2005. Smith attacks the songs with the same intensity she projected three decades ago, whirling like a sha(wo)man through the intricate changes of "Land" and engaging her band -- still keyed by Kaye and original drummer Jay Dee Daugherty, and joined here by Television founder Tom Verlaine (a guest on the original release) -- with an uncompromised vision. That vision proves sharpest on a cover of the Who's "My Generation" (which Smith and band released as a single between Horses and Radio Ethiopia), transformed here into a plea -- or, more specifically, a demand -- for listeners to spring into action to transform the world. Carpe diem, indeed.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Patti Smith's catalog has already been remastered. Horses here comes in its originally remastered incarnation with the same bonus track: a cover of the Who's "My Generation." This new, 30th Anniversary Legacy Edition, includes a bonus disc which is a live version of the album -- and the bonus track, recorded in on June 25 in London, England. While this band is looser, not as rehearsed as her original group, they still have plenty to offer. Original members Lenny Kaye, and Jay Dee Daugherty are here along with longtime bassist and pianist Tony Shanahan, guitarist Tom Verlaine (who played on the original album) and Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist Flea, who also plays trumpet. The loose, "what the hell-let's-go-for-it" spirit this band plays with is infectious. Smith is in fine voice, and her swagger is not only intact, but pervasive. Her rapport with Kaye is symbiotic. Each track here roils and brims with wisdom, fire, and spit. "Kimberly" and "Gloria" simply strut with delight and joy. Kaye and Verlaine are loud as hell and push Smith to get out in front, and it feels right. The three-part suite that makes up the nearly 18-minute "Land" is just plain scary. Smith transforms herself into the same hungry, angry Muse that possessed her 30 years ago. Her rage and her willingness to go deep into the fabric of her poetry and the song are awe-inspiring. The live read of "My Generation" means something different than it did 40 years ago when Pete Townshend wrote it. And Smith indicts her generation -- the one Townshend commented on. She yells "My generation, we had dreams, we had dreams man and we f*ckin created George Bush! New generations, rise up, rise up, take to the streets. The world is yours. Change it. Change it." The sheer swirling rock chaos that takes over the band is a fitting end. The only complaint is that while juxtaposing these two recordings side by side makes sense, one does have to wonder if a single disc of the concert might have made more, since fans have already purchased the remastered version. Making them buy it again to get the bonus disc seems just a tad unfair.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Calvin Wilson
[Grade: A] Then as now, Smith brings an enthralling energy to Van Morrison's "Gloria." Indeed, her rendering of the song, with its blend of angst and ardor and slight hint of country twang, is as good as cover versions get.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/08/2009
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0886973524527
catalogNumber:
915907
Rank:
137896

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Patti Smith   Primary Artist,Vocals
John Cale   Bass
Tom Verlaine   Guitar
Jay Dee Daugherty   Drums
Flea   Bass,Trumpet
Lenny Kaye   Guitar,Vocals
Ivan Král   Bass,Guitar
Allen Lanier   Guitar
Tony Shanahan   Bass,Piano
Richard Sohl   Piano

Technical Credits

John Cale   Producer,Audio Production
Bruce Dickinson   Reissue Producer
Pete Townshend   Composer
Lenny Kaye   Composer
Ivan Král   Composer
Allen Lanier   Composer
Sandy Pearlman   Liner Notes
Patti Smith   Composer
Richard Sohl   Composer
Paul Williams   Liner Notes
Gail Marowitz   Art Direction
Bernie Kirsch   Engineer
Robert Mapplethorpe   Cover Photo
Emery Dobyns   Engineer

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