After the success of Horses, Patti Smith had something to prove to reviewers and to the industry, and Radio Ethiopia aimed at both. Producer Jack Douglas gave "the Patti Smith Group", as it was now billed, a hard rock sound, notably on the side-opening "Ask the Angels" and "Pumping (My Heart)," songs that seemed aimed at album-oriented rock radio. But the title track was a ten-minute guitar extravaganza that pushed the group's deliberate primitivism closer to amateurish thrashing. Elsewhere, Smith repeated the reggae excursions and vocal overlaying that had paced Horses on "Ain't It Strange" and "Poppies," but these efforts were less effective than they had been the first time around, perhaps because they were less inspired, perhaps because they were more familiar. A schizophrenic album in which the many elements that had worked so well together on Horses now seemed jarringly incompatible, with Radio Ethiopia Smith and her band encountered the same development problem the punks would -- as they learned their craft and competence set in, they lost some of the unself-consciousness that had made their music so appealing.
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Performance CreditsPatti Smith Group Primary Artist,Track Performer
Jay Dee Daugherty Percussion,Drums
Lenny Kaye Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Ivan Král Bass,Guitar
Andi Ostrowe Amharic
Patti Smith Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Richard Sohl Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards
Ivan Kral-Gibson Bass
Technical CreditsJack Douglas Producer
Ivan Král Composer,Contributor
Jay Messina Engineer
Andi Ostrowe Contributor
Patti Smith Composer
Sherri Whitmarsh Reissue Design
Brian Sperber Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Radio Ethiopia based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Punk was known for being angry, this album is more emotional than any Punk album I've ever heard yet its more than just anger it evokes but raw heartbreaking sorrow, passion, and confusion. It's actually hard to warm up to this album, it often seems to devolve into noise, but if you give it a chance, it becomes a dear child that never fails to evoke your own emotions. A special album.