CLASSIC/HARD ROCK / Patti Smith

Horses-PATTI SMITH-1975


This has been generally described as Patti Smith at her most raw, punkish and original self. Well if that is so, then I do not want her raw, punkish and original self. I am gonna come out and say it: – I do not like Patti Smith’s Horses, in fact I do not even like Patti Smith. She was supposed to be this break through female artist who gave punk and rock’n’roll in general some girl power, for the lack of a better word, since I despise the word “feminism”. If punk getting some girl power means that I have to sit through 9 minute spoken poetry sessions with a bland reggae beat/repetitive piano note, well then, fuck it, okay? Oh, and did I mention that the spoken poetry is pretentious and complete horse crap? At TDSR here, I look at the music only, so no matter how “influential” or “revolutionary” an album is declared to be by the world in general and the professional music reviewing community in particular, if the music on it does nothing for me, straight it goes into the recycle bin.

Oh, but wait. This album won’t go into the bin because it’s got Gloria which acts as the saving grace. Now that is something which I can truly call a powerful statement, lyrically as well as musically, the latter being indispensable, while the former helps along the latter. Abandoning all vestiges of any “traditional” song structure, Smith just barges in and goes with the rhythm in a free flowing manner, reminiscent of Baba O Riley (nowhere near The Who in musical terms obviously). Yes. This I can enjoy. This I can swallow. I love the way in which the tempo keeps increasing in direct proportion to the intensity of the screams of “GLOO-RR-IAAAA!!” Speaking of The Who, there is also a very punk, hard rock Patti Smithized version of My Generation on this album which adds a lot of noise and spunk to the original, though not by much.

Oh my god, she has attitude!! Yeah, right.

So there you have it. This album is famous because it was untraditional and supposedly “broke barriers”. Women are supposed to sing break up songs and emotional ballads and are supposed to sing in key!! They are supposed to be called seductive names and crap!! Patti Smith said “Fuck You” and did everything that was not expected of a female artist, and we got landed with Horses-shit. Sometimes she sounds genuine, but most times she comes off as a Morrison rip off, with not even half the talent. And that’s that in a nutshell.

I did not want to put her in the punk category, for various reasons, not the least being that one listen to Ramones will convince you that it would be travesty to classify Patti Smith with them, therefore I did what I do when confused and threw her into the Classic Rock category.

Recommended Songs: – Gloria

Baba T

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