13 December 2013

13th December - Patti Smith's Horses

Artist – Album: Patti Smith - Horses
Released: 13th December 1975
Sounds Like: Uniqueness

Of all of the universally agreed great albums, Horses is the most difficult to define. It’s regularly posited as punk, but punk isn’t supposed to have happened until ’77, and it most certainly never included jazzy ten minute long epics such as ‘Birdland’ or ‘Land’. Worse still, the likes of ‘Kimberly’ sound almost like brilliant post-punk, which is a real find for any fans of time travel but little use for those of us trying to describe the record. ‘Gloria’ could be straightforward Sixties garage rock, but in Smith’s hands it becomes something else, something more primal and awesome, whilst ‘Break It Up’, featuring Tom Verlaine could easily be a lost Television classic. The calypso-ish ‘Redondo Beach’, the tough rocker ‘Free Money’ and the poetic ‘Elegie’ couldn’t sound more different from each other, never mind anything else of the era.

I think the point of Horses, and Patti Smith full stop, is that it doesn’t sound like anything else really. A true one of a kind.

Albumaday... rating: 9/10

1.       Gloria – 5:57
2.       Redondo Beach – 3:26
3.       Birdland – 9:15
4.       Free Money – 3:52
5.       Kimberly – 4:27
6.       Break It Up – 4:04
7.       Land – 9:25
8.       Elegie – 2:57
Listen to ‘Free Money’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSHf1svbQrA

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