Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Patti Smith - Horses

Patti Smith – Horses
Arista, 1975
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2013
Price: $2.50

True story: I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single song from this album. I mean, I’m sure I’ve heard one or two of them, I spent 8 years in a college town listening to and working for a college radio station so one of these tunes slipped in SOMEWHERE. More importantly, given the previously given information how did I so totally miss Patti Smith’s Horses. My only answer is that there is just too much fucking music to be dealt with and sometimes you just gotta get around to what you can, when you can, even the most influential albums of all time. At this point all I have is first impressions of an album with an outstanding amount of depth considering the when it came out and what it preceded. The most inspiring thing is how much weirder it is than what all the other proto-punks were producing in the mid-70s. Sure the Velvet Underground and Television were doing stuff no one had ever done but what Horses does must have made people’s heads bleed. Even today it sounds edgy, and this album came out ALMOST FORTY YEARS AGO.

Tom Verlaine's guitar work on "Break It Up" edged out the rest of the competition to make this my favorite track on the record. I love how every song on this album sounds seconds away from falling apart. I suppose a lot of that has to do with John Cale's production which is proactive enough to keep everything in order and hands off enough to let this thing really unfurl into a chaotic masterpiece.

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