Personnel: Patti Smith (vocals); Ivan Kral (vocals, guitar, bass); Lenny Kaye, Allen Lanier, Tom Verlaine (guitar); Richard Sohl (piano); John Cale (bass); Jay Dee Daugherty (drums).
Recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York, New York. Originally released on Arista (8362). Includes liner notes by Patti Smith.
With the exception of Bob Dylan, few rock n' rollers explored poetry within the rock format as thoroughly as Patti Smith. By the mid-70's, Smith had been a regular poetry-reader in New York City clubs for years, and with a deep admiration for The Rolling Stones, it was only natural to set these poems to music. With an exciting rock band to back her up (including renowned music critic Lenny Kaye on guitar), Smith built up a following on the strength of the band's trance-inducing live shows and her thrillingly liberated vocal style, which built on Dylan's mid '60s expressiveness with ecstatic, octave-jumping yelps.
Produced by ex-Velvet Underground bassist John Cale, HORSES was considered 'punk rock' when it was first released, but there was much more to it. Smith had a gift for being able to paint vivid pictures with her prose, as evidenced by a pair of 10-minute long epics, "Birdland" and "Land" (which consisted of 3 sections--"Horses," "Land of A Thousand Dances," and "La Mer"). Other tracks are more conventional, yet just as gripping--a cover of "Gloria," "Free Money," and "Kimberly," plus a ragged live cover of The Who's "My Generation" (included on the '96 remastered CD edition as a bonus track). HORSES is a classic.
- Genre: Pop
- Format: Vinyl