Top positive review
42 people found this helpful
Debut full of passion�(corrected version)
on 25 January 2005
I first came across Patti Smith on the B.B.C. 2 music show "The Old Grey Whistle Test", I can't remember the year but I think it was round the middle of the 70's.
I remember she was strangely dressed for being on stage, wearing a big black coat and black hat on stage, I thought strange what's all this about and then she proceeded to perform the track "Land" which is in 3 parts, horses, land of a 1,000 dances and La mer (de) nothing could have prepared me for the all out assault on the senses that Ms Smith performed.
The performance that I witnessed was incredible; she was jumping up and down, throwing herself around the floor and this was for the full length of the song and runs at nearly 10 minutes long.
After watching this on TV. I thought to myself I must get a copy of this album, the next day I preceded to my nearest "music emporium", I asked the shop assistant if they had this title in stock, to my great delight they did. I handed my money post haste rushed home and slapped it on my turntable.
As the record played I inspected the cover more closely, the black and white photograph on the front was very intriguing, the image was very androgynous, the sleeve credit was to Robert Mapplethorpe, if you look very carefully you will notice a very small badge of a horse on the lapel of the jacket draped over her shoulder.
The opening track to the album was a hybrid version of "Gloria" by Van Morrison this song had as much passion in it as had the live performance on TV. The following track "Redondo Beach" was a change of pace more reggae in nature than rock with its rock steady guitar sound and off beat hi- hat sound.
As the song "Free Money" started I thought to myself this is more like a 3 chord rock work-out, but nothing previous to this on the album had given any indication of the contents of the track "Birdland" this track clocks in at just over 9 minutes long, what an audio attack she really lets fly, very similar to the emotional displays that made Janis Joplin famous.
Most of the songs on the album were written by Patti Smith and her long time guitarist Lenny Kaye, but the following "Break it up" was co-written by Tom Verlaine of Television fame; the song also contains some excellent guitar work by Mr Verlaine.
Then you get to the studio version of "Land" this is even more of a Rolla coaster ride than "the test" performance.
As the album closes with the song "Elegie" the understated piano sound is welcome rest bite from intenseness of the rest of the album.
When this album was re-issued on C.D. in 1988 the sound of the album was very disappointing, but this 1996 version is a 20 bit re-master with a bonus live track with the producer of the album John Cale from the Velvet Underground playing bass on it which after the bass solo from Mr Cale soon becomes a howling mess of feedback and swearing, and Patti Smith shouting "We created it, lets control it".
This is a collection not for the faint - hearted but for music fans that like their music full on....