Album Details

Pop/Rock, New York Punk, Punk/New Wave

Album Review

It isn't hard to make the case for Patti Smith as a punk rock progenitor based on her debut album, which anticipated the new wave by a year or so: the simple, crudely played rock & roll, featuring Lenny Kaye's rudimentary guitar work, the anarchic spirit of Smith's vocals, and the emotional and imaginative nature of her lyrics -- all prefigure the coming movement as it evolved on both sides of the Atlantic. Smith is a rock critic's dream, a poet as steeped in '60s garage rock as she is in French Symbolism; "Land" carries on from the Doors' "The End," marking her as a successor to Jim Morrison, while the borrowed choruses of "Gloria" and "Land of a Thousand Dances" are more in tune with the era of sampling than they were in the '70s. Producer John Cale respected Smith's primitivism in a way that later producers did not, and the loose, improvisatory song structures worked with her free verse to create something like a new spoken word/musical art form: Horses was a hybrid, the sound of a post-Beat poet, as she put it, "dancing around to the simple rock & roll song."
William Ruhlmann, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Gloria: In Excelsis Deo/Gloria [Van Morrison Version]
  2. Redondo Beach
  3. Birdland
  4. Free Money
  5. Kimberly
  6. Break It Up
  7. Land: Horses/Land of a Thousand Dances/La Mer (De)
  8. Elegie
  9. My Generation [Live][*]
purchase full album