Patti Smith (Women of Rock and Roll)

by uninvitedwriter

Patti Smith is the "godmother of punk." Her dramatic lyrics and her intense music can never fail to move you.

The Patti Smith Band exploded on the music scene in 1975 with their album, “Horses”. She was one of only the few woman involved in the punk movement who came into the public eye; the only other one I can think of is Debbie Harry. Patti Smith has been called “the godmother of punk.” But she is much more than that; she is a great poet in the tradition of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. She can even stand with the great poets such as William Blake in my opinion. Her vocals from the late 70s are extraordinary; her voice is unmistakable and incredibly strong.

The Patti Smith Band’s first album, “Horses” features “Gloria”, an incredible cover/reworking of the Van Morrison/Them song, which starts with the immortal words “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” The first album of hers that I bought was Easter.  I almost wore that album out…yes, it was in vinyl. Words have always meant a lot to me and I was blown away by the lyrics of Patti Smith’s songs. There are so many great songs on that album such as “Because the Night” (co-written with Bruce Springsteen), “Space Monkey” (co-written with Tom Verlaine and Ivan Kral) and “Till Victory”.

Patti Smith 1969-1976

"I was eager to be Judy's model and to have the opportunity to work with a true artist. I felt protected in the atmosphere we created together. We had an inner narrative, ...

$25.95  $15.10

Patti Smith was born on December 30, 1946. She had a long term relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe; she published a book in 2010 called “Just Kids” about that relationship which won the National Book Award.  The Patti Smith Band was together from 1974-1979 and released 4 albums: “Horses”, “RadioEthiopia”, “Easter” and “Wave”.

Patti Smith married Fred “Sonic” Smith in 1980; the couple had two children, a son Jackson and a daughter Jessie. Sadly, Fred Smith died in 1994 of a heart attack. She took a brief hiatus from music during the early years of her marriage (releasing one album in 1988) to raise her children in St. Clair Shores,Michigan. A couple of years after her husband’s death she moved back to New York Cityand started touring again. Since 1988, Smith has recorded six solo albums. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Patti Smith Discography

  • Horses 1975
  • Radio Ethiopia 1976
  • Easter 1978
  • Wave 1979
  • Dream of life 1988
  • Gone again 1996
  • Peace and noise 1997
  • Gung ho 2000
  • Trampin 2004
  • Twelve 2007
Just Kids

In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplet...

$16.99  $6.15

These days, Patti Smith is working on a mystery novel. She still continues to pop up on television and on records now and then. She is now 65 and shows no signs of slowing down.

Enjoy some of the best of The Patti Smith Band below.


from Horses

Song written by Van Morrison.

Patti Smith reworked this song that was already a classic and made it immortal.


from Horses

This song highlights her poetic soul.

Because the Night

from Easter

Witten by Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen. This song reached #13 on the Billboard charts. Both Smith and Springsteen had success with the song.

Till Victory

from Easter

This song shows the full range of Patti Smith's vocal abilities.

Updated: 02/24/2012, uninvitedwriter
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katiem2 on 07/22/2012

Great review of an amazing rock star, Patti Smith is a interesting story. Great to have you here and read a fresh new story from you. :)K

Mladen on 03/14/2012

I love her music. "Because the night" is one of my favorite song.

PDXJPrice on 03/11/2012

i've always had a bit of an admiration for Patti Smith, though I don't care for her music. I prefer Chrissie Hynde :-) Good article.

Nelda_Hoxie on 02/25/2012

Hi UV! Great to be reading your work again. I loved Just Kids and can't wait for her mystery novel.

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