- Audio CD (June 19 1996)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Sony Music Canada Inc.
- ASIN: B000002VQQ
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
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Japanese only SHM-CD (Super High Material CD - playable on all CD players) pressing includes one bonus track. BMG. 2008.
On her 1975 debut, Smith was full of piss and vinegar, seriously interested in bringing together high art and low three-chord rock & roll. As a result, her free-form poetry meshes with covers of "Gloria" and "Land of a Thousand Dances", and the album centres on two long, highfalutin' pieces, including the three-part suite (warning! warning! art!) "Land". (The CD version appends a messy live take on The Who's "My Generation".) Led by Richard Sohl's piano, the arrangements don't exactly rock, and some of Smith's song-writing gets buried in its stylistic affectations (there's a great song under "Redondo Beach"'s fake reggae). But the point of Horses was Smith's persona of volume, cunning and exile, and it comes through distinctly. --Douglas Wolk
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Top Customer Reviews
"...jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine..."
the group joins the catfight, slowly at first, then the wheels roll harder, the wagon rocks, and the rickety creature of strats and drums and thunderbird bass props up and propels the cracked mirror snarls and sweetnothings the singer sings, taking the ancient chant of the sanctified garage, "Gloria", into history.
With "Horses", the Patti Smith Group created a moment in time and sound that we should all strive toward, the purity of both their art and their rock and roll, and the balance struck between the two is a rarity in pop music. The music on "Horses" drives and swoops and undulates and screams and comforts and terrorizes and informs and confuses, it blesses the intellect, the broken or soaring heart, the sacred and the depraved spirit, the hungering body and the bootyshake gland.
Fronted by a black leather scarecrow/mary magdalenic genius, alternately weeping and crowing her words of spite, faith, pride, regret and redemption looking for all the world like Keith Richards' fictional little sister, the Patti Smith Group (Lenny Kaye, Ivan Kral, Jay Dee Daugherty and Richard Sohl)created an album of timeless grace and savage beauty. Like John Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band" before it, "Horses" is a record that can hold you in it's arms and let you know that, for all your dark failings and in spite of all the secrets that make it hard to sleep sometimes, it's alright...you're alright.
Horses is often reffered as a punk album. I Can not put it into one genre. It is a bit of new wave, punk, rock but overall a fantastic album that doesn't need a time to be categorized but to be respected and loved by those who experience it and really like it. A Classic debut album by an amazing artist. 5 stars.
This is not your grandmother's rock and roll. Smith opens HORSES with a hard-rocking and revamped version of the old standard "Gloria"--and reinterprets the piece into a determined, deliberate, and defiant bit of blasphemy calculated to snap even a non-believer's head back. The shock of "Gloria" sets the tone for the rest of the album: no boundries tolerated. And Smith and her band actually manage to follow through, with pieces that encompass subjects ranging from dreams of aliens to homosexual rape to suicide. Smith's voice can be quite melodic, but for HORSES she emphasises vocal authority, growling, dragging, and sometimes even throwing away all tonal quality entirely.
HORSES is rather loosely structured, and some of the tracks work better than others--but even by today's standards the album retains its cutting edge. And its an edge Smith knows how to use. The album is an essential, but brace yourself: it is a demanding ride.
Having said that, however, I've got to admit that it seldom goes for a spin inside my CD player. Perhaps it remains in my collection for the prestige and panache it represents, but on those few occasions I do give it a listen it is only in bits and pieces given its rather somber, dour and monotonous tone and its relentless seriousness. Even its few attempts at flat out rock and roll (covers of "Gloria," "Land of A Thousand Dances," and the bonus cut cover of "My Generation") come across just a little too arty.
There is no denying Patti Smith's impact on the music scene of the past quarter century, and for that she will always have my unyielding admiration, awe, and respect, but if one wants to catch a glimpse of good old fashioned rock and roll a la punk, one is best to stick with debut albums by The Clash and The Pretenders both of whom, of course, are unimaginable without Patti Smith's remarkable vision.
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