Q - 11/96, p.1544 Stars (out of 5)
- "...equally enthralling [as HORSES]..."a
Patti Smith Group: Patti Smith (vocals, guitar); Lenny Kaye, Ivan Kral (vocals, guitar, bass); Bruce Brody (keyboards, synthesizer); Jay Dee Daugherty (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Richard Sohl, Allen Lanier (keyboards); John Paul Fetta (bass); Andi Ostrowe (percussion).
Recorded at The Record Plant, New York, New York and The House Of Music, West Orange, New Jersey.
Personnel: Patti Smith (vocals); Lenny Kaye (vocals, bass voice, guitar, 12-string guitar); Ivan Kr l (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Les Paul (vocals); Allen Lanier (guitar, keyboards); Jimmy Maxwell (pipe); Jim Maxwell (bagpipe); Richard Sohl (piano, keyboards); Bruce Brody (keyboards, synthesizer); Jay Dee Daugherty (drums, percussion); Andi Ostrowe (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Jimmy Iovine; Shelly Yakus.
Recording information: House Of Music Inc., West Orange, NJ; Record Plant Studios, New York, NY.
Photographer: Lynn Goldsmith.
Arranger: Tom Verlaine.
"Rock and roll is the only cultural asset America has given the world," declared a young Patti Smith years before she made her own records. Then she made EASTER, which made that asset a little more valuable. EASTER is an essential cultural touchstone.
Whereas HORSES was built on poetry and RADIO ETHIOPIA scrapped accessibility for primal cacophony, EASTER was The Patti Smith Group's most approachable package of Smith's vision.
As an artist and songwriter, Smith constantly pushed the boundaries of rock's scope: The demented "Space Monkey" builds a visual landscape, "Because The Night" melds pop with literary intention, and "Ghost Dance" transcends all musical genres to become a mantra. Possibly the most powerful track on the album is Smith's epic "Babelogue/Rock N Roll Nigger" segue, where she incorporates Jimi Hendrix, Jesus Christ and Jackson Pollack into a paean to artistic individuality and its inevitable alienation.