Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “The Women Of Rock Edition” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
Patricia Lee Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and poet who became an influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.
Called the “punk poet laureate,” Smith fused rock and poetry in her work. Her most widely known song is “Because the Night,” which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen. It reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978 and number five in the U.K. In 2005, Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Poetry and rock lyrics aren’t mutually exclusive, but they rarely exist together. One artist who excels at both is Patti Smith. The fact that she was a key figure in the original punk rock movement while also being a respected poet made her an intriguing figure in my teenage years. Her most successful album, Easter (1978), contained her collaboration with Bruce Springsteen, who co-wrote Because The Night, a song that is timeless and powerful. Other favorites are the title track, with all its religious imagery and hypnotic pulse, Till Victory, the rebellious opening song, and a very fierce tune with a controversial title that has been covered by Marilyn Manson (no stranger to controversy himself)! The song in question isn’t what it appears on the surface, and is open to interpretation, and, like all great art, makes it interesting to debate or to simply enjoy on its own merit. It also rocks harder than anything else on the album. Even if she wasn’t a wonderful poet and songwriter, I would still love Patti Smith just for her voice…it has just always worked for me.