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Monday, July 4, 2011

Outside of Society, That's Where I Want To Be

Do you have a favoured artist that just makes you glad they're around to make art in your world?  Patti Smith certainly does that for me. Her words, her art...  It pleases me to no end that she has been enjoying a much deserved renaissance of late too. Her National Book Award winning book Just Kids, left me and crtics around the globe more than a little gobsmacked; that loving recollection of her life and times with Robert Mapplethorpe and their struggle to create art in the 1970’s nothing short of a masterpiece.  The book though, is just one aspect of a creative canon that continues to influence generations. On August 23rd, Columbia/Arista/Legacy will release Outside Society, a best-of collection of her music on CD and double vinyl. The album encompasses Smith's entire multiple-decade recording career, moving roughly chronologically through her legendary body of work.

Outside Society
features the contributions of her bandmates, with Lenny Kaye (guitar) and Jay Dee Daugherty (drums) the longest-serving members. Kaye, Daugherty, Richard Sohl (keyboard/piano) and Ivan Kral (bass) formed the Patti Smith Group, which hit its commercial peak in 1978 with Easter and “Because the Night”. Smith contributes track-by-track liner notes for the new release, and says this of her enduring hit:

“Bruce Springsteen gave me a great gift in allowing me to lend verses to his beautifully constructed anthem. My contribution was written for my future husband, Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith. Though we have performed it hundreds of times, the strong response it draws always makes it fresh and exciting to sing.”
The tracklist below, as well as video of Smith performing my favourite Patti Smith number, "Dancing Barefoot" in 1979.

Outside Society:
01. Gloria
02. Free Money
03. Ain’t It Strange
04. Pissing in a River
05. Because the Night
06. Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger
07. Dancing Barefoot
08. Frederick
09. So You Wanna Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star
10. People Have the Power
11. Up There Down There
12. Beneath the Southern Cross
13. Summer Cannibals
14. 1959
15. Glitter in Their Eyes
16. Lo and Beholden (Radio Edit)
17. Smells Like Teen Spirit
18. Trampin’

Tracks 1-2 from Horses (Arista AL 4066, 1975)
Tracks 3-4 from Radio Ethopia (Arista AL 4097, 1976)
Tracks 5-6 from Easter (Arista AB 4171, 1978)
Tracks 7-9 from Wave (Arista AB 4221, 1979)
Tracks 10-11 from Dream of Life (Arista AL 8453, 1988)
Tracks 12-13 from Gone Again (Arista ARCD 8747, 1996)
Track 14 from Peace and Noise (Arista 07822 18986-2, 1997)
Track 15 from Gung Ho (Arista 07822-14618-2, 2000)
Track 16 from Lo and Beholden (Arista promo CD ARPCD-3855, 2000)
Track 17 from Twelve (Columbia 82876 87251-2, 2007)
Track 18 from Trampin’ (Columbia CK 90330, 2004)

Patti Smith - Dancing Barefoot from FTP on Vimeo.

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