Patti Smith Simon Frith - Essay

Simon Frith

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

"Wave" is a much better record than I expected, but to explain why I'll have to go back a bit.

Patti Smith's problem is that what was touching in a rock fan is obnoxious in a rock star. Her desperate faith in the cleansing spiritual power of rock 'n' roll was inspiring as long as she was on the outside. "Horses" was a gripping debut album that rekindled the rock faith of even the most jaded critics. What Patti the poet brought to her versions of "Gloria" and "Land Of A Thousand Dances" was less lyrical than emotional vision. She reminded us (in 1975, just prepunk) that rock 'n' roll was primarily a musical feeling.

Unfortunately, inevitably, once Patti had made it … she...

(The entire section is 553 words.)