A concise collection for latecomers
Patti Smith - Outside Society

The first lady of punk turns sixty-five this year having maintained a prominence throughout her years, not only within that genre but as a rock ‘n’ roll star per se. That’s no mean feat in what remains a male dominated industry, and her influence has been substantial.

Patti performs across a variety of art forms too, as poet and author besides her day job; one that has spanned over thirty years and spawned ten studio albums. This collection cherry picks from all ten and stands as a concise collection for those of you who’ve only heard ‘Because The Night’. The early tracks, from 1975, predate the punk surge when, along with The Ramones, Smith was turning New York into the birthplace of a movement never matched since, spitting out many a tale of injustice with real venom.

She exited the Seventies having moved closer to the mainstream, meeting with the biggest commercial success of her career. Most of the Eighties were spent raising a family and so it wasn’t until 1988 that ‘Dream Of Life’ arrived; a solid set of songs tapping into everything she had created before. Since then, she has generated a further five albums, the latest, ‘Twelve’ being her own unique slant on other artists’ work and the superb ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is included on this collection. There’s nothing here for the existing fan base but enough to entice new arrivals and strong enough to furnish a fresh interest from them.


Words by TC

Follow Clash: