As we get closer to the explosion of punk rock, we encounter the debut album of Patti Smith, and her highly acclaimed album, “Horses”. This album is rated #26 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. I did give this record multiple listens, but unlike some of the other avant-garde albums like The Velvet Underground, I never really warmed up to this release.
The record opens on an interesting note with “Gloria: In Excelsis Dio”, which blends in Smith’s own composition with Van Morrison’s “Gloria”. I do like the creativity and enjoyed this approach, and there is a certain flatness to her voice that is not unlike Van Morrison. I love the title of the next song, “Redondo Beach”, as my dad lived there for several years when I was a young boy, so I have great memories of that California beach town. The song itself wasn’t quite as memorable.
I would say my favorite song is “Kimberly”, and there is a woeful angst to the song “Break It Up” that I appreciate. The music and chord structures and songwriting are well-done, and I can understand why this album represents another important step forward in this genre, but there just wasn’t enough of an appealing hook to really grab my attention.