3 Classic Rock Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like Patti Smith

Part-poet, part-rock star, the musician and best-selling author Patti Smith was a phenomenon in the 1970s thanks to her 1975 debut LP Horses, and has since been a favorite among many music fans and art lovers ever since. Born in Chicago, Smith rose to popularity in the New York City scene and has stood for cerebral empowerment ever since.

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Still, though, some may have their reservations about the artist. Some may have reservations about her lyrics, her voice, her look or any other number of things. But that’s why we wanted to create this list here. Below are three songs that will turn anyone’s opinion around about the musician. Indeed, these are three songs for people who say they don’t like Patti Smith.

[RELATED: 3 Live Concerts Every Patti Smith Fan Should See]

“Because the Night” from Easter (1978)

The origins of this song come from rocker Bruce Springsteen. But he didn’t think he was the right person to sing it. It turns out “the Boss” and Smith shared a record producer at the time in future music mogul Jimmy Iovine, who convinced Springsteen to pass the track over to Smith, who knocked it out of the park. The song became her biggest hit, charting at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. Released on the 1978 album Easter, Smith sings on the track,

Take me now, baby, here as I am
Hold me close, try and understand
Desire is hunger is the fire I breathe
Love is a banquet on which we feed

Come on now try and understand
The way I feel when I’m in your hands
Take my hand, come undercover
They can’t hurt you now
Can’t hurt you now, can’t hurt you now

Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to lust
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us

“Gloria” from Horses (1975)

The opening track to Smith’s 1975 debut solo LP Horses, this song is an adaptation of the rock standard that was also made famous by others including Van Morrison. The track was released as the album’s debut single and on the lively offering, she sings,

Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine
Meltin’ in a pot of thieves
Wild card up my sleeve
Thick heart of stone
My sins, my own
They belong to me, me

People say, “Beware!” But I don’t care
The words are just rules and regulations to me, me
I walk in a room, you know I look so proud
I’m movin’ in this here atmosphere
Well, a-a-anything’s allowed

“People Have the Power” from Dream of Life (1988)

Released as the lead single from Smith’s 1988 LP Dream of Life, this driving rock song is about the state of things. Meaning, it’s about the people being the ones in power, not the ruling few. And not the ruling fools. This is a sentiment Smith has pushed for often in her career. It’s a populous offering and one that should be taken to heart when the world needs changing. On it, she sings,

I was dreaming in my dreaming
of an aspect bright and fair
and my sleeping it was broken
but my dream it lingered near
in the form of shining valleys
where the pure air recognized
and my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
that the people have the power
to redeem the work of fools
upon the meek the graces shower
it’s decreed the people rule

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

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Photo: Robert Mapplethorpe

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