Patti Smith

Patti Smith's Horses & Opinions on Pusha T

Patti Smith's Horses forever changed what punk rock could be, beginning with its striking album cover and unforgettable opening line. The album turned 40 in December, so in celebration, Jim and Greg give Horses the Classic Album Dissection treatment. Later they review the new solo album from Clipse rapper Pusha T.

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Music News

In the technological age, many musicians take advantage of devices like iPhones and MacBooks to help them record music (like ideas for riffs, lyrics or melodies.) Apple realized how frequently people use the memos feature for this purpose and has created a new app called Apple Music Memos. It apparently will have more musician-friendly features, like the ability to loop and add additional instruments to a track. The audio will also be easier to send to collaborators and friends. So why is this news? Because artists as big as Taylor Swift use the iPhone memos feature to record music. This shows that with the advent of simple DIY recording methods, more and more people are creating and recording their own music (whether they are famous or not.)

Not to be outdone, Spotify is also making improvements. Think the Coke-Pepsi wars. They've acquired music services Soundwave and Cord Project. Soundwave's main function was as a communication platform for users around the world to discuss the music, and Cord Project was a tap-and-talk messaging service. Clearly Spotify wants to expand its communication features to make it more of an active application, rather than something just played in the background. Although it still outshines Apple Music with its number of users, Spotify is taking these additional steps to level the social playing field.

classic album dissectionHorses (Legacy Edition)Horses available on iTunes

Patti Smith Horses

"Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." With that opening salvo on her debut album Horses, Patti Smith instantly established herself as a leading voice of the New York punk scene. Horses was released in December 1975, just over 40 years ago, so in honor of that milestone, Jim and Greg give it the Classic Album Dissection treatment. At that point, Smith had been kicking around New York City as a poet and a music writer, performing readings of her work while backed by Lenny Kaye on guitar and Richard Sohl on piano. These shows earned her enough buzz to get a contract with Arista Records and head into Electric Lady Studios to record Horses, with Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale behind the board as producer.

Right from her androgynous appearance in Robert Mapplethorpe's cover photo, Patti Smith defied all categorization on Horses. Jim and Greg cite the album as a great work of self-mythologizing, with Smith cultivating a magnetic public persona. The record veers from accessible yet lyrically disturbing songs like "Redondo Beach" and "Kimberly," to epic multi-part suites like "Birdland" and "Land." With Horses, Smith changed the rules for what a rock star could be and remains an influence generations later.

reviewKing Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The PreludeKing Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude available on iTunes

Pusha T King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude

Virginia-bred rapper Pusha T recently released his second solo record called King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude. This album serves as a precursor to his main event – King Push – set to be released this spring. The rapper promises it will be unlike any hip hop album of the last 18 years.

Greg says if this mysterious upcoming album is anything like The Prelude, he's sold. This record packs a punch with 10 intense tracks marked by Pusha's authoritative voice. He's lived what he's speaking about, and thus he delivers detail that, in Greg's opinion, is a step above that which his peers provide. Pusha offers powerful social commentary with grit and an understanding of the street life, and the album's a Buy It for Greg.

Jim agrees that Pusha is an agile rapper with important things to say, but is disappointed in the album's continued glorification of cocaine dealing. Pusha's coverage of drug dealing doesn't nearly hit the depths that Kendrick Lamar's music does, and Jim tires of Pusha's coke-centric tracks. Finding this album to be half-Buy It, half-Trash It, Jim settles in the middle with a Try It review for King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude.


Featured Songs

  1. Taylor Swift, I Wish You Would (Voice Memo), 1989, Big Machine, 2014
  2. Patti Smith, Free Money, Horses, Arista, 1975
  3. Patti Smith & Lenny Kaye, Ballad of a Bad Boy, February 10, 1971, Mer, 2006
  4. Patti Smith, Piss Factory, Single, Mer, 1974
  5. Patti Smith, Hey Joe, Single, Mer, 1974
  6. Ramones, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, Ramones, Sire, 1976
  7. Patti Smith, Distant Fingers (Demo), Land (1975-2002), Arista, 2002
  8. Patti Smith, Gloria, Horses, Arista, 1975
  9. Them, Gloria, Single, Decca, 1964
  10. Patti Smith, Gloria, Horses, Arista, 1975
  11. Patti Smith, Redondo Beach, Horses, Arista, 1975
  12. Patti Smith, Birdland, Horses, Arista, 1975
  13. Patti Smith, Kimberly, Horses, Arista, 1975
  14. Patti Smith, Break It Up, Horses, Arista, 1975
  15. Jim Morrison & The Doors, An American Prayer / The End, An American Prayer, Elektra, 1978
  16. Patti Smith, Ask the Angels, I Never Talked to Bob Dylan, Stoned, 1977
  17. Patti Smith, Land, Horses, Arista, 1975
  18. Patti Smith, Elegie, Horses, Arista, 1975
  19. Patti Smith, My Generation, Horses, Arista, 1975
  20. Pusha T, Untouchable, King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, GOOD Music, Def Jam, 2015
  21. Pusha T, Crutches, Crosses, Caskets, King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, GOOD Music, Def Jam, 2015
  22. Pusha T feat. Jill Scott, Sunshine, King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, GOOD Music, Def Jam, 2015
  23. Pusha T feat. Kehlani, Retribution, King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, GOOD Music, Def Jam, 2015
  24. The Black Angels, Telephone, Phosphene Dream, Blue Horizon, 2010
  25. Shamir, Demon (Live on Sound Opinions), Ratchet, XL, 2015
  26. Lex Allen feat. Q The Sun & Lorde Fredd33, This Is Our Year, Social Me Duh, Lex Allen Productions, 2015
  27. David Bowie, Up the Hill Backwards, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), RCA, 1980
  28. David Bowie, Rebel Rebel, Diamond Dogs, RCA Victor, 1974
  29. David Bowie, Sound and Vision, Low, RCA, 1977

Footnotes Apple Music Memos news story Apple Music Memos Spotify acquires new companies Patti Smith John Cale on Sound Opinions in 2006 John Cale on Sound Opinions in 2012“Gloria”as a Great Lead-Off Track Music of the Beat Generation