Apple Music 100 Best Albums

This is an image of the album cover for “@@album_name@@” by @@artist_name@@.


Patti Smith


The high priestess of punk’s debut seamlessly mixed traditionalism with radicalism.

In some ways, Patti Smith was a traditionalist, taking inspiration from the likes of Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger and ’60s pop. In others, she was a radical—the resolve, the intensity, the way she informed a nascent, rough-hewn downtown New York art and punk scene with poetry and jazz, name-checking Rimbaud and Kerouac. Her 1975 debut (produced by The Velvet Underground’s John Cale) covered all of this ground and more.

The magic of Horses is that it sounds deeply steeped in the history of rock while also trying to convey the music as though nobody had ever heard it before. So when she opens her adaptation of Them’s “Gloria” with the line “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine,” it’s to remind you that rock is the sound of renegades. And when the apocalyptic visions of “Land” give way to the ’60s song “Land of 1000 Dances,” it’s because teenagers expressing themselves through their bodies is, in its own way, sacred. And when “Birdland” winds down with Smith singing doo-wop, it’s because sometimes words fail.

“Just that long format, that spoken-word platform, the way that she played with a live band. In that way, it’s innovative to the point of blurring discipline.”

Liz Phair