Friday, January 2, 2015

Shake it up, baby. (Patti Smith) #344-345

Patti Smith Hey Joe (Version)/ Piss Factory (Sire, SRE 1009, 1974)

Patti Smith Hey Joe (Version)/ Radio Ethiopia (Live version) (Arista Records 12", 2CO52-60133z, 1977)

Patti Smith!!

I've blogged before about Patti because I've had a long term relationship with her music and poetry since 1977:

Hey Joe is an interesting choice for 1974. Patti wraps the surreal story of Patti Hearst around the song made most famous by one her idols - Jimi Hendrix. Hey Joe was also his debut single!

Tom Verlaine's on guitar with Lenny but, unfortunately, like the Hearst story, this one has dated a lot.

Hidden gem: The real Patti is on side 2: Piss Factory is for me one of the greatest performances ever. It's at heart an autobiographical rolling poem about punching the clock on a production line. Patti's delivery is total commitment - she absolutely shakes it up! Richard Sohl's piano is an equal star - his driving piano drives Patti ever forward and the peaks just keep building up. An amazing song!

The 12 inch version of Hey Joe has a live version of some songs loosely called Radio Ethiopia. Sure enough, it includes that riff from Radio Ethiopia but there are also excerpts from other works including Rock and Roll Nigger in early pre Easter form.

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