Review #26: Horses, Patti Smith

Karla Clifton
2 min readJan 30, 2021


#26: Horses, Patti Smith

I finished my twenty-five-hour road trip to Patti Smith. It made finally reaching my parents’ driveway feel like finding Mecca.

Patti Smith is my favorite rock star to read about, and her memoirs Just Kids and M Train are exceptional. For the uninitiated, Patti Smith a cool detached poet that basically blundered her way into becoming a punk icon by being artistic and brilliant and captivating. There’s a really great story in Just Kids where Allen Ginsberg makes a move on her because he thinks she’s a boy. Every so often I forget that punk rock’s origins are in ambitious, arty folk music with sneery-shouty poetry in it.

This marks the first time on the trip that we’ve heard two consecutive female artists. Thrilling!


“Gloria: In Excelsis Deo” — Arguably the best opening line to any album ever: Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine. Can you believe this is a cover of a Van Morrison song? This song is the best to scream-sing along to. (In fact by Hour 25 my inhibitions were so low that I am pretty sure I did the best Patti Smith impression I will ever do, it’s a shame no one else was there to hear it.)

“Redondo Beach” — This one makes me giggle. So bouncy.

“Birdland” — If I’m remembering correctly, this was the song I pulled into the neighborhood to, which felt kind of epic. A nine-minute spoken word poem over dissociative guitar? Sign me up.

“Kimberly” — I love the lyrics on this one. Also the last minute of this sounds just like “Tainted Love.”

“Land: Horses/Land of a Thousand Dances/La Mer(de)” — My second favorite song on this after “Gloria.” You just don’t get punker than this song title.


“Free Money” — Just not my favorite.

“Break It Up” — This one annoys the crap out of me.

“Elegie” — Too slow, too sad.


NO. All hail Patti Smith! In fact, I’ll make the bold claim that this album should swap places with #23, Velvet Underground & Nico. That Banana album is just a slightly worse version of this.

Review #25: Tapestry, Carole King

Review #27: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Wu-Tang Clan