Easter (Patti Smith Group album)
|Studio album by |
Patti Smith Group
|Released||March 3, 1978|
|Studio||Record Plant, New York City; |
House of Music, West Orange, New Jersey
|Genre||Punk rock, new wave|
|Patti Smith Group chronology|
|Singles from Easter|
Easter is the third studio album by the Patti Smith Group, released in March 1978 on Arista Records (see 1978 in music). Produced by Jimmy Iovine, it is regarded as the group's commercial breakthrough, owing to the success of the single, "Because the Night" (co-written by Bruce Springsteen and Smith), which reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 in the UK.
The first album released since Smith had suffered a neck injury while touring for Radio Ethiopia, Easter has been called the most commercially accessible of the Patti Smith Group's catalogue. Unlike its two predecessors, Easter incorporated a diversity of musical styles, though still including classic rock and roll ("25th Floor/High on Rebellion", "Rock N Roll Nigger"), folk ("Ghost Dance"), spoken word ("Babelogue") and pop music ("Because the Night"). Easter is the only 1970s album of Smith's that does not feature Richard Sohl as part of the Patti Smith Group; in one interview at the time, Smith stated that Sohl was sick and this prevented him from participating in recording the album. Bruce Brody is credited as the keyboard player, Richard Sohl makes a guest appearance contributing keyboards to "Space Monkey", along with Blue Öyster Cult keyboardist Allen Lanier. The cover photograph is by Lynn Goldsmith and liner notes photography by Cindy Black and Robert Mapplethorpe.
In addition to the religious allusion of its title, the album is replete with biblical and specifically Christian imagery. "Privilege (Set Me Free)" is taken from the British fame- and authoritarianism-satirizing film Privilege; its lyrics are adapted from Psalm 23. The LP insert reproduces a First Communion portrait of Frederic and Arthur Rimbaud, and Smith's notes for the song "Easter" invoke Catholic imagery of baptism, communion and the blood of Christ. A solitary hand-drawn cross is placed below the group member credits on the sleeve insert, and the last sentence of the liner notes is a quote from Second Epistle to Timothy 4:7 -- "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course ..."
|Christgau's Record Guide||A–|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Easter was highly acclaimed upon its release. Writing in Rolling Stone, Dave Marsh called the album "transcendent and fulfilled." In Creem, Nick Tosches described it as "an album of Christian obsessions, especially those of death and resurrection", and called it Smith's "best work." Robert Christgau of The Village Voice wrote that "the miracle is that most of these songs are rousing in the way they're meant to be." Lester Bangs, on the other hand, began his review of the album, "Dear Patti, start the revolution without me", and contended that while Horses had changed his life, Easter "is just a very good album." Easter ranked at number 14 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics' poll of the best albums of 1978, while NME magazine ranked the album 46th best of the year.
|1.||"Till Victory"||Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye||2:45|
|2.||"Space Monkey"||Smith, Ivan Kral, Tom Verlaine||4:04|
|3.||"Because the Night"||Smith, Bruce Springsteen||3:32|
|4.||"Ghost Dance"||Smith, Kaye||4:40|
|6.||"Rock N Roll Nigger"||Smith, Kaye||3:13|
|7.||"Privilege (Set Me Free)"||Mel London, Mike Leander, Psalm 23||3:27|
|9.||"25th Floor"||Smith, Kral||4:01|
|10.||"High on Rebellion"||Smith||2:37|
|11.||"Easter"||Smith, Jay Dee Daugherty||6:15|
|Bonus track (CD reissue in 1996 Arista Records, Inc)|
Patti Smith Group
- Patti Smith – vocals, guitar
- Lenny Kaye – guitar, bass guitar, vocals
- Jay Dee Daugherty – drums, percussion
- Ivan Kral – bass guitar, vocals, guitar
- Bruce Brody – keyboards, synthesizer
- Jimmy Iovine – producer
- Richard Sohl – keyboards on "Space Monkey"
- Allen Lanier – keyboards on "Space Monkey"
- John Paul Fetta – bass on "Till Victory" & "Privilege"
- Andi Ostrowe – percussion on "Ghost Dance"
- Jim Maxwell – bagpipes on "Easter"
- Tom Verlaine – arrangement on "We Three" (in 1974)
- Todd Smith – head of crew
- Jimmy Iovine – production, mixing
- Shelly Yakus – mixing
- Greg Calbi – mastering
- Thom Panunzio – engineering
- Gray Russell – engineering
- Charlie Conrad – engineering
- Joe Intile – engineering
- Lynn Goldsmith – cover photography
- Robert Mapplethorpe – insert photography
- Cindy Black – insert photography
- John Roberts – insert photography
- Maude Gilman – insert design
In the insert with the original LP release (reproduced in the 1996 reissue), Smith's self-penned liner notes refer, among other things, to:
- Arthur Rimbaud – 19th century French poet, sometime companion of Paul Verlaine. Lived in Ethiopia for the last 11 years of his life.
- Frédéric Rimbaud – Arthur's brother.
- 42nd Street and Ninth Avenue, New York – 1970s crime-ridden zone.
- Privilege – 1967 British movie.
- Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones – A concert movie released in 1974.
- Alain Delon – French actor.
- Pier Paolo Pasolini – 1960s Italian poet and film director.
- Bernardo Bertolucci – 1960s Italian writer and film director.
- Jean-Luc Godard – 1960s Franco-Swiss filmmaker.
- August 16, 1977Elvis Presley's death. – date of
- Ghost Dance – 19th century religious movement among some Native American tribes.
- r.e.f.m. – Radio Ethiopia Field Marshal.
- Jean Shrimpton – 1960s British model and actress.
- Paul Jones – 1960s British musician and actor.
- Charles Baudelaire – 19th century French poet.
- CBGB – New York music club.
- Little Richard – 20th century American singer-songwriter.
- New Jersey.
- The UN's declaration of 1979 as International Year of the Child.
|UK Albums Chart||16|
|Billboard Pop Albums||20|
Certifications and sales
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
|March 1978||Arista Records||LP||4171|
- "Easter > Chart & Awards – Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "UK Album Charts". Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- Wendell, Eric (2014). Patti Smith: America's Punk Rock Rhapsodist, p.54. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780810886919. "The 'Ghost Dance' in question may refer to the Native American practice, a holy tradition meant to reunite the living with the spirits of the departed."
- Johnstone, Nick (2012). Patti Smith: A Biography, unpaginated. Omnibus. ISBN 9780857127785. "The title referred to the Native American Indian ritual of the ghost dance...This was another song about different modes of communicating with God and parallel planes of existence."
- Dethier, Brock (2003). From Dylan to Donne: Bridging English and Music, p.38. Boynton/Cook. ISBN 9780867095326. "Patti Smith's 'Ghost Dance', for instance, can spark discussions of cultural appropriation, treatment of the sacred, and of course the genocide of Native Americans."
- Ruhlmann, William. "Easter – Patti Smith Group / Patti Smith". AllMusic. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- Kot, Greg (June 17, 1996). "Back For More". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 12, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- Rose, Caryn (May 28, 2017). "Patti Smith Group: Easter". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "Patti Smith: Easter". Q (122): 154. November 1996.
- Abowitz, Richard (2004). "Patti Smith". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 751–52. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
- Marchese, David (September 2008). "Discography: Patti Smith". Spin. 24 (9): 108. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- Marsh, Dave (April 20, 1978). "Patti Smith: Easter". Rolling Stone (263). Archived from the original on December 9, 2007. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- Tosches, Nick (June 1978). "Patti Smith Group: Easter". Creem. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- Christgau, Robert (April 24, 1978). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- Bangs, Lester (May 1978). "Patti Smith's Top 40 Insurrection". Phonograph Record. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- "The 1978 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. January 22, 1979. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- "Easter". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- "European charts". Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "Easter > Chart & Awards". allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
- "French album certifications – Patti Smith – Easter" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
- "British album certifications – Patti Smith Group – Easter". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Easter in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.