The Coral Sea (album)

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The Coral Sea
The Coral Sea - Patti Smith and Kevin Shields.jpg
Live album by Patti Smith and Kevin Shields
Released July 11, 2008 (2008-07-11)
Recorded June 22, 2005 (CD1)
September 12, 2006 (CD2)
Venue Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Genre Spoken word
Length 64:39 (CD1), 54:43 (CD2),
119:22 (Total)
Label PASK
Producer Patti Smith, Kevin Shields
Patti Smith live albums chronology
The Coral Sea
Outside Society
(2011)Outside Society2011
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[2]
The Independent 3/5 stars[3]
Mojo 3/5 stars[4]
The New York Times (favorable)[5]
Pitchfork Media (6.8/10)[6]
PopMatters 8/10 stars[7]
Q 3/5 stars[8]
Spin (favorable)[9]
The Village Voice (favorable)[10]

The Coral Sea is a live recording of two performances by Patti Smith and Kevin Shields from 2005 and 2006.[11] The set consists of Smith's homage to the photographer, her friend and former lover Robert Mapplethorpe, and consists of the text of her epic 1996 poem of the same title. Shields accompanies in an improvisational manner on guitar.


The performances were recorded on June 22, 2005 and September 12, 2006 (with a third, unreleased performance the previous night) at Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's South Bank. In terms of music the two performances are stylistically different, but the words remain the same. The poem tells the story of M (Mapplethorpe) on a final voyage to see the stars of the Southern Cross before he dies.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Patti Smith; all music composed by Kevin Shields.

Disc one
No. Title Length
1. "Untitled" 14:32
2. "Untitled" 12:42
3. "Untitled" 7:22
4. "Untitled" 13:02
5. "Untitled" 7:54
6. "Untitled" 9:07
Total length: 64:39
Disc two
No. Title Length
7. "Untitled" 11:00
8. "Untitled" 13:38
9. "Untitled" 14:25
10. "Untitled" 15:40
Total length: 54:43


All personnel credits adapted from The Coral Sea's liner notes.[12]

Technical personnel
  • Ben Thackeray – engineer
  • Emery Dobyns – engineer
Design personnel

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Catalog
United Kingdom[13] July 7, 2008 2xCD Cargo N/A
United States[14] July 8, 2008 PASK 001


External links[edit]