Wave (Patti Smith Group album)
|Studio album by|
|Released||May 17, 1979|
|Studio||Bearsville Studios, New York|
|Patti Smith chronology|
|Singles from Wave|
|Christgau's Record Guide||B+|
|Rolling Stone||(not rated)|
Wave is the fourth studio album by the Patti Smith Group, released May 17, 1979, on Arista Records. This album was less commercially successful than its predecessor, Easter, although it continued the band's move towards more radio-friendly mainstream pop music. It was produced by artist/producer Todd Rundgren.
The title track was a tribute to Pope John Paul I, whose brief papacy coincided with the recording sessions. The first single off the album was "Frederick", a love song for her husband-to-be Fred "Sonic" Smith with a melody and structure bearing resemblance to "Because the Night", the group's biggest hit. The second single, "Dancing Barefoot", has been covered by many artists.
The band broke up after this album was released, and Smith went on to marry Fred Smith. She spent many years in semi-retirement following the birth of their children, Jesse and Jackson, until her 1988 solo comeback album, Dream of Life. The 1996 remaster of Wave includes Smith's original version of "Fire of Unknown Origin." Blue Öyster Cult's version was released on their album of the same name in 1981. The back cover of the original LP bore a quote from the Jean Genet poem, "Le Condamné à mort:"
- Oh go through the walls; if you must, walk on the ledges
- Of roofs, of oceans; cover yourself with light;
- Use menace, use prayer...
- My sleepers will flee toward another America
Upon its release in 1979, the album garnered mixed reviews, attracting either positive or negative commentary on its polished production and conventionality. Tom Carson of Rolling Stone was not favorable in his review of the album, negatively likening it to Radio Ethiopia. Simon Frith of Melody Maker was more appreciative of the album, praising Rundgren's hand in the production and considered the songs to represent a newfound focus for Smith and the band.
- "Frederick" (Patti Smith) – 3:01
- "Dancing Barefoot" (Smith, Ivan Kral) – 4:18
- "So You Want to Be (A Rock 'n' Roll Star)" (Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman) – 4:18
- "Hymn" (Smith, Lenny Kaye) – 1:10
- "Revenge" (Smith, Kral) – 5:06
- "Citizen Ship" (Smith, Kral) – 5:09
- "Seven Ways of Going" (Smith) – 5:12
- "Broken Flag" (Smith, Kaye) – 4:55
- "Wave" (Smith) – 4:55
Compact Disc bonus tracks
- "Fire of Unknown Origin" (Smith, Kaye) – 2:09
- "5-4-3-2-1" / "Wave" (Live, May 23, 1979, New York) (Paul Jones, Mike Hugg, Manfred Mann) – 2:43
Patti Smith Group
- Jay Dee Daugherty – drums, consultant
- Lenny Kaye – guitar, bass guitar on "Wave", vocals
- Ivan Kral – bass guitar, guitar, cello on "Wave", keyboards
- Richard Sohl – piano
- Patti Smith – vocals
- Andi Ostrowe – percussion, timpani on "Seven Ways of Going"
- Todd Rundgren – bass guitar on "Dancing Barefoot", production, engineering
- Vic Anesini – mastering
- George Carnell – assistant engineer
- Tom Edmonds – assistant engineer
|UK Albums Chart||41|
|U.S. Billboard 200||18|
Certifications and sales
|May 17, 1979||Arista Records||LP||4221|
|c. 1986 (original CD release from LP master)||Arista Records||CD||251139|
|1996 (Digital Remaster by Bill Inglot and Ken Perry)||Arista Records||CD||18829-2|
|2007 (20-bit Digital Remaster by Bob Irwin and Vic Anesini)||Sony BMG||CD||37930|
- AllMusic Review
- 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.
- "rolling stone review of wave". oceanstar. Archived from the original on 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (June 14–27 1979): 25.
- "European charts". Archived from the original on 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- "UK chart". Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- "Billboard chart". 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 – Wave" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.