Radio Ethiopia (Remastered) Patti Smith
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- 1Ask the Angels03:09
- 2Ain't It Strange06:36
- 4Pissing In a River04:52
- 6Distant Fingers04:19
- 7Radio Ethiopia10:03
Info for Radio Ethiopia (Remastered)
1976's "Radio Ethiopia", the follow-up to "Horses", turned out to be both more conventional in some ways and more challenging in others. A deciding factor was Jack 'Aerosmith' Douglas replacement of John Cale as producer--the songs were more succinct (for the most part) this time around. The group continued to strive for the perfect balance between thought-provoking poetry and rough rock n' roll, and while "Radio Ethiopia" contains it's share of highlights, many Smith fans consider it a transitional album not quite up to par with either "Horses" or "Easter".
The opening "Ask the Angels" was perhaps The Patti Smith Group's most straight-ahead rocker up to that point, while the exploratory reggae-tinged "Ain't It Strange" would be extended concert staple. The tempo is brought down a notch or two on the cool "Poppies," "Abyssinia," and "Chiklets", but soon returns to furious rock with "Pumping (My Heart)." Also included is the album's best track, the haunting and heartbroken "Distant Fingers," while the 10-minute title cut features a repetitive heavy metal riff amongst a backdrop of sonic experimentation and a frantic recitation by Smith.
"After the success of Horses, Patti Smith had something to prove to reviewers and to the industry, and Radio Ethiopia aimed at both. Producer Jack Douglas gave "the Patti Smith Group," as it was now billed, a hard rock sound, notably on the side-opening "Ask the Angels" and "Pumping (My Heart)," songs that seemed aimed at album-oriented rock radio. But the title track was a ten-minute guitar extravaganza that pushed the group's deliberate primitivism closer to amateurish thrashing. Elsewhere, Smith repeated the reggae excursions and vocal overlaying that had paced Horses on "Ain't It Strange" and "Poppies," but these efforts were less effective than they had been the first time around, perhaps because they were less inspired, perhaps because they were more familiar. A schizophrenic album in which the many elements that had worked so well together on Horses now seemed jarringly incompatible, with Radio Ethiopia Smith and her band encountered the same development problem the punks would -- as they learned their craft and competence set in, they lost some of the unself-consciousness that had made their music so appealing." (William Ruhlmann, AMG)
Patti Smith, vocals, guitar
Lenny Kaye, guitar, bass, vocals, mixing
Jay Dee Daugherty, drums, percussion
Ivan Kral, bass, guitar
Richard Sohl, keyboards, synthesizer, piano
Recorded 1976 at Record Plant Studios, New York City
Produced by Jack Douglas
Part-Punk, Part-Folk, but 100% rockstar, Patti Smith has proven herself to be an enduring legend within Rock & Roll. For her work as an early pioneer of the punk movement, Patti Smith was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Also an author and an activist, Patti Smith maintains a relatively low profile, but still performs and records. Patti Smith tour dates are currently scheduled nationally. Use Eventful as your Patti Smith concert calendar.
The Chicago native moved to New York City in 1967 with no money and survived through near impoverished conditions to become a rock icon. After cultivating her poetic craft on the streets of New York City and Paris, Smith began to perform rock music in 1974 and was signed by Clive Davis in 1975. She released her debut album, Horses, in 1975 and started a musical revolution. Smith was at the forefront of the punk movement and was a frequent performer at the legendary CBGB. Smith released her biggest commercial success, Easter, in 1978; the album included the massively successful single "Because of the Night", and Smith toured aggressively.
Smith remained largely out of the spotlight in the '80s, preferring to raise her kids outside of the limelight. She reemerged in the mid-90s with Peace in Noise (1997) and Gung Ho (2000), both of which earned her Grammy nominations for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. In 2006, Smith returned to where it all began and performed a near four-hour concert at CBGB the night that the iconic club closed down. Smith has returned her attention to writing and won a National Book Award for her memoir, Just Kids, in 2010. Patti Smith is a rock legend whose music spans punk, folk, and politics.
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