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Land (1975-2002)

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Audio CD, March 19, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

If there's one thing that defines punk poetess Patti Smith, it would be her life-affirming, death-defying passion, and it's that passion that still, over 25 years since her first recordings, makes her one of the most compelling figures in popular music today. And this first-ever compilation has Patti's indomitable spirit coursing through every track-the first CD presents favorites like Dancing Barefoot; Gloria; Pissing in a River; People Have the Power , and more selections chosen by her fans via the Internet and through feedback at her shows, while the second CD offers unreleased live and studio tracks including a 1975 demo of Redondo Beach , a 2000 live version of Birdland and even a newly recorded cover of Prince's When Doves Cry ! A 32-page booklet features unseen photos, original lyrics, drawings, artwork, notes and poetry gleaned from Patti's personal archives, while Susan Sontag (!) supplies the liner notes. Don't miss this one.

In some ways, singer-songwriter Patti Smith seems an unlikely choice for a full-bore anthology. After all, she's had only one charting single with "Because the Night." Even at that time, most people probably were more familiar with Gilda Radner's spot-on parody of her on Saturday Night Live than with Smith herself. Yet her influence both on the fledgling NYC punk scene and as a protofeminist poet renders her something of an American counterculture icon. As such, Land (1975-2002) serves to frame an uncompromising career spanning four decades. Split over two discs and featuring 31 tracks and almost two-and-a-half hours of music, Land begins with a survey of Smith's studio albums, relying most heavily on 1978's Easter. All the greats are here--"Dancing Barefoot," "People Have the Power," "Gloria," "Rock 'n' Roll Nigger," "Frederick," and of course, "Because the Night," plus a newly recorded version of Prince's "When Doves Cry," one of two songs cut specifically for this collection. The second disc is where fans--who were solicited for track selection input via gigs and the Web--get the goods. Early demos, among them 1974's coveted "Piss Factory," plus two other pre-Horses recordings, "Redondo Beach" and "Distance Fingers," kick things off. What follows is a batch of previously unreleased live recordings--"Dead City," "Spell," "Boy Cried Wolf"--most captured during a 2001 tour through the U.S. and Europe, and studio outtakes. Smith herself helped remaster the recordings while stacking the accompanying booklet with fans' photos and the like. Land probably won't spark a Smith renaissance, but loyalists can marvel at an artist who's never turned a fast buck by easing up on the sweat, tears, hunger, and integrity that inform every one of these tracks. --Kim Hughes

Disc: 1
1. Dancing Barefoot - Patti Smith
2. Babelogue - Patti Smith
3. Rock N Roll Nigger - Patti Smith
4. Gloria - Patti Smith
5. Pissing In A River - Patti Smith
6. Free Money - Patti Smith
7. People Have The Power - Patti Smith
8. Because The Night - Patti Smith
9. Frederick
10. Summer Cannibals
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Piss Factory - Patti Smith
2. Redondo Beach (Demo) - Patti Smith
3. Distant Fingers (Demo) - Patti Smith
4. 25th Floor (Live - Eugene, OR, 1978) - Patti Smith
5. Come Back Little Sheba (Studio Outtake, 1996)
6. Wander I Go (Track, 1996)
7. Dead City (Live - Denmark, 2001) - Patti Smith
8. Spell (Live - Portland, OR, 2001) - Patti Smith
9. Wing (Live - Paris, 2001) - Patti Smith
10. Boy Cried Wolf (Live - Paris, 2001) - Patti Smith
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 19, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Arista
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005YVQN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,869 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gena Chereck on September 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I didn't exactly grow up with the music of Patti Smith, and I've never seen her play live. But in the past few years, I've had the good fortune of being exposed to some of her fine songs -- "Gloria," "Because the Night," "People Have the Power," "1959," "Glitter in Their Eyes" -- thanks to radio and TV; and back in January, I finally caved and bought the classic album Horses (1975) at a used-CD store when the guy behind the counter recommended it to me. Sure enough, the aforementioned songs -- and the Horses track "Free Money" -- can be found on Disc One of Land: 1975-2002. I've also discovered new favorites like 1976's moving "Pissing in a River," 1978's ferocious "Rock 'n' Roll Nigger" ("Outside of society / That's where I want to be!"), 1979's tender and catchy "Frederick," 1996's powerful "Beneath the Southern Cross," and a surprisingly soulful new rendition of the Prince hit "When Doves Cry." Okay, so I would have deleted "Babelogue" (1978), "Ghost Dance" (1978), and "Paths That Cross" (1988) in favor of "Land" (1975), "Kimberly" (1975), and "Lo and Beholden" (2000). Otherwise, Disc One is a pretty solid and entertaining retrospective.
Disc Two is less consistent, and more problematic for newer fans like yours truly. I really like the stripped-down demos "Redondo Beach" (another favorite Horses track) and "Distant Fingers," as well as the Gone Again-era outtakes "Come Back Little Sheba" and "Wander I Go;" but I think the early single "Piss Factory" and the live version of 1978's "25th Floor" will more likely enthrall older fans. The rest -- including the new studio recording "Higher Learning" and a handful of live tracks recorded during a 2001 tour -- is hit-and-miss, although I find "Dead City" and "Wing" especially stirring.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William Merrill TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Hearing Patti Smith's music for the first time in the mid-70s was an electrifying experience. The whole "rock poet" thing was cool, but what really caught my ear was Patti's primal, free singing style plus Lenny Kaye's powerful electric guitar licks. "Land" is an really fine collection of Ms. Smith's material, with all of her biggest songs and (more importantly to me) an entire disc of previously unreleased demos, live cuts, and alternate takes. When a set like this comes out and I already own many albums by the artist, there's always a dilemma of "should I spend the bucks when there are only 3 or 4 new songs?" In this case the decision was easy -- a baker's dozen of good stuff like a demo of "Redondo Beach" (raw but compelling) or an incendiary live version of "Dead City." I highly recommend this anthology. My only minor complaint is there are no musician credits for the CD of unreleased tracks. It would have been nice to find out who played what.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is the perfect CD to replace those scratched vinyl albums, as it contains the best of Smith's seventies and eighties masterpieces like Babelogue, Gloria, People Have The Power, Frederick and Because The Night, plus live versions of old and more recent classics and interesting demo versions of Redondo Beach and Distant Fingers. Even if you have already replaced your vinyl with CD's, this is still a must have. The rare early single P-Factory, a true collector's item, makes this an essential purchase for the true fan. There is no one quite like Patti Smith with her talent for merging rock and poetry. It is luxuriously packaged with an informative booklet. Watch out for the hidden track - it's a lovely surprise to hear her take on the Broadway song Tomorrow!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Patti's work "is" contemporary poetry. It has been there when I've needed to vent- to rant, to rage, to cry and to re-assemble and to compose myself. Hopefully, in more open and enlightened times, her work will be critiqued as is the work of (conventional) contemporary poets.
I have seen Patti each time she has been in Sydney in the past 15-20 years. She is *always* amazing. In many cases (as cited above) she is the "support act" to someone such as Dylan a "great" in his own way, (just wish I could hear his words -most important to me- above the music and the background noise).
While I now have doubles and (soon) will have triples of Patti Smith's published works, as Bill Merrill asks, rhetorically, in his review "why should I spend the bucks for only a few new songs?" My answer is that Patti always is a "work in progress." Each version of a track is slightly different to the previous version. It is *never* the same. It's like catching a butterfly in a net and holding it up to the sun ... it'll always look different.
"Mathewslaughter", speaks volumes regarding "holy." Perhaps he goes a bit "over the top" in his (tongue in cheek) exposition. Regardless, having a 14yr old male and his 11 yr old sister turn up at a Patti Smith concert with their parents and then turn up willingly 3 yrs later for more of the same (and, later, with little protest from the back seat of Mum's car as she drives and grooves to Patti) says a lot for the artist. My kids are not known for their tolerance of music "not to their liking" on the car CD as we head up the Freeway. My God, they've even been known to sing along with her tracks and request some.
Patti is a beacon of strength, talent and musicianship which cuts across the age groups so-beloved of the music industry.
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