53. Patti Smith—TWELVE

Patti Smith is, of course, a great writer. Her best songs are the ones she’s written that she inhabits like no one possibly could. On this record, though, she shows off her chops strictly as a singer. She picks some of her favorite songs from the classic era of rock and roll and  both respects the songs and inhabits them as Patti Smith songs. Several of the songs are likely suspects—from Jimi Hendrix (“Are You Experienced”), the Rolling Stones (“Gimme Shelter”), the Beatles (“Within You, Without You”), and Bob Dylan (“The Changing of the Guard”). There are a couple of wonderful surprises (Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise”). Each song is in its own way great, but the highlight surely is the most recent song, Kurt Cobain’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

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Columbia Records, 2007. [All-Music Guide review]

Here’s #53.

 

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