- Wave (Patti Smith Group album)
Wave Studio album by Patti Smith Group Released May 17, 1979 Recorded Bearsville Studios, New York Genre Rock Length 37:45 Label Arista Producer Todd Rundgren Patti Smith chronology Easter
Dream of Life
Singles from Wave Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic link Robert Christgau (B+) Rolling Stone (not rated) 28.06.79 This table needs to be expanded using prose. See the guideline for more information.
Wave is an 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 evolution towards more radio-friendly mainstream pop music.
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 and spend 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. Reviewers such as Rolling Stone's Tom Carson, and Julie Burchill were not favourable in their reviews of the album, with the former negatively likening it to Radio Ethiopia, Smith's last album to be critically maligned and the latter concluding her review with "is this the blandest record in the world?". 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.
All songs were written by Patti Smith, except where noted.
- "Frederick" – 3:01
- "Dancing Barefoot" (Smith, Ivan Kral) – 4:18
- "So You Want to Be (A Rock 'n' Roll Star)" (James 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" – 5:12
- "Broken Flag" (Smith, Kaye) – 4:55
- "Wave" – 4:55
Bonus tracks (CD reissue)
- "Fire of Unknown Origin" (Smith, Kaye) – 2:09
- "5-4-3-2-1/Wave" (live) (Paul Jones, Mike Hugg, Manfred Mann) – 2:43
- Patti Smith – vocals
- Lenny Kaye – guitar, bass on "Wave", vocals
- Jay Dee Daugherty – drums, consultant
- Ivan Kral – bass, guitar, cello on "Wave", keyboards
- Richard Sohl – piano
- Andi Ostrowe – percussion, timpani on "Seven Ways of Going"
- Todd Rundgren – bass on "Dancing Barefoot"
- Todd Rundgren – production, engineering
- George Carnell – assistant engineer
- Tom Edmonds – assistant engineer
- Vic Anesini – mastering
Chart (1979) Peak
Austria 19 Norway 7 Sweden 17 UK Albums Chart 41 U.S. Billboard 200 18
Date Label Format Catalog May 17, 1979 Arista Records LP 4221 c. 1986 (original) / 1996 (remaster) Arista Records CD 2007 Sony BMG CD 37930
- ^ Christgau, Robert. "Wave". Robert Christgau. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_album.php?id=2681.
- ^ "European charts". http://swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?key=8878&cat=a. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
- ^ "UK chart". http://www.chartstats.com/albuminfo.php?id=4635. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- ^ "Billboard chart". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r18302. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
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