Thursday, January 12, 2012

Patti Smith- Two More

Patti Smith is too important to be taken down by a schmuck like me. I have the highest esteem for her influence in the punk movement and for the fact that she is an artist in the truest sense of the word and is much smarter than me.

That said I don't like her covers album Twelve. Patti Smith has such a distinctive voice and style that performing covers seems to be a bad choice for her. This 45 entitled "Two More" has two extra covers that didn't make the cut of Twelve. The two songs she covers are "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed and "Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect" by The Decembrists. Both songs are excellent in their original versions and somewhat surprising choices as are the other 12 tracks she covered. The real value of Twelve and "Two More" is the knowledge of the songs Patti Smith considers to be good/important. The covers themselves aren't as good as I would hope, especially when considering how much I love/respect Patti Smith.

There are two and only two versions of "Perfect Day" that I consider to be canonical. They are 1) The original Lou Reed version and 2) The Kirsty MacColl/Evan Dando cover. I own the Duran Duran version as well but generally disregard it. Patti Smith's version is nice but non-canonical.

Her cover of "Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect" did nothing but solidify my desire to sit down with Patti Smith and talk music for an hour. Her performance of the song is not particularly moving. I know it sounds like I'm dumping on her, but I'm really trying not to. Of all the things Patti Smith has done, her cover album is the one I care for the least (which is meant to imply that I care for her other work a great deal more).

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