“Because the Night” – Patti Smith Group
Patti Smith: explosive energy; raw nerves; total joy or complete sadness. This artist is one of the most compelling in my collection. I go on Patti Smith binges.
This beautiful song was co-written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith. The Patti Smith Group released “Because the Night” as a single from the Easter album in April 1978. It rose to #13 on Billboard and has since been covered many times by Springsteen, U2, R.E.M., 10000 Maniacs, and many others. She first performed it at CBGB OMFUG December 30, 1977. The club, 1973-2006, was located on the Bowery in NYC and would become the punk rock venue. Patti played the last concert at CBGBs on October 15th, 2006.
Patti Smith moved to NYC in 1967 at 20 years old and almost immediately met photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The two were creatively and romantically linked until his death in 1989.
Patti became known as a poet, lyricist and eventually iconic punk-rocker. Her strong, gritty at times, tender, searing voice is immediately recognizable. Smith is an edgy, radical thinker, activist, artist, photographer and sensitive writer. When I read her book Just Kids, I understood a lot more about her lyrics and delivery. She lived a tough life with some highly creative people in the Village during the 70’s and 80′, yet her innate daydreamer self is reflected in the songs as well. She married Fred Smith in 1980, they had two kids (Jackson & Jesse). Fred died in 1994. Patti then moved back to NYC from Michigan in 1995 where “her friends Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Allen Ginsberg (whom she had known since her early years in New York) urged her to go back out on the road. She toured briefly with Bob Dylan in December 1995 (chronicled in a book of photographs by Stipe).”
According to Wikipedia, “since 1974 she has released eleven studio albums, two live albums, two EPs, nineteen singles, two compilation albums and one box set on Arista Records and Columbia Records.”
She has recently released a new album, Banga, which is full of hope, exploration and adventure. Check it out.