Patti Smith: Outside Society (Looking Back…) (Sony Music)

At first, this comes across as a fairly perfunctory overview, with all of her albums represented by two cuts each, with the exception of Wave which has three, and Peace & Noise, Trampin’ and Twelve, all of which have one. But this is no ordinary career , both musically, and in terms of the musical and social impact of her work.

Despite a forty year career, first as a poet and then journalist, before literally exploding onto the rock scene with the incendiary debut album Horses in 1975, Patti is still closely associated with punk, particularly in the minds and words of the music press.

The reality is that she has focused more on live shows in the past fifteen years, communicating in her own inimitable way, mixing passion and genuine spirituality with positivity and humour, having replaced rage with righteous beauty and a wonderful combination of awareness and a can-do spirit.

It’s recently been announced that Patti’s marvellous 2010 memoir, ‘Just Kids’ is to be made into a film, but in the meantime, here’s a bunch of tracks that you should already own, but if you don’t it’s a decent starting point. Scratch that. Buy all of her albums and go see her next time she hits your town. Here’s a clip of ‘People Have The Power’, originally from the Dream Of Life album, and also included in this new compilation:

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