Today is the 40th Anniversary of Patti Smith’s landmark debut, Horses

Horses was a crucial step in the evolution of New York Rock & Roll, blending a reverence for Smith’s musical and literary influences, with a fresh and vital perspective on those traditions, and in so doing, it helped lay the groundwork for New York’s (and by proxy, the world’s), nascent Punk scene. Smith’s shamanic, poetic explorations were ably abetted by the sympathetic musicians who would form the core of her band, for the following several years (and further), Lenny Kaye, Ivan Kral, Jay Dee Daugherty and Richard Sohl, who provided both solid ground and an improvisational fluidity perfectly suited to Smith’s style. Add some help from Television’s, Tom Verlaine, Blue Oyster Cult’s, Alan Lanier, John Cale behind the board, god of all that is mastering, Bob Ludwig, on post-production, and the now iconic Robert Mapplethorpe cover photo, and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece, every bit as vital today as it was forty years ago.

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