From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Easter is an album by the Patti Smith Group,
released in March 1978 on Arista Records (see 1978 in music).
Produced by Jimmy
Iovine, it is regarded as the group's commercial breakthrough,
owing to the success of the single, "Because the Night" (co-written by Bruce
Springsteen and Smith), which reached #13 on the Billboard Hot
and #5 in the UK. 
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The first album released since Smith had suffered a neck injury
while touring for Radio Ethiopia, Easter has
been called the most commercially accessible of the Patti Smith
Group's catalogue. Unlike its two predecessors, Easter
incorporated a diversity of musical styles, though still including
classic rock and
roll ("25th Floor/High on Rebellion", "Rock N Roll
("Ghost Dance"), spoken word ("Babelogue") and pop music ("Because the
Night"). Easter is the only 1970s album of Smith's that
does not feature Richard Sohl as part of the Patti Smith
Group; in one interview at the time, Smith stated that Sohl was
sick and this prevented him from participating in recording the
album. Bruce Brody is credited as the keyboard player, Richard Sohl makes
a guest appearance contributing keyboards to "Space Monkey". The
cover photograph is by Lynn Goldsmith and liner notes photography
by Cindy Black and Robert Mapplethorpe.
In addition to the obvious religious allusion of its title, the album is replete with biblical and specifically Christian imagery. "Privilege (Set Me Free)" is
taken from the British fame- and authoritarianism-satirizing film
Privilege; its lyrics are adapted
from Psalm 23. The LP insert reproduces a First Communion
portrait of Frederic and Arthur Rimbaud, and Smith's notes for
the song "Easter" invoke Catholic imagery of baptism, communion and the blood of
Christ. A solitary hand-drawn cross is placed below the group member credits on
the sleeve insert, and the last sentence of the liner notes are a
quote from Second Epistle to Timothy 4:7
-- "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course..."
The album was highly acclaimed upon its release. Writing in
Marsh called the album "transcendent and fulfilled." In
Creem, Nick Tosches
described it as "an album of Christian obsessions, especially those
of death and resurrection", and called it Smith's "best work." Lester Bangs, on the
other hand, began his pan of the album, "Dear Patti, start the
revolution without me." Bangs contended that while Horses had
changed his life, Easter "is just a very good album." It
listed number 14 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop
critics' poll of the best albums of 1978, while
NME magazine ranked the
album 46th best of the year .
All songs written by Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye except as noted.
- "Till Victory" – 2:45
- "Space Monkey" (Smith, Ivan Kral, Tom Verlaine) – 4:04
the Night" (Smith, Bruce Springsteen) – 3:32
- "Ghost Dance" – 4:40
- "Babelogue" (Smith) – 1:25
N Roll Nigger" – 3:13
- "Privilege (Set Me Free)" (Mel London, Mike Leander, Psalm 23) – 3:27
- "We Three" (Smith) – 4:19
- "25th Floor" (Smith, Kral) – 4:01
- "High on Rebellion" (Smith) – 2:37
- "Easter" (Smith, Jay Dee Daugherty) – 6:15
Bonus track (CD
- "Godspeed" (Smith, Kral) – 6:09
- Richard Sohl –
keyboards on "Space Monkey"
- Allen Lanier –
keyboards on "Space Monkey"
- John Paul Fetta – bass on "Till Victory" & "Privilege"
- Andi Ostrowe – percussion on "Ghost Dance"
- Jim Maxwell – bagpipes
- Tom Verlaine -
arrangement on "We Three"
- Todd Smith – head of crew
In the insert with the original LP release (reproduced in the
1996 reissue), Smith's self-penned liner notes refer, among other
|BPI – UK
||August 29, 1978