Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Patti Smith raises the curtain on Outside Society, a new collection of her signature songs on the Arista and Columbia labels. The 18-song release marks the first single-CD collection to span Patti’s entire body of recorded work.
The chronologically arranged tracks move from 1975 (her debut album, Horses, with “Gloria” and “Free Money”) through 2007 (Twelve, with her cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”). Also released on vinyl as a double-LP set, it will be available Aug. 23 through Columbia/Arista/Legacy.
Outside Society is newly remastered by Greg Calbi and Patti Smith band member Tony Shanahan. The CD booklet will feature brief recollections of each song written by Patti, who personally supervised the choices.
Of “Because The Night,” for example, Patti writes: “Bruce Springsteen gave me a great gift in allowing me to lend verses to his beautifully constructed anthem. My contribution was written for my future husband, Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith. Though we have performed it hundreds of times, the strong response it draws always makes it fresh and exciting to sing."
Writing about “Trampin’,” the final track, Patti muses in her famed autobiographical style: “This unique spiritual, originally sung by Marion Anderson, was performed live in the studio with my daughter Jesse. It sings for the weary traveler seeking a home after years of work, words and wandering.”
The album release also precedes the Polar Music Prize gala in Sweden on Aug. 30. Patti Smith and the Kronos Quartet were selected as laureates to receive the prestigious award from His Majesty, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.
“By devoting her life to art in all its forms,” said the Polar Music Prize committee, “Patti Smith has demonstrated how much rock’n'roll there is in poetry and how much poetry there is in rock’n'roll. Patti Smith is a Rimbaud with Marshall amps. She has transformed the way an entire generation looks, thinks and dreams. With her inimitable soul of an artist, Patti Smith proves over and over again that people have the power.”
Upcoming shows for Patti Smith and her Band (including Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty, Tony Shanahan and Jack Petruzzelli) include the Castle Clinton National Monument in Manhattan's Battery Park on July 14 and the Shinnecock Indian Reservation pow-wow grounds on Aug. 5.