Patti Smith surprise-releases ‘Live at Electric Lady’ EP w/ Bob Dylan & Stevie Wonder covers
Patti Smith has just surprise-released a new seven-song EP, Live at Electric Lady, as part of the legendary studio and Spotify's ongoing series. It's Patti's first newly-recorded music released since 2012's Banga, and it was recorded live-in-studio this past April with longtime band members Lenny Kaye, Tony Shanahan, and J.D. Daugherty, plus her son Jackson Smith.
Patti recorded her classic debut album Horses at Electric Lady back in 1975, and this EP includes a fiery version of "Birdland" from that album. It also includes a mostly-piano-and-vocal cover of Stevie Wonder's "Blame It On the Sun" from 1972's Talking Book, which was also recorded at Electric Lady, and a bare-bones acoustic cover of Bob Dylan's 1964 classic "One Too Many Mornings." (She also wished Bob a happy 80th birthday before playing the song.) The EP also includes versions of two other '70s classics ("Ghost Dance" and "Broken Flag") plus two more recent songs ("April Fool" and "Peaceable Kingdom"), and it reminds you that Patti and her band are still commanding performers. The '70s songs sound just as stunning and hypnotic as the original studio versions do.
Patti said, "We are very proud to be part of Spotify's Live at Electric Lady series, our favorite recording studio. It was a unique challenge and offered us an exciting and innovative platform. We are grateful to Spotify for their generous support and willingness to present a live performance with all its possibilities of risk and revelation."
And Electric Lady’s GM/Partner Lee Foster added, "Prior to recording, I had been discussing cover song options to present to Patti with Tony Shanahan, Patti's MD and longtime bassist/pianist. We'd yet to mention to Patti that we’d hoped to record a cover during the session, so she was unaware at the time. Days went by and Tony and I couldn't find the right song together. Then, as we'd just begun to agonize over it, he called me excitedly and asked “is 'Blame It On the Sun' from Talking Book [Stevie Wonder’s 1972 album recorded at Electric Lady]?" I looked quickly to confirm and told him yes. For no reason at all that morning Patti had texted him to say that the song was stuck in her head and that she wanted the band to learn it. Kismet."
Stream the full EP below...
1. April Fool
2. Ghost Dance
3. Blame it on the Sun (Stevie Wonder)
4. Broken Flag
6. One Too Many Mornings (Bob Dylan)
7. Peaceable Kingdom