Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Apr 6th 2007 7:00PM by Jessica Robertson
It's been more than 30 years since the release of Patti Smith's 'Horses' -- the debut album from an idiosyncratic punk icon who was determined to defy and redefine the rules of rock 'n' roll -- and as decades pass, this newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is still gunning for two things: evolution and revolution.
This past Tuesday, Smith returned to her former home, the famed Hotel Chelsea in NYC, to celebrate the upcoming release of her latest album, 'Twelve,' which features all covers including the Rolling Stones' 'Gimme Shelter,' Neil Young's 'Helpless' and Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' (which she talks about in our exclusive video below). "This is the world debut of this song which means it's probably the worst rendition we'll ever do," she said of Tears for Fears' 'Everbody Wants to Rule the World' from a makeshift stage in the cramped Star Lounge. "I've been doing a lot of interviews and journalists ask me, 'Patti, why did you choose to cover this song?' And I say, 'Because I wanted to!'"
And so it goes.
"I always wanted to do a covers album, but I didn't really feel I had the range to do the kind of album I wanted to do," Smith tells Spinner. "I didn't know enough about singing and didn't have the range. As the project evolved, a lot of the songs on the [original] list I made didn't make the final cut, and a lot of songs that I didn't plan on doing wound up being the ones I chose."
Among the unexpected additions was 'Helpless,' which Smith performed alongside her band, including longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye and son, Jackson. "It's just a beautiful song about reflection, childhood, maturation," she says. "I didn't plan on recording it but we were in the studio late one night and there it was. Whenever I sing it, I feel emotional. I feel its beauty."
'Twelve' hits stores April 24.