Wave (Patti Smith Group album)

Last updated
Wave - Patti Smith Group.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 17, 1979 (1979-05-17)
Studio Bearsville Studios, New York
Genre Rock
Label Arista
Producer Todd Rundgren
Patti Smith chronology
Dream of Life
Singles from Wave
  1. "Frederick AS 0427"
    Released: 1979
  2. "Dancing Barefoot ARIST 281 (UK)"
    Released: 1979
  3. "So You Want to Be
    (A Rock 'n' Roll Star)
    AS 0453"

    Released: 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Christgau's Record Guide B+ [2]
Rolling Stone (not rated) [3]
Smash Hits 5/10 [4]

Wave is the fourth studio album by the Patti Smith Group, released May 17, 1979, on Arista Records. This album was less commercially successful than its predecessor, Easter , although it continued the band's move towards more radio-friendly mainstream pop music. It was produced by artist/producer Todd Rundgren.

Patti Smith American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist

Patricia Lee Smith is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and poet who became an influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.

Arista Records, Inc. is an American record label owned by Sony Music, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. The label was previously handled by Bertelsmann Music Group. The label was founded in 1974 by Clive Davis, who formerly worked for Columbia Records. Until its demise in 2011, it was a major distributor and promoter of albums throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Along with Columbia, RCA, and Epic, Arista is one of Sony's four flagship record labels.

<i>Easter</i> (Patti Smith Group album) 1978 studio album by Patti Smith Group

Easter is the third studio album by the Patti Smith Group, released in March 1978 on Arista Records. Produced by Jimmy Iovine, it is regarded as the group's commercial breakthrough, owing to the success of the single, "Because the Night", which reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 in the UK.



The title track was a tribute to Pope John Paul I, whose brief papacy coincided with the recording sessions. The first single off the album was "Frederick", a love song for her husband-to-be Fred "Sonic" Smith with a melody and structure bearing resemblance to "Because the Night", the group's biggest hit. The second single, "Dancing Barefoot", has been covered by many artists.

Pope John Paul I 263rd Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope John Paul I was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City from 26 August 1978 to his death 33 days later. He was the first pope to have been born in the 20th century. His reign is among the shortest in papal history, resulting in the most recent year of three popes, the first to occur since 1605. John Paul I remains the most recent Italian-born pope, the last in a succession of such popes that started with Clement VII in 1523.

Single (music) Type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

Frederick (song) song by Patti Smith

"Frederick" is a song written by Patti Smith, and released as lead single from Patti Smith Group 1979 album Wave. The song is dedicated to Fred "Sonic" Smith, guitar player of the Detroit band MC5 and Smith's future husband.

The band broke up after this album was released, and Smith went on to marry Fred Smith. She spent many years in semi-retirement following the birth of their children, Jesse and Jackson, until her 1988 solo comeback album, Dream of Life. The 1996 remaster of Wave includes Smith's original version of "Fire of Unknown Origin." Blue Öyster Cult's version was released on their album of the same name in 1981. The back cover of the original LP bore a quote from the Jean Genet poem, "Le Condamné à mort:"

<i>Dream of Life</i> 1988 studio album by Patti Smith

Dream of Life is the fifth studio album by Patti Smith, released in June 1988 on Arista Records. It was her first album after the dissolution of The Patti Smith Group. Lead single "People Have the Power" received some album-oriented rock airplay at the time, and later was revived by Bruce Springsteen as a theme song for the 2004 Vote for Change concerts. Songs from this album were performed live for the first time in a show on December 29, 2006 in New York City's Bowery Ballroom. "Paths That Cross" is dedicated to the memory of Samuel J. Wagstaff. The cover photograph is by Robert Mapplethorpe.

Remaster refers to changing the quality of the sound or of the image, or both, of previously created recordings, either audiophonic, cinematic, or videographic.

Blue Öyster Cult American hard rock band

Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band formed on Long Island, New York in 1967, perhaps best known for the singles "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Burnin' for You", "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll", and "Godzilla." Blue Öyster Cult has sold more than 24 million records worldwide, including 7 million in the United States alone. The band's music videos, especially "Burnin' for You," received heavy rotation on MTV when the music television network premiered in 1981, cementing the band's contribution to the development and success of the music video in modern popular culture.

Oh go through the walls; if you must, walk on the ledges
Of roofs, of oceans; cover yourself with light;
Use menace, use prayer...
My sleepers will flee toward another America


Upon its release in 1979, the album garnered mixed reviews, attracting either positive or negative commentary on its polished production and conventionality. Tom Carson of Rolling Stone was not favorable in his review of the album, negatively likening it to Radio Ethiopia. Simon Frith of Melody Maker was more appreciative of the album, praising Rundgren's hand in the production and considered the songs to represent a newfound focus for Smith and the band.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Frederick" (Patti Smith) – 3:01
  2. "Dancing Barefoot" (Smith, Ivan Kral) – 4:18
  3. "So You Want to Be (A Rock 'n' Roll Star)" (Jim McGuinn, Chris Hillman) – 4:18
  4. "Hymn" (Smith, Lenny Kaye) – 1:10
  5. "Revenge" (Smith, Kral) – 5:06

Side two

  1. "Citizen Ship" (Smith, Kral) – 5:09
  2. "Seven Ways of Going" (Smith) – 5:12
  3. "Broken Flag" (Smith, Kaye) – 4:55
  4. "Wave" (Smith) – 4:55

Compact Disc bonus tracks

  1. "Fire of Unknown Origin" (Smith, Kaye) – 2:09
  2. "5-4-3-2-1" / "Wave" (Live, May 23, 1979, New York) (Paul Jones, Mike Hugg, Manfred Mann) – 2:43


Patti Smith Group

Jay Dee Daugherty American drummer and songwriter most known for his work with Patti Smith

Jay Dee Daugherty is an American drummer and songwriter most known for his work with Patti Smith. As a member of the Patti Smith Group, he has been nominated twice to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Drum kit collection of drums and other percussion instruments

A drum kit — also called a drum set, trap set, or simply drums — is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments, typically cymbals, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player, with drumsticks held in both hands, and the feet operating pedals that control the hi-hat cymbal and the beater for the bass drum. A drum kit consists of a mix of drums and idiophones – most significantly cymbals, but can also include the woodblock and cowbell. In the 2000s, some kits also include electronic instruments. Also, both hybrid and entirely electronic kits are used.

Lenny Kaye American guitarist, songwriter, producer, journalist

Lenny Kaye is an American guitarist, composer, and writer who is best known as a member of the Patti Smith Group.

Additional musicians

Percussion instrument Type of musical instrument that produces a sound by being hit

A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater including attached or enclosed beaters or rattles struck, scraped or rubbed by hand or struck against another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice.

Timpani musical instruments in the percussion family

Timpani or kettledrums are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum categorised as a semispherical drum, they consist of a membrane called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. Most modern timpani are pedal timpani and can be tuned quickly and accurately to specific pitches by skilled players through the use of a movable foot-pedal. They are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet. Timpani evolved from military drums to become a staple of the classical orchestra by the last third of the 18th century. Today, they are used in many types of ensembles, including concert bands, marching bands, orchestras, and even in some rock bands.

Todd Rundgren American musician

Todd Harry Rundgren is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and record producer who has performed a diverse range of styles as a solo artist and as a member of the band Utopia. He is known for his sophisticated and often-unorthodox music, flamboyant stage outfits, and his later experiments with interactive entertainment. He also produced music videos, pioneered forms of multimedia, and was an early adopter and promoter of various computer technologies, such as using the Internet as a means of music distribution in the late 1990s.



Chart (1979)Peak
Austria 19[ citation needed ]
Norway 7[ citation needed ]
Sweden [5] 17
UK Albums Chart [6] 41
U.S. Billboard 200 [7] 18

Certifications and sales

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
France (SNEP) [8] Gold354,000 [9]

Release history

DateLabelFormatCatalog No.
May 17, 1979 Arista Records LP 4221
c. 1986 (original CD release from LP master)Arista Records CD 251139
1996 (Digital Remaster by Bill Inglot and Ken Perry)Arista Records CD 18829-2
2007 (20-bit Digital Remaster by Bob Irwin and Vic Anesini) Sony BMG CD 37930


  1. AllMusic Review
  2. Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies . Ticknor & Fields. ISBN   089919026X . Retrieved March 12, 2019 via robertchristgau.com.
  3. "rolling stone review of wave". oceanstar. Archived from the original on 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2 October 2018.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (June 14–27 1979): 25.
  5. "European charts". Archived from the original on 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-02-28.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  6. "UK chart" . Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  7. "Billboard chart". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-28.
  8. "French album certifications – Patti Smith – Wave" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  9. "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2011-08-31.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

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