~ Release group by Patti Smith


Horses12" Vinyl8
AristaAB 4066, AL 4066[none]
Horses12" Vinyl8
Arista201 112-270
Horses12" Vinyl8
Arista064-97 237
Horses12" Vinyl8
Arista, Pathé Marconi EMI (record company, renamed EMI Pathé Marconi in 1986)C 066-97.237
Arista251 1124007192511129
HorsesDigital Media8
  • US1996-06-18
Arista Records, LLC[none]
  • US1996-06-18
Arista07822 18827 2078221882729
Arista, BMG (the former Bertelsmann Music Group, defunct since 2004-08-05; for releases dated 2008 and later, use “BMG Rights Management”)07822 18827 2078221882729
Horses12" Vinyl8
  • GB2002-04-29
Simply VinylSVLP372078221882712
Horses/Horses (30th Anniversary Legacy Edition)2×CD9 + 9
  • US2005-11-08
Arista07822 18827 2078221882729
Horses12" Vinyl8
Speakers CornerAL 40664260019712721
Horses12" Vinyl8
Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Aug 5, 2004 - Oct 1, 2008; do not use if a specific sub-label is available)88697159721886971597219
Horses/Horses2×CD9 + 9
  • DE2008-09-19
  • JP2008-10-22
HorsesDigital Media8
  • US2015-09-09
Arista, Legacy (Legacy Recordings)886445500394
Horses (repress)CD8Arista251 1124007192511129


associated singles/EPs:Gloria
included in:Original Album Classics (5 CD)
part of:Uncut: The 100 Greatest Debut Albums (2006) (number: 18) (order: 18)
Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2020 edition (number: 26) (order: 26)
The Guardian 100 Best Albums Ever (number: 32) (order: 32)
Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2012 edition (number: 44) (order: 44)
Discogs: [info]
lyrics page: [info]
reviews: [info]
other databases: [info] [info]
Allmusic: [info]
Wikidata:Q774927 [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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In retrospect, of course, it's a dream line-up. An album by punk's numero uno poet/priestess, produced by the coolest member of the Velvets (John Cale) with a Robert Mapplethorpe cover and even featuring CBGB-era legend Tom Verlaine on guitar. But then you look at the release date and realise how groundbreaking Horses really was. Talk about getting there first...

Smith was, by 1975, an acquired taste around the hipper clubs of New York. A post-Beat anomaly with a background in journalism (there's probably another book to be written about the East Coast ur-punk's literary heritage) who somehow pulled off the remarkable feat of melding free verse with garage rock sensibility. It also helped that her band featured Lenny Kaye on guitar who actually coined the term 'punk rock' when compiling the awesome Nuggets compilation in 1972.

In the studio Cale did the best thing he could as a producer, and captured the raw essence of Smith's live performances at the time – the raw combination of poetry, shamanistic chant and rock 'n' roll thrills. First track, "Gloria", was part-Jim Morrison (still a hero in those far-off days), part-Kerouac and part-Electric Prunes. Naturally, critics lapped it up.

But while Horses stands as a defining statement in the run-up to 1976 and punk's year-zero it's also unafraid to wear its art on its sleeve. Both "Land" and "Birdland" clock in at around 10 minutes ( a perversely prog trick that Verlaine's Television also used on Marquee Moon) – this was something that The Ramones et al were to utterly reject and as such marks Smith as more of a spiritual mother and inspiration rather than a core player.

Whatever, Horses remains a towering masterpiece of bile and beat. At the time it was a shock to the system – it retains its power to this day.