Thursday, 7 April 2011

19: Patti Smith Group, “Because the Night” (no.5, 1978)

Co-written by Smith with Bruce Springsteen, this is pure teenage poetry, as performed by grown-ups. One of those rare singles that captures perfectly the heady, illicit thrills of venturing out after dark - or, alternatively, staying in and retreating under the covers. More than heart or soul - those two human characteristics most often attributed to pop songs - “Because the Night” has pores: it sweats and breathes (heavily); it secretes hormones; it would, you sense, be terrific in the sack. (Later covered, quite needlessly, by Cascada and Corona; if you do want to do a quick compare and contrast, try the Springsteen live version, which changes the words, turns up the amps, and is altogether thunderous in comparison; it, too, never strays too far from the bedroom, but only because The Boss needs a good lie-down afterwards.)

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