Credit: Rockpalaast

Relive Patti Smith’s passionate performance of ‘Because The Night’ in Germany, 1979

In 1979 Patti Smith was continuing to demonstrate her dominance over her art. Having released her seminal album Horses in 1975, the soon to be Queen of Punk was still marauding her way across any stage put in front of her. Smith’s undeniable talent screaming through every rendition.

It’s often difficult to place Smith to one particular art, the star is always offering an array of poetry, prose, an unstoppable punk ethos and always, always a performance at every turn. But one performance of her song ‘Because The Night’ sings out like no other. 

This particular effort is taken from a gig in Rokaplaast, Grugahalle, Essen in Germany, sees Smith in full swing as she slams through arguably her most famous song. Delivering an impassioned presentation of the song she co-co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen for her 1978 album with The Patti Smith Group titled Easter, Smith is equal parts prowling tigress and gutter-bound troubadour.

‘Because The Night’ was recorded originally as part of Springsteen’s sessions for his Darkness on the Edge of Town album, but once he realised it might sound just like any other love song coming from him, he soon grew tired of the track. The Patti Smith Group meanwhile were in the studio for their album Easter. 

As luck would have Smith was working with engineer Jimmy Lovine who had been across both albums in some capacity. Knowing each artist’s plight Lovine made the connection and gave Smith a copy of the track for ‘Because The Night’ and she instantly took to the song. Ever the writer, Smith re-cast it and went about recording what would a mega-hit for the punk poet.  

This video is part of a mammoth set which includes some intense performances of her Horses hits and is well worth sitting down and marvelling at—but for now, we like to bring you our favourite slice of that particular pie.

This performance of ‘Because The Night’ is so unashamedly raw, it sees Smith undoubtedly connected to her fans like no other artist and because of it the music takes itself to another plain.   

Take a look below at Patti Smith performing ‘Because The Night’: 

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