Patti Smith, 1975 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

The ultimate guide to Patti Smith: A mammoth 13-hour chronological playlist

“All I’ve ever wanted, since I was a child, was to do something wonderful.”—Patti Smith

Patti Smith, the iconic singer-songwriter whose career beginnings coincided with the New York City punk rock movement, has enjoyed a prolific career since the early 1970s.

With eleven critically acclaimed studio albums, three live albums and two EPs released since Smith shared her critically acclaimed debut record Horses in 1975, Smith’s Beat poetry-infused lyrics have repeatedly propelled her status to that of rock royalty.

“I don’t know anybody else who could possibly write like that, male or female,” Juliette Lewis once said of Smith. “She’s always been the only one saying what she says, in the way that she says it. But her appeal is much richer than that. She has an uncommon intelligence and the way she views things is incredible, mixing her imagination, references and her perspective on politics or pop culture.”

Lewis added: “All you have to do is read her lyrics and poetry to understand where she comes from. For me, the greatest artists do that – they connect with you but then they open your eyes to something deeper.”

With over 40 years of experience in the music industry, Smith has touched on numerous different themes and societal topics within her music and channelled her lyrics much like her poetry; by making her words accessible, by being a creative force for the people. “To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It’s freedom.”

Get to know the music of Patti Smith, below.