Listen to Patti Smith’s Art-Punk Version of the Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” From 1976
The Patti Smith Group performed in Washington, D.C. on this day in 1976.Photo by Joe Sia Music Features Patti Smith
With the release of Horses in late 1975, Patti Smith was crowned the official art-punk queen of New York. About a month later, on Jan. 16, 1976, Smith and her band traveled to Washington, D.C., where her coronation continued. Their performance at the Cellar Door club included timeless hits like “Gloria” and “Redondo Beach,” as well as this lively cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes.”
While the Velvets’ version is relatively gentle and subdued, Smith adds a bit more bite to the melancholy love song, thanks to her signature wobbly vocals and Lenny Kaye’s slick additions on guitar.