Patti Smith – Outside Society, Track 3. “Ain’t It Strange” – Radio Ethiopia

Radio Ethiopia
Image via Wikipedia, Photograph by Judy Linn

The Patti Smith Group‘s second album was called Radio Ethiopia. It was released in October of 1976. The album was dedicated to Arthur Rimbaud and Constantin Brâncuşi.

There are two tracks from Radio Ethiopia on the Outside Society collection. The first of these two tracks that Patti Smith selected is “Ain’t It Strange”. I don’t own Radio Ethiopia so “Ain’t It Strange” is one five tracks on Outside Society that are new experiences for me to absorb and learn.

I love the reggae sway this song generates as it plays against the staccato style invoked by Lenny Kaye’s guitar. The Patti Smith Group were revolutionary in dress, mannerisms and music making  on Radio Ethiopia which shouted urban guerrilla warfare to the masses.

Patti Smith’s reflection’s about “Ain’t It Strange” state:

“Merging our devotion to reggae music with my personal experience as a youth in southern New Jersey, we created a playing field containing a manifesto of freedom from the fetters of dogma of any kind – moral, political or religious.”

(Patti Smith’s words from  the Outside Society CD liner notes, Copyright 2011, Sony Music Entertainment)

Photograph copyright Lynn Goldsmith
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