Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Certain Songs #1434: Patti Smith Group – “Dancing Barefoot” | Medialoper

Album: Wave
Year: 1979

Then the weirdest thing happened: in 1978 Patti Smith became a one-hit wonder with her remake / remodel of Bruce Springsteen’s “Because The Night.” That, of course, was the first time I ever heard her in any context, and, I gotta admit, I only thought it was OK. When it came on the radio, I didn’t turn it off, but I didn’t turn it up, either.

That said, “Because The Night” did generate enough buzz that its mothership Easter, and the follow-up, Wave both cracked the top 20, and I even remember her pretty decent cover of The Byrds “So You Wanna Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” got pretty decent airplay on KKDJ.

So maybe radio , I’m not quite sure why “Dancing Barefoot,” perhaps the most natural single Patti Smith ever recorded, totally and completely stiffed. Maybe it was because radio had decided that she was a covers artist, and therefore ignored her originals? In any event, “Dancing Barefoot” didn’t chart anywhere, and I’m pretty sure I heard it more through other people’s versions than her original version. But over the last 30 years, “Dancing Barefoot” has been upgraded from an also-ran single to all-time classic, and has taken its place as probably her most beloved song, give or take a “Gloria.”

And why not? Driven by a sinuous rhythm — bass provided by producer Todd Rundgren — and folk-rock instrumentation, “Dancing Barefoot” has an honest-to-good massively hooky chorus that is equal parts mysterious and obvious. She’s singing about fucking, duh.

I’m dancing barefoot
Heading for a spin
Some strange music draws me in
Makes me come on like some heroine

Later on, Lenny Kaye dives in with a guitar solo that echos the melody line of the verses and backing away while Ivan Kral’s keyboards take over for a few bars until they circle back to the final verse.

After that, Patti chants “Oh god, I fell for you” over and over and over, while counterpointing herself with poetic ruminations on the usual: life, death, love, etc. Anything to distract herself from the fact that she’s fallen for him and all she wants to do is dancing barefoot because of it.

Fan-made video for “Dancing Barefoot”

“Dancing Barefoot” live in Germany, 1979

“Dancing Barefoot” live at CBGBs, 1979

“Dancing Barefoot” live in France, 2004

“Dancing Barefoot” on Jools Holland, 2008

The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

[from http://bit.ly/2lwcL5j]

No comments: