Wave is the fourth album by Patti Smith, released in 1979. The record is best remembered for "Dancing Barefoot", lyrics by Smith with music by guitarist Ivan Král. It was also Smith's last album for almost a decade. After the release of this album her band broke up so she could concentrate on raising her family. Only in 1988 did she release a new record.
- "Frederick" (3:01)
- "Dancing Barefoot" (4:18)
- "So You Want To Be (A Rock 'n' Roll Star)", cover of the The Byrds classic (4:18)
- "Hymn" (1:10)
- "Revenge" (5:06)
- "Citizen Ship" (5:09)
- "Seven Ways Of Going" (5:12)
- "Broken Flag" (4:55)
- "Wave" (4:55)
- As the Good Book Says...: "Citizen Ship" quotes from Genesis 4:14.
- Break-Up Song: "Revenge"I thought you were some perfect read-outSome digital delay had obscuredAnd it secured phased my viewOf the wicked hand you played
- Celebrity Is Overrated: "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star"What you pay for these riches and fameWell, it's all a vicious gameYou're a little insaneWhat you get is the public acclaimDon't forget who you areYou're a rock 'n' roll star
- And she adds a personal exhortation: "Hey you! Come here! Get up! Ah, this is the era where everybody creates!"
- Classical Music: "Hymn" has an autoharp accompanying Patti's vocals.
- Cover Version: "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star" is a The Byrds cover.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The black-and-white cover.
- Does Not Like Shoes: "Dancing Barefoot" - inspired by the idea of "the love of one human being for another and the love of ones creator", and particularly by painter Jeanne Hébuterne, Amedeo Modigliani's lover and muse.I'm dancing barefoot, in mid-air I spin.
- Double Entendre: "Revenge" uses the metaphor of a wrist watch to talk about a broken relationship.I gave you a wristwatch, babyYou wouldn't even give me the time of dayYou want to know what makes me tickNow it's me that's got precious little to say
- Face on the Cover: Patti, holding two white doves. Her dress was a gift from her first artist-muse, Robert Mapplethorpe. "It was a tattered Victorian tea dress of handkerchief linen. I adored it and wore it in our apartment, a fragile armor against the ominous portents of 1968."
- Heavy Meta:
I'm dancing barefootHeading for a spinSome strange music draws me inMakes me come on like some heroinenote
- "Dancing Barefoot"
So you want to be a rock & roll starWell listen now to what I sayGet yourself an electric guitarAnd take some time and learn how to play
- "So You Want To Be (A Rock 'n' Roll Star)"
- Homage: The Title Track is dedicated to The Pope; John Paul I, whose brief papacy (33 days) coincided with the recording sessions.
- Limited Lyrics Song: "Hymn" which is only eight lines long and 1:10 long.
- Location Song: "Broken Flag"For we're marching towards Algiers
- One-Man Song: "Frederick"
- One-Word Title: "Hymn", "Revenge" and "Wave".
- The Power of Love:
God has granted thy soul to keepAll of the power that burns in the flameIgnites the light in a single name: FrederickName of care—Fast asleep in a room somewhereGuardian angels fly aboveShed your light on the one I love.
- "Frederick", about her husband''
When I am troubled in the nightHe comes to comfort meHe wills me through the darknessAnd the empty child is free
- Pun-Based Title: "Citizen Ship"Won't you give me a lift, a lift, a liftOn your citizen ship
- Real Life Writes the Plot: "Frederick" is a love song for Patti's partner Fred "Sonic" Smith, guitarist of MC5, whom she would marry soon.
- Record Producer: Todd Rundgren.
- Repurposed Pop Song: "Frederick" uses the same melodic structure as "Because The Night".
- Rule of Seven: "Seven Ways Of Going" has seven as an arc word.
Oh go through the walls; if you must, walk on the ledgesOf roofs, of oceans; cover yourself with light;Use menace, use prayerMy sleepers will flee toward another America
- The album is dedicated to Pope John Paul I, who died in 1978 after only 33 days. William S. Burroughs also receives thanks.
- "Broken Flag" is dedicated in memory of Barbara Frietchie, a 90 year old woman from Frederick, Maryland, who, in 1862, waved the Union flag on its broken staff in the face of the enemy.
- On the back cover of the original vinyl record a quote from Jean Genet's poem "Le Condamné à Mort" can be read.
Truth is in all things, even, partly in error
- The liner notes print a quote by author Rainer Maria Rilke. Another quote is attributed to film director Jean-Luc Godard:
Jersey, give me your tired, your poorGive me your huddled masses
- "Dancing Barefoot" is dedicated to Jeanne Hébuterne, mistress of sculptor Amadeo Modigliani.
- "Citizen Ship" references the poem written underneath the Statue of Liberty.
- Special Guest: Todd Rundgren plays bass guitar on "Dancing Barefoot". He was also producer and engineer on this record.
- Spoken Word in Music: During "Dancing Barefoot" Patti recites a poem near the end. In "Wave" she speaks to Pope Luciani, as if telling him what she would have said had they really met. note 'Bye, sir. 'Bye, papá.
- Stutter Stop: "Wave"I, I, I, I, I, how are you? how are you?
- Tattered Flag: "Broken Flag" is also an exploration of this idea (the song is about the American Civil War). An image of a tattered American flag can be seen inside the booklet and the song is dedicated to Barbara Fritchie (1766-1862), a Unionist during the American Civil War who, according to legend at the age of 95 waved the Union flag to antagonize the troops of Stonewall Jackson, as they passed through the town of Frederick. The actual woman who did this was named Mary Quantrell. Fritchie had also inspired a famous, eponymous poem by John Greenleaf Whittier: "'Shoot if you must this old grey head/ But spare your country's flag!' she said."
- Title Track: "Wave".Wave thou art prettyWave thou art fineWave thou art musicWave thou art wine