“Dancing Barefoot” – Patti Smith Group


Man, what a great song. This is a top contender for my favorite Patti Smith song of all-time, mainly because she co-wrote it. “Because the Night” may be her best known song, and while it’s very good … it’s a bit overplayed. I love the sinister groove “Dancing Barefoot” has and is one of the best “night songs” ever recorded. What’s a night song? It’s the kind of song that sounds just about right when you’re hearing it at 1:30 am. Pleasant dreams. From the 1979 album “Wave.” Produced by Todd Rundgren.

“Privilege (Set Me Free)” – Patti Smith Group


In honor of Easter, here’s a boss track from the Patti Smith Group’s 1978 album “Easter.” This is Patti’s cover of the showstopping track from the classic 1967 Peter Watkins-directed rock and roll film “Privilege.”

I realize “Because the Night” is the best-known track and while I like that song, it’s a bit overplayed, especially due to that annoying 10,000 Maniacs cover from the early 1990s (the one with Natalie Merchant over-enunciating every syllable like a high school English teacher after one too many glasses of Chardonnay).

“Her Love Falls Like Rain” – Willie Nile


From the 2009 album “House of a Thousand Guitars,” is a lovely ballad by Willie Nile.  Nile is an immensely talented singer-songwriter who always seemed on the verge of breaking big, but never did due to various circumstances.   He recorded some albums in the early 1980s for Arista with members of the Patti Smith Group as backup musicians.  Pete Townsend was such a fan, he hired Nile to open some dates for the Who back in the 1980s.  Among his fans and backing musicians over the years: Bruce Springsteen, Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Roger McGuinn, and many others.  A vastly terrific and underrated talent.