Wave is an album by the Patti Smith Group, released May 17, 1979 on Arista Records. This album was the less commercially successful than its predecessor, Easter, although it continued the band's evolution towards more radio-friendly mainstream pop music.
The title track was a tribute to Pope John Paul I, whose brief papacy coincided with the recording sessions. The first single off the album was "Frederick", a love song for her husband-to-be Fred "Sonic" Smith with a melody and structure bearing resemblance to "Because the Night", the group's biggest hit. The second single, "Dancing Barefoot", has been covered by many artists.
The band broke up after this album was released, and Smith went on to marry Fred Smith and spend many years in semi-retirement following the birth of their children, Jesse and Jackson, until her 1988 solo comeback album, Dream of Life. The 1996 remaster of Wave includes Smith's original version of "Fire of Unknown Origin." Blue Öyster Cult's version was released on their album of the same name in 1981. The back cover of the original LP bore a quote from Jean Genet:
Oh go through the walls; if you must, walk on the ledges
Of roofs, of oceans; cover yourself with light;
Use menace, use prayer...
My sleepers will flee toward another America
Upon its release in 1979, the album garnered mix reviews, attracting either positive or negative commentary on its polished production and conventionality. Reviewers such as Rolling Stone's Tom Carson, and Julie Burchill were not favourable in their reviews of the album, with the former negatively likening it to "Radio Ethiopia", Smith's last album to be critically maligned and the latter concluding her review with "is this the blandest record in the world?". Simon Frith of Melody Maker was more appreciative of the album, praising Rundgren's hand in the production and considered the songs to represent a newfound focus for Smith and the band.
|UK Albums Chart||41|
|U.S. Billboard 200||18|
|May 17, 1979||Arista Records||LP||4221|
|c. 1986 (original) / 1996 (remaster)||Arista Records||CD|