By 1978, Patti Smith was deemed the “Priestess of Punk Rock”. She had already made a significance stance with her 1975 debut Horses. Now, three years later, Smith was about to make a commercial breakthrough.
In March 1978, Smith released her third album Easter. It was the second album credited to the Patti Smith Group, and it featured the singer’s biggest hit “Because the Night”, which not only hit the top twenty (top five in England), but was also co-written by Bruce Springsteen. Easter marked Smith’s first release, since being sidelined from a 1977 neck injury, sustained from a fall while on tour. It was also a departure from her previous releases, as it contained a diversity of musical styles including spoken word (“Babelogue”), folk (“Ghost Dance”), and rock (“25th Floor”).
Easter was highly acclaimed once it was released. Critics from Rolling Stone to Creem Magazine have given the album high marks, some even calling the album her best work. However, it was panned by critic Lester Bangs, calling it “just a very good album, compared to Horses”. As for it’s commercial appeal, Easter hit the top twenty in both the United States and United Kingdom. It is regarded as Smith’s most successful album.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Patti Smith, inducted in 2007.