The Epic 2017 Project #219: 170807
Patti Smith Group – Easter (1978)
Easter is the third studio album by the Patti Smith Group, released in March 1978 on Arista Records. Produced by Jimmy Iovine, it is regarded as the group’s commercial breakthrough, owing to the success of the single, “Because the Night” (co-written by Bruce Springsteen and Smith), which reached No.13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No.5 in the UK.
The song was originally recorded by Springsteen during sessions for his Darkness on the Edge of Town album. He was not satisfied with the song and later declared he already knew he wasn’t going to finish it since it was “a[nother] love song”; the Patti Smith Group was working on Easter in the studio next door, with engineer/producer Jimmy Iovine working on both albums. Iovine gave Smith a tape of the song, she recast it, and it was included on Easter, becoming the first single released from that album.
‘Because the Night” also has another distinction. Every couple should have ‘a song’, and ‘Because the Night’ is ours. Released on 2 March 1978 when Sally and I first realised we were true soulmates, we purchased two copies of the single – one each – and exchanged them (akin to a ring). Of course, the song was the first on the turntable for our wedding reception some 16 months later. And, 39 years on, those 45″ singles still get an airing from time to time. Nostalgia rules as one of the sleeves still has Sally Haselum written on it (Sal’s maiden name).