So You Want to Be (A Rock 'N' Roll Star)
Seven Ways of Going
Fire of Unknown Origin
5-4-3-2-1 / Wave (Live In NY, 5/23/79)
After the mainstream success of her co-write with Bruce Springsteen for “Because the Night,” Smith and her band went into the studio with Todd Rundgren to assemble Wave, her 1979 album that would be her last album until 1988’s Dream of Life. In just four short years and with four studio albums, Smith had transformed from a ragged street poet into a genuine pop singer and her songs, while still capable of experimental flights of fancy, were most successful when she hewed closer to convention. The dramatic melodic build of the majestic “Dancing Barefoot” and the sweet, sincere love song to her future husband (“Frederick”) are among Smith’s most convincing tracks. Smith’s ability to channel both her pop and poetic soul make the quick work of “Hymn,” the swirling guitar drama of “Revenge,” and the messianic chant of “Seven Ways of Going,” perfect capsules of her idiosyncratic muse. A cover of the Byrds’ “So You Want to Be (A Rock and Roll Star)” comes off as both a tribute to a bygone era and a weary rant against an industry turning more corporate by the day.