The debut album by Patti Smith, released in 1975, was a key factor and major influence on the New York punk rock scene. At the time she recorded Horses, Patti Smith and her band were favorites in the New York club scene along with Blondie and The Ramones. The former's influence can be best heard in the track "Gloria", a radical retake on the Van Morrison song. "Birdland", in particular, owed more to the jazz which Smith's mother enjoyed than to the influence of punk.

"It isn't hard to make the case for Patti Smith as a punk rock progenitor based on her debut album, which anticipated the new wave by a year or so: the simple, crudely played rock & roll, featuring Lenny Kaye's rudimentary guitar work, the anarchic spirit of Smith's vocals, and the emotional and imaginative nature of her lyrics — all prefigure the coming movement as it evolved on both sides of the Atlantic.

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