Patti Smith, high priestess of punk, releases anthology: ‘Outside Society’ 

You just never know where that high priestess of punk Patti Smith will show up these days.

Like on TV, where she just cameoed as Professor Cleo Alexander in “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Or on the big screen overseas, where she starred in Godard’s recent “Film Socialisme” drama. Or on the New York Times bestseller list, which featured her “Just Kids” autobiographical memoir about her years spent with the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

So for anyone out there who might still be left wondering “Just who is this Smith character?” a must-own primer is coming your way Aug. 23: “Outside Society,” an 18-track anthology spanning her musical career, from 1975’s “Horses” to 2007.

From early rabble-rousers like “Gloria” and “Free Money,” through her breakthrough hit “Because The Night” (co-penned with Bruce Springsteen), to her gravelly cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” this best-of has it all, and should stand as the perfect introduction to this Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer’s work.

Released through Columbia/Arista/Legacy, all these anthems are newly remastered by Greg Calbi, and boast personal recollections of each penned by Smith herself. And a week after its release, on Aug. 30, the singer will be appearing in yet another unexpected place — at the Polar Music Prize gala in Sweden, where she and the Kronos Quartet will be awarded Laureate status by the country’s King Carl XVI Gustaf. The Polar committee has perfectly summarized Smith as a “Rimbaud with Marshall amps.”

Keep up with her next appearances at www.pattismith.net.

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Tom Lanham

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