Before The Sex Pistols, before The Clash, before The Ramones, there was Patti Smith. The poet laureate of punk, she burst onto a vacuous music scene in the mid-1970s with a raw and revolutionary sound. With the release of her debut album, Horses, rock music would simply never be the same. Using all-new interviews with those close to Smith, Mark Paytress puts the story of Horses into its full context: from the singer's early days to her rapid rise on New York's performance art scene and the key role she played in the emerging art-punk movement at CBGBs. BREAK IT UP tells the unforgettable story of a landmark album, the new rock aesthetic that it brought about, and how Patti Smith became the most influential female rock 'n' roller of all time.
Mark Paytress is a renowned music journalist. His work has appeared in MOJO, Q, and The Guardian, among other national publications. He lives in London.