Patti Smith
promo CD from 1988 for the song Looking For You

Date posted: Jan 21, 2000

  A larger, more detailed, 102K .jpg is also available.  
A promo CD (ASCD-9762) was issued in 1988 to promote the commercial release of the song Looking for You (I Was), a catchy pop-rock number from the Dream of Life album. Like the first single (People Have the Power) and the album from which it spawned, it tanked.

An acquired taste, the track is nonetheless undeniably exuberant, fun, romantic, and even a little girly. For the ending choruses, Patti's own voice is multi-tracked in an uncharacteristic bow to the gifts of a high-priced studio and professional and ambitious producers. Performing the song on stage for the first time in a pair of shows in December of 1998, Patti wistfully reminisced after the 2nd performance, on New Year's Eve, about writing it on the floor of the Mayflower Hotel in NYC in or around 1986, and her and Fred's hopes for it:

It was our pop song, it was gonna be played on the radio coast-to-coast and be really giant in Detroit. [laughter] That was our plan.

In an interview conducted at the time of the album's release, 10 years earlier, Patti talked about the vocal treatments on it:

"Those harmonies - the first time I heard them I said 'Oh no, turn them off!' They seemed funny, but I got to like them. When I was younger, I loved the Ronettes and Darlene Love, but those things are usually pretty accidental and harmonies certainly aren't my forte. That's another case where Fred might say 'Try this,' and something that isn't really conscious will happen."

Full 1988 interview and copyright information are here.

In an effort to bring the first plan to fruition, the promo CD featured two alternate edits of the album track. Shorter and punchier than the version found on the Dream of Life album, they arrived in a package adorned with breathless reviews, and one particular cite by People Magazine extolling the massive appeal of Looking For You in particular.

The complete inside cover, a 75K .jpg, is also available.

Shortened by 25 seconds, the Pop Edit pushes the song-closing harmonies a little higher in the mix, and throws in a gratuitous sigh or two. Like the Rock Edit, it is a bit more bottom-heavy than the album in strategic places, subtly pumping up the bass, but does nothing about the decidedly non-punk guitars.


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