Pioneering proto punk artist and poet Patti Smith has teamed up with a plethora of notable figures including Joan Baez, R.E.M’s Michael Stipe, Ben Harper, Lenny Kaye and Cyndi Lauper for an all-star cover of her song “People Have the Power,” from her 1988 album Dream of Life. This track was done in celebration of National Voter Registration Day and to celebrate the sixth anniversary of her daughter Jesse Paris Smith’s climate change awareness charity Pathway to Paris.
Other prominent figures in this cover include Tony Hawk, Chris Stills, The Strokes’ Nikolai Fraiture, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, Micah Nelson, Rain Phoenix, Jackson Smith, Stella McCartney and Tibetan singer Tenzin Choegyal. This all star outing sees various musicians such as Fraiture and Zinner perform on guitar, while various other artists join in on sax drums and upright bass. The track has a folksy appeal as each unique artist joins Smith during her chorus, that peacefully advocates for change.
“A vision for the future includes a just transition out of the era of fossil fuels and into an era of 100% renewable energy, including the critical issues of racial justice, gender equality, protected rights of the indigenous and the end of suffocating poverty,” Smith wrote in a statement. “An adoption of true human compassion while dismantling a climate of fear, leaving prejudice and hate in the past and moving toward a future of global unity.”
Photo Credit: Alyssa Fried