Track of the Day: 'Wicked Messenger' by Patti Smith

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

A reader, Robert Clark, recommends a revamped version of a Bob Dylan song:

I love that you gave Richard Thompson’s rescue of a fine pop song [“Oops! … I Did It Again”] the recognition it deserves. One of my favourites. Another is Patti Smith’s disquieting version of Wicked Messenger. Not even Dylan could express his contempt more powerfully. From the chilling opening bars, it builds. “For his tongue it could not speak but only flatter.”

Robert adds as a bonus track, “I also love how Bob Dylan’s ‘Yesterday’ breathes life and credibility into an overworked standard.”

(Track of the Day archive here. Earlier archive here. Submit via hello@.)