Personal Playlist: Patti Smith listens to opera — and Adele


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Patti Smith can’t stop listening to Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep.’ She’s been busy touring, accepting awards for ‘Just Kids,’ acting in a Law & Order’ episode and writing a crime novel.

We ran into Patti Smith in London when she dropped by the set of “Dark Shadows” to visit with her good friend Johnny Depp. She wanted to “see him work and watch his process” on the Pinewood Studios soundstages, where Tim Burton is making his latest eyeliner epic.


As it happens, the 64-year-old made her acting debut last month on an episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” but it’s hardly a surprise to see her pushing into new areas of art and expression. Smith just won a Polar Music Prize in May and is still collecting trophies (a National Book Award among them) for “Just Kids,” the 2010 memoir of her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe.

Smith has said that she’s also working on a crime novel set in London, but when we bumped into her all she wanted to talk about was opera — and her singular obsession in the pop music world.

“I’ve been listening to Adele nonstop,” Smith said. “That ‘Rolling in the Deep’ song, I must have listened to that a thousand times. I’ve been on tour and I got really sick. I had bronchitis, but to rev myself up I listen to Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep.’ I would just play that and feel stronger. I just love her. She’s got a very touching yet mature delivery. I love her voice, and that is just a killer song. I’m going to get my band to cover it. I have to sing it in a lower range. She’s so young, too. I’d love to meet her ... and tell her to stop smoking cigarettes.”

— Geoff Boucher