Is New York music something that is written by someone physically in New York, by someone writing about New York or is it something nurtured within the creative womb of New York?
The Village Voice Has done something courageous, if not foolhardy. They’ve published a list of the 50 most New York albums of all time: Top 50 New York Albums
Their top 5 are, Patti Smith: Horse; Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet; Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique; Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique; Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man; and Nas: Illmatic.
At least in relation to Patti Smith the answer clearly is that New York music is music that has the creative juices of the New York scene flowing through it.
Patti Smith’s 1975 album ‘Horses’ came out of her involvement in the artistic, punk, rock scene in New York is the late 60′s through to the 80′s.
She was not a native New Yorker but her artistic flowering took place when she created a passionate fusion of poetry and rock. Listen to the video of one of the tracks from her album and apart from sounding very modern in many ways you can also hear all the different influences of that time in New York.