Patti Smith is eyeballing a new album sooner rather than later. In the wake of her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in March and the release of her covers album, "Twelve," in April, Smith says "it

Patti Smith is eyeballing a new album sooner rather than later. In the wake of her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in March and the release of her covers album, "Twelve," in April, Smith says "it's time for me to make a record" -- this time of her own material.

"I've been working on a lot of songs," she tells Billboard.com, "so I'd like to record again."

That said, Smith and her band plan to spend most of the rest of 2007 on the road to support "Twelve," and she's putting plans in motion to hold a tribute concert for her late husband, MC5 guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith, on his birthday (Sept. 13) in New York.

But Smith has released new albums, some of them politically charged, in each of the last three presidential election years -- "Gone Again" in 1996, "Gung Ho" in 2000 and "Trampin'" in 2004 -- so that climate could exact some pull on her work this time, too.

"I hadn't thought of that," she says with a laugh. "I hadn't factored that in. But I will be more attentive to that. I've just been working so hard, it's like 2008 is creeping up. I will keep that in mind."

Smith, who begins a North American tour on July 31 in Philadelphia, is still enjoying the afterglow of the Hall of Fame induction, which she says was "a very emotional night." She performed "People Have the Power" next to the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, who she says was Fred Smith's favorite guitarist. The night, she adds, also provided "really deep encouragement" for her future work.

"I don't take it for granted," she explains. "I was proud of (being inducted), but it makes me feel like I have a lot of work to do. I hardly feel that I'm done with my work. I have a million more things to do, so I'm just getting on with that, really."

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