One of the sad truths of the music industry is that its true pioneers—the artists who pave the path for others to follow—rarely reap the rewards of their spawn.

One of the sad truths of the music industry is that its true pioneers—the artists who pave the path for others to follow—rarely reap the rewards of their spawn. Case in point, Patti Smith. Countless women in rock owe their multi-platinum careers to her, and yet she remains an acquired commercial taste. As evidenced by this sterling, two-CD collection of fan favorites and rarities, Smith has enjoyed a pop hit or two (1978's "Because the Night," 1988's "People Have the Power"). But she has mostly provided the innovative blueprint for those with more crass sensibilities to copy and simplify. Land gives listeners the chance to pay proper respect to Smith's challenging, invigorating, and ultimately glorious catalog of songs. It's also an opportunity to right the wrong of her modest profile at radio and retail. Land features a deliciously sensual revision of Prince's "When Doves Cry," which is currently making the rounds at rock radio. Perhaps one of Smith's own compositions will follow.—LF