Marianne Faithfull – Faithfull: A Collection Of Her Best Recordings

5 07 2010

Listened: Wednesday June 30

Marianne Faithfull is an acquired taste, and I’m not even sure I have acquired it fully. Before the project I don’t believe I had listened to Faithfull all the way through; it was just too hardcore. Marianne’s voice is not what could be called pretty in any sense of the word. Amongst female singers, a voice so clearly expressing hard living ways is unusual (though not for men – modern Bob Dylan and Tom Waits come to mind and I’m sure there are others).

I do love the song The Ballad of Lucy Jordan – it’s such an evocative story sung very convincingly and the ragged voice adds to the effect. Marianne’s interpretation of Working Class Hero is also quite affecting, especially odd considering she is of noble birth.

The most jarring is the final track As Tears Go By – a song from a time before Marianne’s voice was ravaged by drugs and poor health. You can’t believe it’s the same person, the voice is so clear and innocent sounding. It’s a beautiful song, but I think I prefer the ugly realism of the rest.



One response

31 08 2010
Marianne Faithfull – Kissin Time « Emily's Albums A to Z

[…] and others have written some brilliant songs for Marianne to sing. This album is the antithesis of Faithfull – the extreme realism is toned down a lot, but still leaving the hard edge to her voice […]

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