Faithfull’s long and distinguished career has
seen her emerge as one of the most original female
singer-songwriters this country has produced. Utterly
unsentimental yet somehow affectionate, Marianne possesses
that rare ability to transform any lyric into something
compelling and personal; and not just on her own songs,
for she has become a master of the art of finding
herself in the words and music of others.
Marianne Faithfull’s story has, of course, been
well documented, not least in her entertaining and
insightful autobiography 'Faithfull' (1994). Born
in Hampstead in December 1946 Faithfull’s career
as the crown princess of swinging London was launched
with ‘As Tears Go By’, the first song
ever written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Five
albums followed whilst Marianne also embarked on a
parallel career as an actress, both on film in 'Girl
On A Motorcycle' (1968) and on stage in Chekhov’s
'Three Sisters' (1967) and 'Hamlet' (1969) By the
end of the Sixties personal problems halted Marianne’s
career and her drug addiction took over.
Faithfull emerged tentatively in the mid-seventies
with a country album called 'Dreamin' My Dreams' (1976)
but it was her furious re-surfacing on 'Broken English'
in 1979 that definitively brought her back. Further
new wave explorations followed with 'Dangerous Acquaintances'
(1981) and 'A Child's Adventure' (1983). But despite
her new creative vigour, Marianne was not entirely
free of the chemicals that had ravaged her in the
Displaying a sadness tempered by optimism and a despair
rescued by humour Marianne returned, finally clean,
with a collection of classic pop, blues and art songs
on the critically lauded 'Strange Weather' (1987).
A live retrospective followed on 'Blazing Away' (CD&VHS
1990), which ably displayed why Faithfull has become
one of the most sought after concert artists of the
last 30 years.
New directions were taken on 'A Secret Life' (1995)
co-written with the Italian composer Angelo Badalementi
and in her exploration of the music of Kurt Weill
and Bertolt Brecht beginning in 1991 with her performance
in the Threepenny Opera, at the Gate Theatre in Dublin
and continuing with '20th Century Blues' (1996). This
journey concluded with her important recording of
the opera 'The Seven Deadly Sins' (1998). Marianne
returned to her mainstream musical career with the
release of one of her most admired albums, 'Vagabond
Ways' in 1999.
millennium ushered in a period of renewed creative
vigour that saw Marianne return to her acting career
in 'Intimacy' (2001), 'Marie Antoinette' (2006), and
her acclaimed starring role in 'Irina Palm' (2006)
for which she was nominated at the EFA for best actress.
Two acclaimed albums followed based around collaborations
with other artists that put her firmly back in the
rock idiom 'Kissin Time' (2002) with Billy Corgan,
Beck, Pulp and Blur and more successfully with PJ
Harvey, Nick Cave, Damon Albarn and Jon Brion on 'Before
The Poison' (2004). Marianne also returned to the
stage in 'The Black Rider' (2004), a Faustian musical
written by old friends Tom Waits and the late William
Burroughs. Health scares put Marianne out of action
for much of 2005 and 2006 but in 2007 Marianne toured
the world and released a second volume of memoirs
detailing a more personal side of her life called
'Memories, Dreams & Reflections' (2007).
new album ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ will be
released in Britain in March 2009. Recorded over a
two week period at the historic Sear Sound studios
in New York all the songs have been chosen by Marianne
and Hal. The album includes interpretations of varied
songs including Billie Holiday’s ‘Solitude’,
Merle Haggard’s ‘Sing Me Back Home’,
Bessie Smith’s ‘Easy Come Easy Go Blues’
(the title track), Morrissey’s ‘Dear God
Please Help Me’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘Down
From Dover’. Using a brass band and string section,
the band also reunites Marianne with Marc Ribot, and
Barry Reynolds. Both Marianne and Hal feel the album
is one of their best to date. Marianne will also be
doing some special readings throughout 2009 of Shakespeare's
love sonnets, accompanied by a cello.
the defining statements of many artists are made during
their early years, Marianne Faithfull continues to
develop her own voice. She sets herself aside from
her contemporaries in her continuing quest to explore
new creative areas in a career that has always been
a positive process of self-assertion.