PRINT May 2009


Marianne Faithfull

Cover of Marianne Faithfull’s Easy Come Easy Go (Decca, 2009).

MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS AGO, in 1987—eight years after her shocking punk album Broken English, already twenty-three years after her worldwide smash hit “As Tears Go By” offered the angelic face and voice of a seventeen-year-old who soon enough didn’t just happen to become Mick Jagger’s girlfriend—Marianne Faithfull made Strange Weather. It was an album of cover songs, a collaboration with the producer Hal Willner—and it was leaden, labored, even the lightest arrangements buried under layers of self-consciousness. The idea, it seemed, was to use experience—that is, Faithfull’s notorious life as a longtime heroin addict (“a junkie on the street,” as she put it in her 1994 autobiography) as a concept. Faithfull would throw herself at Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Keep It with Mine,” already indelibly plumbed to its depths by both Dylan and Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention,

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