Friday, 23 April 2010

Album of the Week: Broken English

Every woman should own a copy of Marianne Faithfull’s album Broken English. Why? Because it’s the kind of  record you can have playing in the background when you’re alone, and feel like a 70's icon is belting out tunes just for you. 
It’s an intimate album showcasing Faithfull at her world-wise raspy best.  Full of emotionally charged and often political lyrics, which cover everything from catholic guilt, to infidelity, think of it as a 70's rock chick’s zeitgeist take on Baudelaire’s “Fleur du Mal.”
I never  stole from  the rich
I never gave to the poor"
I never stole a scarf from Harrods
But if I did you wouldn't miss it   
extract from GUILT
Musically, it’s extremely varied referencing all kinds of styles from folk, to punk, to blues and some synthesizer too. Her witchy voice is the real instrument here though: full of life, death and everything in between.  There is cynicism there, but also a heavy dose of urban poetry and  reflection.
"A powerful moving album that occasionally goes over the edge. At it's best it's wonderful (Broken English, Lucy Jordan) and it's most excessive (Why'd You Do It) it does veer into the down-right depressing. But it's well worth the purchase. If Bette Davis had made a rock album, this is what it would have sounded like." Published on September 12, 2001 by anduarto Amazon
By the time Marianne put this album together in 1979, she had lived the kind of life that has inspired countless biographers to  pen her life's trail. My favourite Marianne track from this album is the eternally contemporay Broken English track.

The brilliantly lyrical “Why d ya do it” is the anthem for all women who have suffered an infidelity.  Copies should be sent out to the recent wave of French WAGS who have had their husband’s graphic indiscretions with a pneumatic under-age "high class" hooker plastered in the press.

Here are some highlights from the song, which was actually banned in Australia would you believe:
Why'd ya do it, she said, they're mine all your jewels,  You just tied me to the mast , of the ship of fools
Why do you let that trash
Get hold of your cock
An get stoned on my HASH
Why'd ya do it, she said, why'd ya do what you did,
Betray my little oyster for such a low bitch.

VAMPIRES AT DAWN: Hands off my style, skank
Another Marianne track I love, which hails from a different album altogether is "Sex with Strangers" the video of which featured a fresh-faced pre-vampiric Kate Moss.

Kate and Marianne used to be best friends for ever, and then something happened down the line, which made Marianne publicly ridicule the Croydon belle by calling her a "style vampire" last year.

'She's not really my friend. I thought she was, but she's very clever,'
'She wanted to read me like a Braille book. And she did. It's a vampirical thing.'
"She's very clever, but she isn't at all educated. We don't have any [common] references. Except music."

I don't know about you, but if Marianne Faithfull came out and said something like that about me, I would just DIE A MILLION SWALLOW DEATHS.


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