Marianne Faithfull – Easy Come Easy Go – 12 Songs for Music Lovers – Decca

by | Mar 20, 2009 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

Marianne Faithfull – Easy Come Easy Go – 12 Songs for Music Lovers – Decca (no #) [Release date: Mar. 17, 09] ****:

(Producer: Hal Willner; Guests: Nick Dave, Chan Marshall, Sean Lennon, Keith Richards, Rufus Wainwright, others)

Marianne Faithfull came to prominence in the 60s in pop and rock and relationships with Mick Jagger and other rock figures. She dropped out for awhile due to a struggle with drug abuse, but has now had a distinguished long career in many different areas, working as a singer, songwriter, actress and diarist. She has collaborated with such people as David Bowie, Beck, Keith Richards, Tom Waits, Roger Waters and The Chieftains.  She ranked No. 25 in VH1’s “100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll.”

Working again with acclaimed concept-album producer Hal Willner is most appropriate for Faithfull.  He did her 1987 album Strange Weather, as well as some tracks of Blazing Away, and for this one – her 22nd album – they poured over nearly a century of pop music to choose the dozen songs to be reinterpreted in Marianne’s own unique style. The Great American Songbook was not exactly scoured for these titles – they are from others worlds and eras.  They include current new songs such as Neko Case’s Hold On, Hold On, Morrissey’s Dear God Please Help Me, and The Crane Wife 3 by The Decembrists.  At the same time it delves further back with Billie Holiday’s Solitude, the album’s title tune by Bessie Smith, and the atmospheric/historical Randy Newman tune In Germany Before the War.

The band put together by Willner included guitarists Marc Ribot and Barry Reynolds, keyboardists Rob Burger and Steve Weisberg – the latter also contributing some of the great arrangements along with Steven Bernstein and Greg Cohen. Many of the tracks were first takes. One of the classical works Faithfull has been performing in for some time is Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, and upon hearing her voice as it now sounds on these songs, my first thought was the voice of Weill’s wife and muse Lotte Lenya, who also sang the lead in Seven Deadly Sins. But they’re not all thoughtful ballads – try Ooh Baby! This is a thoroughly lived-in voice which strikingly communicates the drama of each song. The thrust here is more of an actress than a singer. There is also a European import version of the album with 18 tracks instead of just 12.


1. Down From Dover
2. Hold On Hold On
3. Solitude
4. Crane Wife
5. Easy Come Easy Go
6. Children Of Stone
7. Many Worlds
8. In Germany Before The War
9. Ooh Baby
10. The Phoenix
11. Dear God Please Help Me
12. Sing Me Back Home

 – John Henry


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