It is now forty seven years since Marianne Faithfull released the Jagger/Richards composition As Tears Go By and the years since have been crammed with more achievements, memories and disappointments than many will face in a life time.
Marianne Faithfull has certainly taken the scenic route from her beginnings as a stunningly beautiful young socialite girlfriend of The Rolling Stones in the sixties.
The path that led to her becoming a film star through her role in the cult movie Girl On A Motorcycle amongst others, as well as roles on stage, ultimately ended in the wilderness years of drug addiction in the seventies.
Then in 1979 Faithfull resurrected her derelict career with the outstanding album Broken English and although she would battle drug addiction throughout the coming decade, there was always hope that she would conquer it.
More recently she has been teetotal since 2004, survived both a cancer scare in 2005 and clinical depression in 2008 and written two volumes of autobiography, ‘Faithfull’ (1994) and ‘Memories, Dreams And Reflections’ (2007).
Her 23rd solo album finds the singer in reflective mood, covering several soul and pop classics from the seventies amongst the four self penned tracks that make up the album Horses & High Heels.
The album was recorded in the New Orleans French Quarter over September/October 2010 and features a spectrum of astonishing musicianship from the city’s musical pool. “We wanted to have fun, find great musicians and of course New Orleans is cheaper than New York” says the ever frank Faithfull.
The album finds Faithfull seemingly at her peace with herself, something which is reflected throughout with inimitable covers of songs like No Reason, Gee Baby, Love Song, The Stations and That’s How Every Empire Falls.
Her version of Carol King’s Goin’ Back is simply bewitching, while she adds a Shakespearean element to the Shangri Las haunting Past, Present and Future.
Despite delving into the past for much of the albums content, Faithfull says of Horses & High Heels, “It’s all a very different style for me, much more rhythmic. And a very modern record, it’s not looking back to the past at all. All the songs are about now, you know?”
“Conventional happiness isn’t my way, you know,” notes the irresistibly unconventional Marianne. “But this is a very happy record. I’m not depressed anymore. And I think it’s all been well worth it. I did have a bit of a bad time in the 70s but I think things have been wonderful. So I suppose this album is a bit of a breakthrough. I’m incredibly lucky, don’t think I don’t know it. I’m so grateful to be able to still write songs and express my emotion in music. And the best thing of all is working with such great people. It’s inspirational.”
Marianne Faithfull releases the album Horses & High Heels on March 7th.
The first single from the album will be Why Did We Have To Part which will be available from March 23rd.
Marianne Faithfull – Why Did We Have To Part