Marianne Faithfull – Negative capability

Marianne Faithfull

Reviewed by:
On 9 November 2018
Last modified:9 November 2018


A great album that's definitely worth a listen

This isn’t the typical album you’ll find reviewed here on Planetmosh but it’s one that will probably appeal to some of our readers, particularly Lou Reed or Nick Cave fans. Marianne Faithful came to fame in the early 60s with a hit single “As tears go by” – a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and later recorded and released by the Rolling stones and was linked to the Rolling stones professionally (particularly for the song she co-wrote with them, “Sister Morphine” and in her personal life till 1970.

She’s had a long recording career – this is her 21st album, and is her most personal album to date. ““It’s the most honest album I’ve ever made,” she says. “I’ve always tried not to reveal myself. There’s nothing like real hardship to give you some depth. I’ve had terrible accidents and I’m really damaged. It’s changed my life forever. I’m in a lot of pain and worked really hard to get strong so I can do my work. The great miracle is I was able to make this beautiful record. I really had no idea how it would turn out. I just jumped in and hoped I would be able to do it. This is all what’s happened to me since my life changed but obviously if I do something I must do it really well.

At 71 years old she now lives in Paris, and this album comes against a backdrop of having lost many of her friends and her struggles with arthritis.

For this album she’s co-written most of the songs with people including Warren Ellis, Nick Cave, Rob Ellis, Ed Harcourt and Mark Lanegan. There’s also a Bob Dylan song and a Rolling stones one.

While I’ve always liked the Rolling Stones version of “As tears go by”, this version surpasses it – the song really suits Marianne Faithfull’s voice perfectly as her voice carries so much emotion.

“The Gypsy faerie queen” is co-written with Nick Cave and he also adds backing vocals and plays piano. It’s a great song but that’s true of the whole album. Check out the video..

Marianne Faithfull has a very distinctive voice and style and that voice is used to full effect in this superb album. With the lyrics, her voice really gives a personal and emotional feel to the songs.

I have to admit that if I’d seen this album on sale a week or two ago (before I heard it), I wouldnt have given it a second glance, but having taken the time to listen to the album my opnion has been changed – this is an album that definitely deserves a listen even if you normally listen to different types of music. I’m not sure how you’d describe the music here – it’s not really rock but it’s closer to rock than pop. “Alternative” is an accurate (but meaningless) description. If you’re a fan of people like Lou Reed then this album is definitely worth checking out.

A great album that’s definitely worth a listen.

Track listing:

1. Misunderstanding
2. The Gypsy Faerie Queen
3. As Tears go By
4. In My Own Particular Way
5. Born to Live
6. Witches Song
7. It’s All Over Now, Baby blue
8. They Come At Night
9. Don’t Go
10. No Moon In Paris
11. Loneliest Person

A great album that's definitely worth a listen

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.