THE FAITHFUL – A TRIBUTE TO MARIANNE FAITHFULL
IN THE Q RECORDS
Marianne Faithfull has always been a wonderful interpreter of songs. Since her debut in 1965, Faithfull has built an impressive catalogue. She has never been known as a writer even though she has written many brilliant songs, but her strength has always been in her choice and performance of covers. Even her debut, As Tears Go By was written for her by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. This album, The Faithful – A Tribute To Marianne Faithfull, is an interesting one. Here artists interpret her interpretations of songs. An unusual situation when it comes to tribute albums.
Faithfull has struggled with long COVID and all profits from this release will be used to assist with her recovery. All of the musicians donated their time and music. Behind the project is Tanya Pearson, the director of the Women of Rock Oral History Project, a collection of digital interviews and written transcripts documenting the lives and careers of women in rock music.
The album is basically alternative artists taking their turn with songs made famous by Faithfull. It kicks off with “As Tears Go By” by Tracy Bonham. It is a straight ahead cover which does not deviate from the original but still has Bonham’s stamp on it. Shirley Manson & Peaches turn “Why’d You Do It?” (a song Faithfull co-wrote) into a danceable horror show. Miss Guy tackles another song Faithfull co-wrote, “Sex With Strangers”. This is a brilliant version, with great narration and sparse arrangement. Perhaps the most interesting song is Cat Power and Iggy Pop’s version of “Working Class Hero”. Faithfull’s version of the John Lennon song explored the anger and frustration of the lyrics. Pop and Power do the same. Again, the arrangement is sparse and Pop’s vocals are quite astounding.
There are many other interesting songs and what is clear is the love the artists have for Faithfull. Joan As Police Woman’s “Broken English” is a shining moment and serves as a beautiful tribute to Faithfull. One can hear the love in her voice. The same can be said for Josie Cotton’s 1965 “Summer Nights”. It has a retro feel to it, and there is an underlying uneasiness here. It is quite wonderful.
The Faithful – A Tribute To Marianne Faithfull is a fantastic album, and a fitting tribute to a truly brilliant artist. Faithfull has recorded so much wonderful music over the years that picking the songs must have been difficult, however, the choices are perfect for each contributing artist.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: VARIOUS ARTISTS – THE FAITHFUL – A TRIBUTE TO MARIANNE FAITHFULL