Saturday, 17 March 2012
I defy any heterosexual male of a certain age not to fess up to the undoubted fact that in their adolescence they were madly in love with Marianne Faithfull. Apart from an extraordinary pretty face and an extraordinarily pretty voice, she had an extraordinary background. Her mother was an aristocrat from the very former Austria-Hungarian empire - an exotic state of affairs compounded by her being a dancer in productions by Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill. How cool is that? Plus her great uncle was one Baron Sacher-Masoch whose erotic novel Venus In Furs resulted in him giving his name to a certain activity - namely masochism. Venus In Furs of course later became a song by the Velvet Underground.
She had hits in the early 60s, notably with the above, married and had a son. the marriage did not last long. 'My first move was to get a Rolling Stone as a boyfriend. I slept with three and decided the lead singer was the best bet'.
Anyway, she became a subtext in various songs by the Stones and others. And below is probably her major hit of all time, a Jagger/Richards song.
Then things totally imploded, she split from Jagger in 1970 and lost custody of her son in the same year. She ended up heroin addicted, anorexic and literally on the streets. She came back in the end but differently. Her voice changed. Laryngitis, cigarettes drink and cocaine abuse produced a new husky voice.
It worked and with Broken English in 1979 came her most critically acclaimed album. It wasn't a smooth ride thereafter, drugs continued to feature along with disastrous relationships. It probably never will be a smooth ride. She's high maintenance. Inevitably health problems have followed. All those years later, I'm not in love with Marianne any more. But I do like her. She's paid her dues. This is slightly back to front as I did blog on the mature Marianne a while ago and this posting refers back to her early years. So for the sake of completeness - and anyway - here from Broken English and her comeback is The Ballad of Lucy Jordan
Oh okay then - somewhat tangential but just for fun here are the Velvets with Venus In Furs ...