Marianne Evelyn Gabriel Faithfull (born 29 December 1946) is an English singer and actress. She achieved popularity in the 1960s with the release of her hit single “As Tears Go By” and became one of the lead female artists during the British Invasion in the United States.
Born in Hampstead, London, Faithfull began her career in 1964 after attending a Rolling Stones party, where she was discovered by Andrew Loog Oldham. Her debut album Marianne Faithfull (1965) (released simultaneously with her album Come My Way) was a commercial success followed by a number of albums on Decca Records. From 1966 to 1970, she had a highly publicised romantic relationship with Mick Jagger. Her popularity was further enhanced by her film roles, such as those in I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname (1967), The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968), and Hamlet (1969). However, her popularity was overshadowed by personal problems in the 1970s. During that time she was anorexic, homeless, and a heroin addict.
Noted for her distinctive voice, Faithfull’s previously melodic and higher-registered vocals (which were prevalent throughout her career in the 1960s) were affected by severe laryngitis, coupled with persistent drug abuse during the 1970s, permanently altering her voice, leaving it raspy, cracked and lower in pitch. This new sound was praised as “whisky soaked” by some critics and seen as having helped to capture the raw emotions expressed in Faithfull’s music.
After a long commercial absence, Faithfull made a comeback with the 1979 release of her critically acclaimed album Broken English. The album was a commercial success and marked a resurgence of her musical career. Broken English earned Faithfull a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance and is often regarded as her “definitive recording”.
She followed this with a series of albums, including Dangerous Acquaintances (1981), A Child’s Adventure (1983), and Strange Weather (1987). Faithfull also wrote three books about her life: Faithfull: An Autobiography (1994), Memories, Dreams & Reflections (2007), and Marianne Faithfull: A Life on Record (2014).
Faithfull is listed on VH1’s “100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll” list. She received the World Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Women’s World Awards and was made a Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France. (wikipedia)
The Seven Deadly Sins is a studio recording of the Kurt Weill opera of the same name by British singer Marianne Faithfull, released in 1998.
Marianne Faithfull had already performed The Seven Deadly Sins live at St. Anne’s Cathedral in Brooklyn, but it was only after working with Dennis Russell Davies on 20th Century Blues that the idea of recording the opera came to her. Davies agreed to collaborate again with her, and the album was recorded in June 1997 at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Davies conducting the Vienna Radio Symphony orchestra.
The recording also includes other songs by Weill & Brecht like the “Alabama Song” and songs from The Threepenny Opera, which Marianne Faithfull also performed live in 1992 at the Dublin Gate Theater, playing the role of the prostitute Jenny and interpreting the famous Pirate Jenny song. (wikipedia)
If you’re looking for the angelic Marianne Faithfull of As Tears Go By, or the angry diva of Broken English, or the lusher but piercingly acute imagery of her work with Angelo Badalamenti, you will not find it here. What you will find, though, is a fully orchestrated work that she has been selling out the house with in Europe — a parable of commerce called The Seven Deadly Sins, with the Vienna Radio Orchestra and Dennis Russell Davies conducting. These are the songs of Kurt Weill, composer, and Bertolt Brecht, lyricist. This work, it would seem, is a perfect match of voice timbre and sound wished for by the composer. The husky and weary voiced Faithfull does these songs as they were intended to be done, her voice a beautiful match in tone and color. It is the heavy and somber tone of the music that blends so perfectly with her voice here.
Weill’s music tends toward a formality and somberness that shadows the concerns of the songs. Here Brecht’s lyrics tell the moribund story of a girl placed on a tour by her family to earn money for their luxury; her voice reflects the weariness that becomes the ideal vehicle for her travails and lacerations. According to the tabloids, if they are to be believed, Marianne has spent her life researching this work. She displays that rare intelligence that allows all “misfortunes” to be converted to her benefit. There is a detachment that allows one to be intimately involved with, but not consumed by this type of work. This is her best work in quite some time. She deserves all the accolades that come her way as a serious singer who can pull off the piece. A wonderful disc from one whose live presence we must count as miraculous considering what she has lived through. (by Bob Gottlieb)
Recorded live at the Konzerthaus Vienne/Austria, June 5, 1997 (01. – 08.)
Recorded at the Grosse Sendesaal Radiokulturhaus Vienna/Austria,
Februay 9, 1998 (09. – 12.).
Marianne Faithfull (vocals)
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies
Peter Becker (Baritone)
Mark Bleeke (Tenor)
Hugo Munday (Tenor)
Wilbur Pauley (Bass)
Hudson Shad (background vocals)
The Seven Deadly Sins:
01. Prologue (Prolog) 3.50
02. Sloth (Faulheit) 3.57
03. Pride (Stolz) 4.49
04. Anger (Zorn) 4.47
05. Gluttony (Völlerei) 3.29
06. Lust (Unzucht) 5.22
07. Covetousness (Habsucht) 3.02
08. Envy (Neid) + Epilogue (Epilog) 5.55
Kurt Weill Songs:
09. Alabama Song 2.54
10. The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency 2.35
11. Bilbao Song 5.03
12. Pirate Jenny 4.24
Music: Kurt Weill
Lyrics: Bert Brecht
W. H. Auden & Chester Kallman (01. – 08.)
Michael Feingold & Frank McGuinness (09.- 12.)
The official website: