20th Century Bluesby Marianne Faithfull
As the liner notes to this intriguing release tell, Faithfull had a long-simmering interest in German cabaret, particularly the work of Kurt Weill. It came fully to life via her role as Pirate Jenny in a staging of The Threepenny Opera in Dublin as translated by Frank McGuinness and her attendance at a workshop organized by Allen Ginsburg. After a series of initial performances with pianist Paul Trueblood, Faithfull took her revue of many classic songs from the mid-century, titled "An Evening in the Weimar Republic," to the road. This particular recording is from a performance in Paris in 1996, showcasing both a smart selection of songs to work with and Faithfull's own dramatic, interpretive skills with them. Kicking off with the aggressive-then-smooth bite of the Brecht/Weill standard "Alabama Song," Faithfull and Trueblood show they make a great team -- her distinct vocals seem almost born for the material, while Trueblood is a sure hand on the keys, both playful and polished. Weill remains the centerpiece of the show, in both his various collaborations with Brecht -- standout tracks include withering versions of "Pirate Jenny," "Salomon Song," and "Surabaya Johnny" -- and with other partners, including "Complainte de la Seine" and "Mon Ami, My Friend." Friedrich Hollaender gets the nod twice, with a take on the eternal classic "Falling in Love Again" almost rivaling Marlene Dietrich's original interpretation. The title track, a noted Noel Coward number, gets a fine performance, as does the one nod to more contemporary times, a rendition of Harry Nilsson's "Don't Forget Me." One nod to Faithfull's previous recording past appears via a new version of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," originally covered by her on Strange Weather. Faithfull throughout introduces songs with humor and reflection, a perfect MC for her own performance.
- Release Date:
- Rca Victor Europe
Performance CreditsMarianne Faithfull Primary Artist,Vocals
Technical CreditsMarc Blitzstein Composer
Kurt Weill Composer
Marianne Faithfull Producer
Bertolt Brecht Composer
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This album took all the rules and through them out to the dogs. With each track as exquisite as the next, it never ceases to amaze. Not only is her voice absolutly original it is complimented by haunting piano chords. She soothes as she intrigues, leaving one with the idea that possibly she is the only one of her kind. Filling the masses with melodies and subtle harshness only makes it more powerful and daring.