Whether you know her for the hit singles she released during the ‘60s, her comeback album in the late ‘70s, or the numerous critically acclaimed LPs that she’s continued to put out in the intervening years, Marianne Faithfull is definitely an artist who has managed to create a musical niche that’s unlike almost anyone else. Yes, her voice may have changed over the decades – we prefer to say that it has evolved – but it was distinctive from the very beginning, and it’s only become more so as years go by.
To celebrate Faithfull's birthday, Q has compiled a playlist consisting of some of her best work, stretching from her debut single, "As Tears Go By," the Rolling Stones song that hadn't yet been recorded by the Rolling Stones when she took it into the top 10 of the UK Singles chart, all the way up through a few tracks from her 2021 collaboration with Warren Ellis, She Walks in Beauty.
This means that we've included tracks from her 1979 comeback album, Broken English, of course, not to mention some of the collaborations she's done with such artists as Jarvis Cocker, Blur, Nick Cave, and PJ Harvey. We'd definitely recommend listening to the playlist in the order that it was constructed, however, as it provides you with an idea of how Faithfull's voice has evolved - see, we told you we preferred that term - as well as how her music has done the same.
One track that we could not include, alas, is the one that arguably kicked off her comeback in the '70s: "Dreamin' My Dreams," which was a #1 hit in Ireland and served to remind the world at large that, despite having been off the radar for a myriad of reasons since the late '60s, Faithfull was still alive, more well than she'd been in years, and ready to return. Why this song and its identically-titled album aren't streaming is a mystery, but at least we can offer up a live version from YouTube, thereby allowing you to hear how delightful it sounded when Faithfull was in the midst of her brief country music era.
And having done that, it's now time to move on to the aforementioned playlist. Go on, then: hit "play" and enjoy some of Marianne's musical masterpieces.