Marianne Faithfull

From Academic Kids

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Marianne Faithfull on the cover of her album A Secret Life

Marianne Faithfull (born December 29, 1946) is a British singer who began her career in 1964 (see 1964 in music) with "As Tears Go By", a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. She then released a series of successful singles, including "This Little Bird", "Summer Night" and "Sister Morphine". In 1969, she played Ophelia in the Nicol Williamson adaptation of Hamlet.

After splitting up with Jagger, Faithfull briefly stopped recording and nursed a drug addiction. She moved to Dublin in the middle of the 70's and had quite a success with the record Dreaming my Dreams, a record she doesn't like much nowadays. She returned in 1979 (see 1979 in music) with Broken English, a critical smash hit that did not achieve much success in mainstream markets. This pattern continued throughout the 1980s, with Strange Weather (1987) being her most important album of the decade.

Faithfull’s musical career had a second fillip during the early 1990s with the recording of the album "Blazing Away" and performances of the work of Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill. She released an album called The Seven Deadly Sins and later performed in the The Threepenny Opera. Her interpretation of the music of this era has been critically acclaimed and led to a new album, Twentieth Century Blues, and a number of concert and cabaret performances.

In 1994 she published her autobiography, entitled Faithfull. The next year she recorded A Secret Life, with songs written by Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch's composer.

Faithfull sung backup vocals on Metallica's song "The Memory Remains" from their 1997 album Reload.

Faithfull's 1999 DVD Dreaming my Dreams contains material about her childhood and parents, good historical video footage going back to 1964, and interviews with the artist and several women friends who have known her since she was a young girl. There are sections on her relationship with first husband John Dunbar and with Mick Jagger and brief interviews with his fellow Rolling Stone Keith Richards, with whom she has remained on friendly terms since the 1960s. The DVD concludes with a 30-minute live concert.

In 2000 she released the album Vagabond Ways. More successful was Kissin'Time (2002), with songs written by Beck, Billy Corgan, Jarvis Cocker and or the French pop singer Etienne Daho. On this record, she paid tribute to her friend Nico (with "Song for Nico") and showed a strong sense of humour with the autobiographical "Sliding Through Life on Charm." This was followed in 2004 by Before the Poison, a collaboration with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave. It was considered by some critics to be the best work of her career, though many still consider Broken English to be her definitive record.

She has made brief guest star appearances in the British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, in Patrice Chereau's Intimacy, and will play Empress Maria-Teresa in Sofia Coppola's forthcoming biopic, Marie-Antoinette, which will star Kirsten Dunst in the title role. She also pursues a theatrical career. In 2004 and in 2005, she appeared in Robert Wilson and Tom Waits's The Black Rider.


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