WBUR News

Marianne Faithfull: Kaleidoscopic Covers

English singer Marianne Faithfull has 40 years of releases under her belt, encompassing just about every existing musical genre. She's collaborated with a diverse array of artists, too, including Beck, Joe Jackson, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Keith Richards and Tom Waits. From folk, jazz and pop-rock to an early form of rap, Faithfull has experimented with and created music that speaks of rock-star glamour, introspection and pain — much of it drawn from personal experience.

During her long struggle with drug abuse and two years of living on the streets, the singer-songwriter recorded only sporadically. Friend and writer Allen Ginsberg called her "Professor of Poetics, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poets." Since rehab in the '80s, though, Faithfull has worked steadily. Her latest is a collection of covers titled Easy Come, Easy Go.

With its jazz, R&B and rock influences, Easy Come, Easy Go is a typically kaleidoscopic Faithfull production. Her gravelly, moody voice croons a Morrissey cover, gently colors a Duke Ellington piece and even takes on a Dolly Parton song. In a session with Tracey Tanenbaum, Faithfull performs the songs of Neko Case, Dolly Parton and one of her own, "Sister Morphine."

This segment originally ran July 29, 2009.

Copyright NPR 2016.

+Join the discussion
Share

Support the news

Next Up

Where to now?

More NPR or Explore Audio.