Marianne Faithfull

Decca, 1967

REVIEW BY: Mark Millan


Loveinamist was Marianne Faithfull’s fifth album in just two years; it would also be her last studio release until 1977’s Dreaming My Dreams. By this time, Faithfull was firmly ensconced in the drug, sex ,and rock & roll lifestyle she had first encountered when hooking up with Mick Jagger in 1965. Along with her partner-in-crime, model Anita Pallenberg (Keith Richards’ main squeeze), she enjoyed the finer side of London society and enjoyed educating Mick on all things culture, be it art, music, and even opera.

Having won accolades from all over Britain with her duo of folk classics (Come My Way and North Country Maid), Marianne returned to the pop genre for what should have been instant success and a mass of hit singles. Neither occurred, and listening to this album again, it doesn’t surprise me at all. Loveinamist is a mostly confused and patchy body of work that lacks all of the focus and charm of its predecessors. There are some good covers, and although a couple of the songs (“This Little Bird” and “Counting”) were earlier released as singles, they are among the strongest tracks on the record.

Marianne goes for gold right from the top with an overblown cover of The Beatles’ “Yesterday.”  Almost everything in this track is just so wrong. A church choir is out of place and the lush orchestral arrangement just kills any sentiment that may have been present to begin with. “You Can’t Go Where The Roses Go” follows, and things don’t get any better. It’s one of the most uninspiring readings that Faithfull has ever given. “Our Love Has Gone” and “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep” offer nothing new, and disappointingly, Marianne’s diminishing vocal range is evident with her struggling to reach high notes she hit with ease just a year before.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

A cover of Donovan’s “In The Night Time” fares better and finally sounds as intuiting as it should. At her best, Marianne is one of the great interpretive singers of all time, and it’s on tracks like this that her skill is most prevalent. Unfortunately, on this album, it’s an all-too-rare occurrence. However, “This Little Bird” is a true gem mainly because it best resembles Faithfull’s folk songs on her previous classic albums.

“Ne Me Quitte Pas” is a quaint French standard that Marianne glides through with ease.  “Counting” is a curious choice for Marianne, but somehow she makes it work. It’s a slightly plodding arrangement, but it builds quite nicely into a rather stately pop song. Even a great interpreter like Faithfull occasionally makes the wrong choices, and her cover here of “Reason To Believe” is evidence of that. Tim Hardin wrote a beautiful song and Faithfull, to put it simply, killed it. 

“Coquillage” is another French folk song that really suits Marianne’s style.  Had she recorded an entire album of French folk and pop, I think it would have been a much more rewarding release, at least judging by the two songs she cut here. Jackie DeShannon’s “With You In Mind” finally delivers a pop song that resembles a hit. It didn’t bother the charts at all, but it remains a great cover by Marianne and one of her only inspiring performances on the entire disc. 

Another great cover follows with “Young Girl Blues,” which probably mirrored Faithfull’s life at the time. It’s given a beautiful arrangement, not unlike her current product, and I would love to hear Marianne perform it today. “Good Guy” is a cool, breezy track that Faithfull matches with a great, blasé reading of the equally cruisy lyric, “I’ve been singing in the evening / Flying through the night / But I have my good guy / Hope it makes out right.” Light and breezy would never again be Marianne’s forte, so it’s good to go back to hear her sing stuff like this. “I Have A Love” closes the album in the most horrid style possible – torch ballad.

After Loveinamist, Marianne would continue to record the odd single and even tried her hand at acting, all to no avail. It was the demise of her relationship with Jagger at the end of the decade that would begin her downward spiral. At her lowest point, she lived on the streets of Soho as a junkie. It would be long ten years before she finally began the process of rejuvenating her recording career and reclaiming her life. The fairytale ending happened, though, and Faithfull’s last thirty years of output has, for the most part, been nothing short of brilliant. This album, however, is not and has never been a jewel in her crown and even I, a huge fan, wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2009 Mark Millan and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Decca, and is used for informational purposes only.