I’m anxiously awaiting the day I get my mitts around a copy of the new Marianne Faithfull record Easy Come, Easy Go. It’s a collection of cover songs with a tag line that reads, “18 songs for music lovers“. I’m a sucker for a good cover song, but if you aren’t careful you can wind up embarrassing the hell out of yourself. Go take another listen to Madonna’s version of American Pie, if you need a reminder. I’m fairly confident my Marianne can pull it off.
The last few records Faithfull has put out have been nothing short of fantastic. She has a knack for working with great performers to churn these things out… with the exception of Billy Corgan (gross!) on 2002’s Kissin’ Time. The two songs she did with him on that album were down right horrifying. She made up for it though on the next release Before the Poison, working primarily with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave. Talk about one hell of a threesome, yes?! When I saw the cast of players on her new effort, it was all I could do to keep control of my bladder. Cat Power, Rufus Wainwright, Sean Lennon, Jarvis Cocker, and Keith Richards to name a few. Then I saw the list of artists and songs she has covered. It was then I just gave up and peed. The only song that makes me nervous is The Decemberists cover. I’m not a fan. I think Colin Meloy is a brilliant lyricist, but sometimes that nasally whine makes me want to drive steak knives into my ears. Easy takes on Dolly Parton, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Morrissey, Brian Eno and Smokey Robinson. I thought she chose an interesting BRMC track, Salvation. I’m sure it’s good, and I bet her voice does the song justice… I would have liked to have seen her take on something a little more aggressive. Like, Weapon of Choice. That would probably make my head explode.
What makes me the most excited about this new release is finding out the album was recorded live, in the oldest recording studio in Manhattan. And (!) wait for it… most of the songs were recorded in a single take! I believe it. She is incredible. I had the honor of seeing her perform live in 2007 during her only tour stop in the Pacific Northwest. When she hit the stage, she was bigger than the room was. Her intensity and professionalism was through the roof so it definitely makes sense to me she can nail these songs in one take. It was not until she uttered the words “fuck” and “cunt” that I realized she was a real person.
Feast your eyes on the track list while I go grab something to mop up the mess I’ve made in my seat.
1. “Down from Dover”, (originally by Dolly Parton)
2. “Hold On, Hold On”, with Cat Power (originally by Neko Case)
3. “Solitude” (originally by Duke Ellington & Eddie DeLange)
4. “The Crane Wife”, with Nick Cave (originally by The Decemberists)
5. “Easy Come, Easy Go” (originally by Bessie Smith)
6. “Children of Stone”, with Rufus Wainwright (originally by Espers)
7. “How Many Worlds”, with Teddy Thompson (originally by Brian Eno)
8. “In Germany Before the War” (originally by Randy Newman)
9. “Ooh Baby Baby”, with Antony Hegarty (originally by Smokey Robinson)
10. “Sing Me Back Home”, with Keith Richards (originally by Merle Haggard)
1. “Salvation”, with Sean Lennon (originally by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
2. “Black Coffee” (originally by Sarah Vaughan)
3. “The Phoenix”, with Kate & Anna McGarrigle (originally by Judee Sill)
4. “Dear God Please Help Me” (originally by Morrissey)
5. “Kimbie” (originally by Jackson C. Frank)
6. “Many a Mile to Freedom”, with Jenni Muldaur (originally by Traffic)
7. “Somewhere (A Place For Us)”, with Jarvis Cocker (originally by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim)
8. “Flandyke Shore”, with Kate & Anna McGarrigle (traditional, but sung famously by Nic Jones)