Come My Way
REVIEW BY: Mark Millan
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/02/2009
Marianne Faithfull released two LPs in early 1965 that both delivered exactly what she wanted them to. Her first self-titled release created a platform from which the hit singles were lifted that sent Marianne to the top of the charts and gave her instant star status. The second album, Come My Way, was full of the traditional folk music that she was really interested in recording. Thanks to her newly enhanced profile, Decca was desperate for product and let her record the music she most loved from that point forward.
The album opens with the title-track, and it instantly shows Faithfull at her enchanting best. Her pure tones only enhance the material to a point where she actually makes them her own. “Jaberwoc” is a wonderful British poem set to an acoustic track that Marianne weaves around with ease. “Portland Town” finds Faithfull singing at the top of her range, delivering the heartbreaking tale of a mother mourning her sons’ deaths at the hands of war.
Marianne tackles “The House Of The Rising Sun” with a cool confidence that belies her nineteen years. It is entirely different from The Animals’ power blues rendition, but the sparse arrangement helps to focus on the lyric, which is what this entire album is all about.
On classics like “Spanish Is A Loving Tongue” and “Fare Thee Well,” Faithfull has no trouble holding her own, offering wonderful readings; the latter of which is a brilliant marriage of voice and words, making it a clear highlight. “Lonesome Travellers” showcases Marianne’s stunning vocal range, which would be greatly diminished as a result of her epic heroin addiction in later years.
The middle part of the album is made up of very short songs of love, loss, and the joys of childhood, all of which help to keep the album honest and Marianne glides through them with style and tenderness. The charming “Four Strong Winds” is the most “pop” of all the songs here. It hasn’t aged a bit, and Marianne has at times revisited it during her live sets.
“Black Girl” was the darkest song Faithfull recorded during her stint as a pop star/folk singer until, of course, the angst-ridden violence of “Sister Morphine” came along. It also offers a great insight into her interpretive nous that she would become famous for many years later. “Once I Had A Sweetheart” and “Bells Of Freedom” close the album out in style. They bring to the core Faithfull’s rare talent and versatility, which is on display right throughout the album.
Come My Way is a very focused work that would now rival any folk album of the day for classic status. It also served as a precursor to Faithfull’s immediate career path, which saw her go on to become one of Britain’s great folk singers of her time. Thanks to a 2006 re-mastered CD (released by Lilith), it sounds as fresh and vibrant today as it must have way back in 1965. This remains one of Marianne Faithfull’s greatest and most eclectic recordings, a true classic.