Live In Hollywood (CD/DVD)

Marianne Faithfull

Eagle Rock, 2005

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Marianne Faithfull has gone from angelic songstress and jetsetter alongside Mick Jagger to heroin addict with no career to brilliant rock ‘n’ roll comeback artist to respected and weary survivor.

Her first hit, “As Tears Go By,” is now forty-five years in the past. Her pure soprano has been replaced by a dark and husky instrument that has defined her music and life since the late ‘70s. The innocence of her early music has been replaced by somber and serious topics with incisive lyrics. When she sings “Sister Morphine,” a song she wrote with Keith Richard and Mick Jagger, it becomes chillingly real. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Live In Hollywood, comprised of a DVD plus CD, is a career-spanning chronicle of her two-hour live performance at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles in 2005.

She is now in her early sixties, and the somewhat matronly, if impeccably dressed, woman that stands in front of her band takes you by surprise. The passion and the emotion remain, if not the wonderful good looks of her past. Her voice takes some getting used to, but it is perfect for conveying the personal nature of much of her material. Even her earliest hit, “As Tears Go By,” is transformed into the present tense.

Two hours is a lot of Marianne Faithfull, but it is needed to do justice to her lengthy career. Highlights include “Last Song” and “Mystery Of Love” from Before The Poison, “Working Class Hero,” “Ballad Of Lucy Jordan,” and the title track from Broken English and “She” from A Secret Life.

The DVD presents the concert in its entirety, and while I read that some of her conversation with the band and audience has been eliminated, I always prefer a whole concert with strengths and flaws left intake. A nice DVD extra is a decent interview with her. The companion CD is comprised of concert highlights.

If you are a fan of Marianne Faithfull, Live In Hollywood is essential because it serves to bring her into the present. Her career has taken a lot of twists and turns through the years, but Faithfull has arrived safely in the 21st century. She proves that after all these years, she is still the ultimate anti-diva.

Rating: B+

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© 2009 David Bowling 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 Eagle Rock, and is used for informational purposes only.