Marianne Faithfull: A Perfect Stranger - The Island Anthology
Because more than half of the 35 songs on this two-disc retrospective of Marianne
Faithfull's 1979-95 output come from her three great albums -- Broken English, Dangerous Acquaintances and Strange
Weather -- or are previously unreleased outtakes or B-sides from them, A Perfect Stranger: The Island Anthology
makes a fine primer to Faithfull's often challenging, always mesmerizing (or would that be always challenging, often
mesmerizing?) music. "Ballad of the Soldier's Wife," her solid contribution to 1985's Lost in the Stars: The Music of
Kurt Weill, is also included, giving Faithfull's hauntingly tragic voice the resonance and attention it demands. Weill and
Faithfull seem made for each other, as the bulk of the second disc (comprised of songs from her 1990 live album and the
underachieving A Secret Life, as well as the career-capping
Strange Weather) makes clear. But there's also a strain to
some of these tracks, as if Faithfull's aesthetic wandering eventually will bring her to that elusive cabaret of her
dreams. On her best recordings, it indeed sounds like she's home.
Garth Hudson, who was present on Faithfull's albums Strange Weather and Blazing Away, is credited with accordian and keyboards on tracks 14, "When I Find My Life" (live), and 15, "Times Square" (live, 1989, St. Anne's Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY) on disc 2. Mac Rebennack is credited with piano and rhytm guitar on track 15.
Marainne Faithfull - A Perfect Stranger: The Island Anthology - 1998 - Polygram 524579