Marianne Faithfull 

Live in Hollywood

Like Tom Waits, it only takes a few seconds of listening to Marianne Faithfull to know she has lived the rock and roll life. Every drug, cigarette and brandy that ever entered her lips pours out of her gravelly voice. With such rawness and sincerity, Faithfull could sing Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" and make it sound downright apocalyptic.

Thankfully, she doesn't do that here. She combs over her entire 40-year career (and no, it didn't start when she slept with Mick Jagger, but when she recorded his and Keith Richards' "As Tears Go By"). Looking bloated and fighting tremors, Faithfull wisely leaves the strutting and posing to a minimum. She simply smiles and spits out her songs. While her voice can no longer hit all the high notes in "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan," and she leaves it to trumpeter Lew Soloff to provide most of the intensity in the show closers "Broken English" and "Why d'Ya Do It," the fact that she has persevered and moved beyond her fallen-angel label to become patron saint of the outcasts and the damned provides all the energy her show needs.

Unfortunately, the extras on Live in Hollywood prove to be the usual narcissistic drivel that accompanies most rock DVDs. The "There Is a Ghost" video is an ultimate bore that tries to pass itself off as high art. The Faithfull interview is all tedious facts about her songs instead of the juicy gossip that made her a star. The accompanying CD inexplicably plays the songs from the DVD minus most of her biggest hits. Yet, like everything else in her life, Faithfull overcomes all these obstacles by spitting out her guts and daring you to call them beautiful. They are.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in DVD Reviews

More by Al Kaufman

The Ultimate Doughnut Smackdown
The Ultimate Doughnut Smackdown

Search Events

  1. Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘E-MO-TION’ 3

    What happens when a pop star discovers nuance?
  2. Atlanta Record Store Day events 3

    Barbecue, beers, and beats all around the city
  3. Headliner’s revival 1

    Arrested Development co-founder speaks his peace after 20 years

Recent Comments

© 2016 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation