09 June 2010

Sweet Marianne

I'm making a compilation of music for my Dad. It's all the stuff we used to listen to when I was growing up, stuff he would play me. 90%  of it is utter crap. There's some Eddy Cochran and Buddy Holly in there, but apart from that it's of little use to anyone but him.

One thing I did revist, and probably the most interesting record in my parents entire record collection is Marianne Faithfull's  Broken English album. I know it's not exacly Sticky Fingers or Dark Side of The Moon like I desperately hoped for as a kid, but it's something.

Just what is Marianne Faithfull saying in The Eyes Of Lucy Jordan? Is it some kind of suburban housewife nightmare? Does the woman in the song kill herself at the end?

Hang on, I'll do some wiki-cheat research...
Faithfull said that the story she intended to put across in the song was that Lucy climbs to the roof top but gets taken away by "the man who reached and offered her his hand" in an ambulance ("long white car") to a mental hospital, and that the final lines ("At the age of thirty-seven she knew she'd found forever / As she rode along through Paris with the warm wind in her hair ...") are actually in her imagination at the hospital.
This song could have so easily been a folk tune (it was originally done by Dr Hook?). The opening line, 'The morning sun touch lighty on, the eyes of Lucy Jordan' always reminds me of the Fairport Convention. Faithfull's voice is amazing in the second verse, the part where her voice changes/breaks as she sings 'and the kid's are off to school', and 'rearrange the flowers'. I love that verse. Thank God for ciggarettes, eh?

I wonder how much input produer Mark Miller Mundy had on that post-punkish synth sound she got. It's so subversive the way it barely changes through the whole song yet you hardly notice. I like the way he brings up the second synth half-way through the first chorus and builds it thereafter.

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