90039-1 Broken English
Produced by Mark Miller Mundy
Released on October 1979
UK CHART POSITION #57 . . . US CHART POSITION #82
Find it at GEMM
90039-1 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

V anilla O’Lay, my ass. Marianne Faithfull was originally packaged as a pretty blonde party doll back in the ‘60s, fell in with the Stones and became a party animal, and by the ‘70s was missing and presumed to have joined the likes of Edie Sedgwick in the list of pretty little girls sucked dry by the decadent vampire known as Fame. Only somehow Marianne managed to claw her way out of the dark woods, and what emerged was a black witch of Patti Smith proportions. Having subsisted on bitter roots for so long, Faithfull doesn’t sing anymore so much as spit poison, but in doing so she attracted a zombie army of would-be punks waiting for a female heroine to lead them into battle. In delicious irony, Mick Jagger becomes the reference point for her new persona, only Faithfull’s might be the bigger pair. There’s no chance at this stage (1980) Jagger could have called a lover’s hand as bluntly as “Why D’Ya Do It,” and only Roger Waters dripped more acid than Faithfull does on “Working Class Hero.” I’m not picking on the Stones here, just pointing out that the little flower they threw away had grown some nasty thorns and was possibly too prickly for even them to handle. That sort of backstory fuels Broken English. The album itself is good, influential for those who may have missed Patti Smith, but not the beginning of a new revolution so much as the induction of one more revolutionary. The spare, stripped-down, punkish sound was already established earlier by artists like Patti Smith and Television. Faithfull is a fascinating focal point for the music, and this is probably where Broken English has the most to say. The way she growls through “Guilt” and “What’s The Hurry” was a revelation; it repels and attracts you at the same time, with the caveat that Faithfull didn’t seem to give a damn anymore about attracting anyone or anything. And so Broken English becomes a wonderfully free record: raw, angry and unapologetic.

90039-1 back cover
90039-1 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. BROKEN ENGLISH    (Marianne Faithfull/Barry Reynolds/Joe Mavety/Steve York/Terry Stannard)    4:35
  2. WITCHES' SONG    (Marianne Faithfull/Barry Reynolds/Joe Mavety/Steve York/Terry Stannard)    4:43
  3. BRAIN DRAIN    (Ben Brierley)    4:13
  4. GUILT    (Barry Reynolds)    5:05
  5. THE BALLAD OF LUCY JORDAN    (Shel Silverstein)    4:09
  6. WHAT'S THE HURRY    (Joe Mavety)    3:05
  7. WORKING CLASS HERO    (John Lennon)    4:40
  8. WHY D'YA DO IT    (Heathcote Williams/Barry Reynolds/Joe Mavety/Steve York/Terry Stannard/Marianne Faithfull)    6:45

    Australian bonus 7-inch single
  9. BROKEN ENGLISH (REMIX)
  10. BROKEN ENGLISH (EXTENDED VERSION)

CREDITS

MARIANNE FAITHFULL -- vocals
DIANE BIRCH --
FRANKIE COLLINS --
JIM CUOMO --
ISABELLA DULANEY --
GUY HUMPHRIES --
JOE MAVETY --
MAURICE PERT --
BARRY REYNALDS --
TERRY STANNARD --
DARRYL WAY --
STEVE WINWOOD --
STEVE YORK --
Bob Potter -- engineer
Ed Thacker -- mixing engineer
Dennis Morris -- sleeve photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 1979 Island LP M-1 blue cover
US October 1979 Island LP ILPS 9570  
AUS'L 1979 Island LP L-36924 wo. track #8 w. bonus single
BRA/GER/NET 1979 Island LP 201 018-320  
FRA 1979 Island LP 9123 052  
GER 1979 Island CS 401 018-352  
JPN 1979 Island LP 20S-67 blue cover
JPN 1979 Island LP ILS-81304  
YUG 1979 Jugoton LP LSI-70934  
UK September 1986 Island LP/CS ILPM/ICM-9570 blue cover
US   Island LP/CS 90039-1/4 purple label reissue
US 1995 Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-640 digital remaster repackaged w. STRANGE WEATHER
NET September 30, 1999 Island CD 842 355  

 

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