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Broken English CD


Price: £6.05 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's Marianne Faithfull Store

Music

Image of album by Marianne Faithfull

Photos

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Biography

Marianne Faithfull’s long and distinguished career has seen her emerge as one of the most original female singersongwriters this country has produced; Utterly unsentimental yet somehow affectionate, Marianne possesses that rare ability to transform any lyric into something compelling and utterly personal; and not just on her own songs, for she has become a master of the art of finding ... Read more in Amazon's Marianne Faithfull Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Broken English + Dangerous Acquaintances [Australian Import]
Price For Both: £12.55

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 May 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Island Records
  • ASIN: B000001FSP
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,444 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Broken English
2. Witches' Song
3. Brain Drain
4. Guilt
5. The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan
6. What's The Hurry?
7. Working Class Hero
8. Why'd Ya Do It

Product Description

Product Description

CD Album, Re

Amazon.co.uk

Marianne Faithfull had been effectively written off as a one- hit wonder when she reappeared in 1979 to shock everyone with this dark masterpiece. Gone was the bland choirgirl voice of "As Tears Go By", replaced by an instrument that, although ravaged by drink, drugs, and hard living, had gained in expressiveness. The music, which sounded like a synthesizer phalanx hijacked by depressed punks, was perfectly suited to these songs of disillusionment ("Ballad of Lucy Jordan") and loss (the title track). Most powerful was a "Working Class Hero" that matched John Lennon's original sneer for sneer, and an X-rated response to infidelity ("Why D'Ya Do It") that could've been torn from Bill Clinton-inspired headlines. --Ben Edmonds

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Oct. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Although the boundaries have shifted in the decades since this album’s release, Broken English has lost none of its trenchant appeal. And despite Courtney Love and many angry grrrl groups using explicit lyrics, Why d’Ya Do It? still sounds fresh, perhaps because it originally was written as a poem by Heathcote Williams. Her version of Lennon’s Working Class Hero sounds as sharp as ever, while the brooding title track is still relevant today. On the melodic side, Lucy Jordan has become quite a standard and could easily be considered a country weepie, while Witches Song remains eerie and anthemic. The sound is typical 80’s rock with tight musicianship supporting this classic monument to decadence and despair. This is probably her best selling album of all time for all the wrong reasons! The other two works from the same period, A Child’s Adventure and Dangerous Acquaintances, are equally excellent and will richly reward the listener. Nevertheless, Broken English stands tall as a masterpiece of broken taboos, subversive poetics and timeless songs.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Oct. 2000
Format: Audio CD
I first heard this album 15 years ago in my late teens and all I could hear was depression.Now in my mid thirties I realise that it is depressing in one sense but it puts into words and music all the feelings and emotions that we all feel at some point. This album is not to be listened to when you are feeling right in the gutter but when you are on the way back up. The Ballad of Lucy Jordan is not only haunting but beautifully orchestrated. Buy this album and try it and ignore the twee music that Marianne produced in the 60's because this is different gravy
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By c westwood on 18 May 2004
Format: Audio CD
This album astonished listeners when released, and still has the power to shock. The classic sound that ties it to label mates like Grace Jones is still fresh, particularly on the opener and title track, Broken English. The instrumentation is bare and pure, leaving space for Marianne's voice - much changed since her last major outing on record - to enchant and beguile. Her voice is like nothing you've heard, but is all the better for it - like late, late Billie Holliday, though you feel the pain you also feel the experience, and it takes the songs to a different and superior place. A classic slice of the 70s.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Although the boundaries of the permissible have shifted since this album's release, Broken English has lost none of its trenchant appeal. And despite many female artists now using explicit lyrics, Why d'Ya Do It? still sounds fresh, perhaps because it originally was written as a poem by Heathcote Williams.

Her version of Lennon's Working Class Hero sounds as sharp as ever, while the brooding title track is still relevant today. On the melodic side, Lucy Jordan has become quite a standard and could easily be considered a country weepy, while Witches Song remains eerie and anthemic. The sound is typical 80's rock with tight musicianship supporting this classic monument to decadence and despair.

Marianne discusses the recording of Broken English in her autobiography Faithfull; Brain Drain was co-written by the tragic singer-songwriter Tim Hardin who might have inspired the title of Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding.

This is probably her best selling album of all time for all the wrong reasons! The other two works from the same period, Child's Adventure and Dangerous Acquaintances, are equally excellent and will richly reward the listener. Nevertheless, Broken English stands tall as a masterpiece of broken taboos, subversive poetics and timeless songs.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Aug. 2012
Format: Audio CD
"Broken English" was released in 1979, long after anyone expected to hear anything more from Marianne Faithfull, who had been categorized as a one hit wonder with the bland "As Tears Go By." And there it was, dark, dark. A Time magazine reviewer had called her later Strange Weather, upon its 1987 release, `music to slit your wrists to.' But the same might well have been said of BROKEN ENGLISH, except for the shock factor. Gone was Faithfull's bland chorister's voice, replaced by one that had been damaged by smoking various substances, drink, drugs, and riotous living. And it had become stronger; both albums were great critical favorites.

As an album, BROKEN is unique, to my knowledge, in one odd way: there are so few songs on it. But they are among Faithfull's most famous, and they constitute her signature album. She herself has called it, in her autobiography, her masterpiece. The songs are of loss, disillusionment, the backing tight, edgy, punky. Her voice is, of course, now like nobody else's, and neither is the sound of her backing group, consisting on this record of Diane Birch, Frankie Collins, Jim Cuomo, Guy Humphries, Joe Mavety, Maurice Pert, Barry Reynolds, Terry Stannard, Darryl Way, Steve Winwood, and Steve York. Shel Silverstein's "Ballad of Lucy Jordan," of a suburban housewife, who's had it with her starveling life, has never been done better. John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" could match its writer for bite. The title song, "Broken English," written by Faithfull and her frequent collaborator Barry Reynolds, with her backing musicians, Joe Mavety, Steve York and Terry Stannard, is as fresh today as the day it was written.
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