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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sliding through life on charm
She was the quintessential rock girlfriend in the 60s, the young woman envied by everyone -- men wanted her, and women wanted to be her. Now Marianne Faithfull offers her own side of the story of during and after that time, with dry wit and fractured nostalgia. If you ever heard the stories about Marianne, then hear what she has to say.
Marianne Faithfull was born...
Published on 13 Mar 2006 by E. A Solinas

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's all me, me, me
Marianne Faithfull was blessed with beauty, talent and charm, and she's had an interesting life. I'm afraid after the first 30 pages, when she'd slept her way round most of swinging London, I rather lost interest. She comes across as totally self-absorbed and lacking in empathy towwards anyone else. Pity.
Published 7 months ago by London Lass


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sliding through life on charm, 13 Mar 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Faithfull (Paperback)
She was the quintessential rock girlfriend in the 60s, the young woman envied by everyone -- men wanted her, and women wanted to be her. Now Marianne Faithfull offers her own side of the story of during and after that time, with dry wit and fractured nostalgia. If you ever heard the stories about Marianne, then hear what she has to say.
Marianne Faithfull was born the daughter of an idealistic British gentleman and a haughty countess, and schooled in a convent that sheltered her from the outside world. All that went out the window when she came into contact with the blossoming rock'n'roll scene, and was recruited by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Oldham into recording pop song "As Tears Go By." Soon afterwards, Marianne was wooed by rock star Mick Jagger, and left her husband to live with Jagger.
At first, it seemed fantastic; Marianne lived in a haze of drugs, music and glamour with Jagger, the doomed Brian Jones, darkly intriguing Keith Richards, and the fascinating Anita Pallenberg. It was a time of rebellion, shifting sexuality, drugs and general strangeness. But criminal trials, addictions and Jagger's dalliances caused cracks in their relationship. After Marianne and Jagger broke up, she descended into heroin addiction, and her son was taken away. But she pulled herself up out of her addiction and released a new kind of music -- music that reflected her past, in all its darkness.
Marianne's memoir is refreshingly just and honest -- she gives people like Jagger their due, only speaking badly when it's called for. She not only speaks out on the sexism of the press toward her (and their revolting, idiotic Mars bar story), but also about the hideous consequences it almost had for her mother Eva. Looking back on the fur rug and the handling of Marianne's presence, it's hard to believe that such ghastly mishandling of the facts could take place and actually be believed for so long. When the press turned on the Stones, they also turned on Marianne.
And she's the first to admit (many times) that she's made mistakes; if anything, she seems harder on herself than anyone else, recognizing when she should have done better, spoken up, acted differently. (Such as when she blasted Jagger during an emotional moment) What's more, she offers greater insight into Richards, Jagger, Pallenberg, Bob Dylan and others -- not just about them, but the effect they had on people around them.
And she doesn't pretend that her post-junkie life and romantic relationships were idyllic -- there are low points and high points, stumbles and falls. But it's inspiring to see her releasing new music and overcoming her past problems.
The writing is wonderfully vivid, reading almost like a novel at times; Faithfull intersperses her rockspeak with literary and mythologic references (the Lady of Shalott is mentioned multiple times) that give "Faithfull" added sophistication. She also doesn't glorify the drug use that almost killed her; it's pretty horrifying for awhile there despite her initial romantic ideas about it. Faithfull also demonstrates a dry sense of humor that made me chuckle. (Lacking a true finale, she ends the book with cooking tips)
A weaker woman than Marianne Faithfull might have been killed by all she's gone through. But her rise again is an inspiring and honest one, and "Faithfull" is a must-read for fans of rock and roll.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there anything that woman didn't do?, 19 July 2001
This review is from: Faithfull (Paperback)
Marianne Faithfull's antics were long before my time, but reading about the woman men lusted over and women aspired to be like, was gripping.
Faithfull was beautiful, with sad blue eyes, long flowing blonde hair and pouting lips, she was the 1960's good girl of pop with enviable chart success. However, once she got in with those rowdy boys from The Rolling Stones, Faithfull's life, and image, would change forever.
A life fuelled by sex, drugs and money followed. A drug bust where Faithfull was exposed as only wearing a fur rug is possibly the most famous news story about her... she denies the Mars Bar rumour...
Faithfull opens discusses all of her marriages, her drug abuse, her anorexia, her miscarriage, her strained relationship with her mother and when the courts removed her son from her care because she was deemed an unfit mother. But what is certainly the most revealing, and absorbing, portion of the book is where she describes her well publicised relationship with Rolling Stone frontman Mick Jagger. Vanity, love triangles, wealth, bisexuality, threesomes, glamour and drug addiction - good old fashioned rock 'n' roll!
She tells the story beautifully and is politely honest about everything, rarely apologising for her behaviour. She simply states, when she reveals that she slept with 3 out of the 4 members of the Rolling Stones, that "it would have been rude not to..."
You can't help but come away from reading this book thinking 'Is there anything that woman didn't do?'.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life lived to the full, 29 Jan 2005
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This riveting autobiography charts Marianne Faithfull's life from her earliest childhood dream to 1994. Along the way it also serves as a captivating cultural history of swinging London in the 1960s and the music world in subsequent decades. Marianne describes her family background, dispelling many myths along the way, and provides an absorbing account of how she entered the music business. The sequel, 2007's Memories, Dreams and Reflections, takes the story further.

Her recollections of touring with the popular bands of the time are fascinating, as is the way she entered the Rolling Stones circle. Her first meeting with Bob Dylan is wonderfully juxtaposed with a much later meeting in the 1980s when she explained every song on Broken English to an admiring Dylan. The glimpses into the interpersonal relations of the Stones are enlightening and poignant, specially the way she describes the decline of the ill-fated Brian Jones.

She talks matter-of-factly about her relationship with Mick Jagger and the notoriety she gained with various drug busts. Faithfull doesn't spare the reader any of the detail of her long relationship with a breathtaking variety of drugs, but the most arresting parts are when she relates particular events and circumstances to specific compositions by Jagger and herself.

She discusses all the anarchy and hedonism of the times with a detached air, observing that her generation wanted to see change everywhere but none of them could quite figure it out and it all ended up as wretched excess. The movie Performance and her song Sister Morphine are treated in detail. The saddest part of her life was when she spent about 2 years sitting on a wall in Soho, completely spaced out, but noting how kindly people treated her.

The making of her country album Faithless, a huge hit in Ireland, is described with flair, as well as her big comeback with Broken English in 1979. I really enjoyed her encounters with various musicians like the tragic Tim Hardin who co-wrote the song Brain Drain on Broken English with Ben Brierly. There's even an interesting snippet about Cristina Monet, wife of ZE Records founder Michael Zilkha. Why'd Ya Do It, one of the most controversial songs on the Broken English album, was written by poet Heathcote Williams. Marianne had to beg him for hours to allow her to record it, as he wanted Tina Turner to cover it!

There's no bitterness in any of Faithfull's writing; rather lots of humor and witty observations. She is full of praise for musicians like Barry Reynolds and Van Morrison with whom she has worked. As a great fan of hers and The Stones, I am truly relieved that there were no life threatening sexually transmitted diseases in the 1960s & 1970s because then a whole generation of musicians would have been lost, what with all the intercourse between everybody.

This book confirms why Faithfull is a true survivor and has developed into an original artist with growing stature. The scandal is well balanced by observations on the songs, the times, the making of the albums and the films. There are 45 black and white photographs and a thorough index. I also recommend Mark Hodkinson's biography As Tears Go By, an informative read on her life and career up to 1991.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life lived to the full, 29 Jan 2005
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Faithfull (Paperback)
This riveting biography charts Marianne Faithfull's life from her earliest childhood dream to 1994. Along the way, it also serves as a captivating cultural history of swinging London in the 1960s and the music world in subsequent decades. Marianne describes her family background, dispelling many myths along the way, and provides an interesting account of how she entered the music business.
The recollections of touring with the popular bands of the time are interesting, as is the way she entered the Rolling Stones circle. Her first meeting with Bob Dylan is interestingly described and wonderfully juxtaposed with a much later meeting in the 1980s when she explained every song on Broken English for an admiring Dylan. The glimpses into the interpersonal relations of the Stones are enlightening and poignant, specially the way she describes the decline of the ill-fated Brian Jones.
She talks matter of factly about her relationship with Mick Jagger and the notoriety she gained with various drug busts. Faithfull doesn't spare the reader any of the detail of her long relationship with a breathtaking variety of drugs, but the most interesting parts are when she relates particular events and circumstances to specific compositions by Jagger and by herself.
She discusses all the anarchy and hedonism of the times with a detached air, observing that her generation wanted to see change everywhere, but none of them could quite figure it out and it all ended up as wretched excess. She talks at length about the movie Performance and about her song Sister Morphine. The saddest part of her life was when she spent about 2 years of her life sitting on a wall in Soho, completely spaced out, but notes how kindly people treated her.
The making of her country album Faithless, a big hit in Ireland, is described in detail, as well as her big comeback with Broken English in 1979. I really enjoyed her encounters with various musicians, like the tragic Tim Hardin who co-wrote the song Brain Drain on Broken English with Ben Brierly. There's even an interesting snippet about Cristina Monet, wife of Ze Records founder Michael Zilkha. Why'd Ya Do It, one of the most controversial songs on the Broken English album, was written by poet Heathcote Williams. Marianne had to beg him for hours to allow her to record it, as he wanted Tina Turner to do it!
There is no bitterness in any of Faithfull's writing, but lots of humour and witty observations. She is full of praise for musicians like Barry Reynolds and Van Morrison with whom she has worked. As a great fan of hers and The Stones, I am truly relived that there were no life threatening sexually transmitted diseases in the 1960s and 1970s because then a whole generation of musicians would have been lost, what with all the intercourse between everybody.
This book confirms why Faithfull is a true survivor and has developed into an original artist with growing stature. The text is thoroughly engaging and the scandal is well balanced by observations on the songs, the times, the making of the albums and the films. There are 45 black and white photographs and a thorough index. I highly recommend Faithfull to all her fans, students of the 1960s counterculture and those who enjoy good rock biography. Other great books of the genre include Nico, The Last Bohemian (Songs They Never Play On The Radio) by James Young and Scars Of Sweet Paradise (Janis Joplin) by Alice Echols.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marianne's tale, 17 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Faithfull (Paperback)
From the exciting tales of life in the court of the Rolling Stones, to the harrowing descripion of her break from this scene and her downward drugs spiral and finally full circle to grandmother in her Irish cottag, this book is truly unmissable for any fan or anyone who likes a good tale well written.
Marianne Faithfull is the epitome of cool and is the ultimate survivor
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars intrigue?, 5 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Faithfull (Paperback)
This insight into the life of Marianne Faithfull was brilliant. Never have I been so fascinated by someone elses life. She is remarkably candid throughout, and lets us into her innermost thoughts and feelings. I rather like the way she finishes off with some ironic advice given the nature of the book. Tremendous!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into the world of a survivor, 1 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Faithfull (Paperback)
This book is a must for any music fan who, like me, wasn't lucky enough to experience the 60's. Marianne beautifully captures the era and evocatively takes you on a rollercoster ride through her extraordinary life. I promise you that you will come away from this book with greater wisdom and a deep respect for Marianne, one of Rock 'n' Roll's few survivors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's all me, me, me, 19 Jan 2014
This review is from: Faithfull: An Autobiography (Hardcover)
Marianne Faithfull was blessed with beauty, talent and charm, and she's had an interesting life. I'm afraid after the first 30 pages, when she'd slept her way round most of swinging London, I rather lost interest. She comes across as totally self-absorbed and lacking in empathy towwards anyone else. Pity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey Marianne Now What's Your Game, 14 Jan 2012
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Faithfull (Paperback)
The Hollies, British rock group, wrote their 1960's hit song "Hey Carrie Ann, Now What's Your Game" about Marianne Faithfull, changing the name only slightly to protect the not-so-innocent. If there's one thing for sure, she was at the heart of London during its swinging sixties, the beautiful teenaged girlfriend of Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. As they say, men wanted her, women wanted to be her: though, let's face it, quite a few women probably wanted her too. But, between her sweet teenaged hit, "As Tears Go By," written for her by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, and the present day, quite a few tears have gone by for Faithfull, convent-educated daughter of an Austrian countess. She descended into homeless drug addiction, and stayed there for a long time before she was able to pull herself out. But she has come roaring back as an iconic punk rock diva, and sometime actress: you've only got to hear her fully-adult version of "As Tears Go By," to realize just how difficult a journey it was for her.

These days, you might catch Faithfull as the feminist God in the British television comedy series,Absolutely Fabulous - Absolutely Everything Box Set [DVD] [1992]. She's producing a lot of music; and she tours, backed by her edgy, punk band. I've been lucky enough to catch her several times, most memorably as she did famed German composer Bertolt Brecht's "Seven Deadly Sins"in New York: at Brooklyn's historic Brooklyn Academy of Music. And as she introduced Blazing Away also in Brooklyn, at Saint Ann's.

In this autobiography, co-written with rock writer David Dalton, she's more honest and open about the supposedly good years, as a Rolling Stones mascot, and the bad years, of addiction and poverty, than anyone can expect her to be. The book is full of interesting, glamorous facts and insight on the golden, Rolling Stones years of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. In addition, she's moving on the subject of how her son encouraged her to find her way back, and deeply moving in discussion of "her wall," an actual wall where she lived while homeless. You'd better check your pulse if she doesn't reach you on some level.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book, 26 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Faithfull: An Autobiography (Hardcover)
Bought for my son, review as Brian Jones book. Interesting read and well worth the cost of the book to him.
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