One Track Mind: Marianne Faithfull, “Sparrows Will Sing” from Give My Love To London (2014)

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Marianne Faithfull’s third act has been filled with famous pals, and the forthcoming Give My Love to London is no different. With musical contributions from Brian Eno and members of the Bad Seeds and Portishead, the album is advanced with a song written by Roger Waters — the epic, Wall-esque “Sparrows Will Sing.”

As with that angst-driven double album, Waters’ lyric determinedly marches from a whisper to a bark, blending the expected Waters-y howls with a thrumming emotional turbulence in between. The difference on “Sparrows Will Sing” is Faithfull’s damaged stoicism, this quiet sense of broken wonder that Pink Floyd could never manage through its turn-of-the-1980s turn toward narrative rock — mostly because of Waters’ knife’s-edge approach to the vocals.

Due November 11, 2014 via Easy Sound, Give My Love to London arrives five decades after Faithful’s debut. The album, which was mixed by longtime U2 collaborator Flood, also features songs written by Nick Cave and Steve Earle, among others. A 50th anniversary tour is set to begin in October, with U.S. dates promised for 2015. Faithfull will also release a memoir in pictures titled A Life on Record.

Faithfull earlier included Waters’ “Incarceration of a Flower Child” on 1999’s Vagabond Ways. Cave worked with her on 2005’s Before the Poison and 2008’s Easy Come, Easy Go. She also covered Eno’s “How Many Worlds” on Easy Come, Easy Go.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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