Click on the song titles above for lyrics and songwriting credits
Kissin Time is a collection of co-written collaborations with an impressive lineup of contemporary musicians and producers Beck, Billy Corgan, Dave Stewart, Blur, Jarvis Cocker, Matt Sweeney and Etienne Daho.
There’s something defiantly fearless about Kissin’ Time, from the title track to ‘Sex With Strangers’ to the gorgeous, synth-laden balladry of ‘I’m On Fire’, a song Faithfull described as “a hymn to love” and originally intended to co-write with The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson.
The album’s lyrical frankness, as blunt in its depiction of the life of German singer Nico (perpetually “in the shit”, as Song For Nico puts it) as it is about Faithfull’s relationship with her parents on ‘Like Being Born’, is hardly without precedent in Faithfull’s oeuvre: from ‘Sister Morphine’ to ‘Broken English’ to her two volumes of memoirs, Marianne Faithfull has seldom given the impression of being an artist much given to pulling her punches.
Kissin’ Time was, as the singer put it, “about life and joy”, a mood exacerbated by, of all things, Faithfull falling over and breaking her shoulder before its recording – “I had my life flash before my eyes,” she later recalled, “I realised I could check out without guilt or shame, but instead I twisted in the air and landed on my shoulder… it was interesting to learn that I really wanted to live and it had a big effect on the record”.
Marianne is able to transcend the vagaries of fashion and changing taste; held in a different kind of regard to her peers. Kissin’ Time assembled a cast of younger artists far hipper than one suspected Faithfull’s more famous contemporaries could have mustered: Blur, Beck, Pulp, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and lauded US alt-rock guitarist Matt Sweeney, shapeshifting French singer-songwriter Etienne Daho. “Aging rock stars take note,” as one contemporary review of Kissin’ Time put it.
When asked what drew younger artists to her, Faithfull usually either professed ignorance or self-deprecatingly suggested it was because she “had the best stories”. Listening to Kissin’ Time, you wonder if it might not be to do with her willingness to take risks, to step outside her comfort zone.
In January 2023 BMG released a deluxe edition on CD and digital formats which include a selection of previously unreleased bonus material including two unheard recordings, ‘The World Between’ and ‘If You Don’t Touch Yourself’. The album was also issued for the very first time on heavyweight vinyl.