Click on the song titles above for lyrics and songwriting credits
Songs of Innocence and Experience 1965-1995 is the definitive overview of the first 30 years of Marianne Faithfull’s recording career on the Decca and Island labels. A previously unreleased alternate take of Donovan’s ‘Sunny Goodge Street’ recorded for Marianne’s 1966 LP North Country Maid, and a new live version of Brain Drain from 1990’s live retrospective Blazing Away were released in advance of the compilation.
Released on September 16th 2020, the 2xLP / 2xCD collection is the first Marianne Faithfull compilation since 2001’s An Introduction to… and the first to contain rare and unreleased material since the Island Anthology A Perfect Stranger in 1998. Featuring 5 previously unreleased recordings, 22 of the 28 tracks on the LP edition are making their first appearance on vinyl or first appearance since their original release, and on the 2xCD set, 9 recordings are making their cd/digital debut. Serving as both a primer to the uninitiated and a rarities collection for those already converted, this collection features all of Marianne’s notable singles, which are often represented in collectible 12” and 7” versions. Particularly rare is the original issue of her final Decca 7” ‘Something Better’ / ‘Sister Morphine’; subsequent releases used different masters, but these original recordings have been unavailable since 1969.
Further unreleased tracks are live versions of ‘Brain Drain’ and ‘The Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ recorded during Marianne’s now legendary performance at St Anne’s in Brooklyn, highlights of which were released on the 1990 album Blazing Away. This collection also includes 2 previously unheard songs; a traditional blues ballad ‘I’m In Love Again’ cut during the Strange Weather sessions in 1987 and ‘The Calm Before the Storm’ written by Lou Reed and Rubén Blades which Marianne recorded for an abandoned studio album in 1989.
The title Songs of Innocence and Experience acknowledges Marianne’s poetic influences with its reference to the work by William Blake, whilst also reflecting the change in style from the orchestral folk-pop and high pure voice of Marianne’s ‘60s career to her new wave punk influenced comeback at the end of the 70s with Broken English which featured her now trademark fractured vocals.
The front cover features a hand drawn pencil image by Lithuanian artist Aistė Stancikaitė, commissioned exclusively this for the project and the packaging also contains many rare and unseen images culled from the original album and single photo shoots. The collection has been remastered from the original tapes by the Grammy nominated compiler Andrew Batt, who also contributes sleeve notes.