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Before the Poison

Marianne FaithfullAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Price: $9.69 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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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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Before the Poison + Kissin' Time
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Anti
  • ASIN: B0006Z3DDA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,709 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Mystery Of Love
2. My Friends Have
3. Crazy Love
4. Last Song
5. No Child Of Mine
6. Before The Poison
7. There Is A Ghost
8. In The Factory
9. Desperanto
10. City Of Quartz

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Faithfull's return with 'Before The Poison' comes with an expectation she has seldom seen before, obviously helped by the inclusion of songs written by PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and Damon Albarn. As three of the best songwriters working today Harvey, Cave and Albarn bring a level of credibility to the record that shifts the interest beyond reputation and history towards a more musical level. Thankfully, the songs are as strong as anything they have written before, not least the brilliant Harvey penned 'No Child Of Mine' and Cave's 'Crazy Love'.

From her beginnings as a pop chanteuse in 1964, through a little-heard set of country rock, on to the edgy bearing of her second commercial breakthrough with Broken English in 1979, and then into the world of Kurt Weill and elsewhere, Marianne Faithfull appears to have taken wildly varied twists and turns. In fact, her ongoing musical projects move with one another with breathtaking artistry. Before The Poison is yet another peak, as she collaborates with PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, and, Jon Brion. From the ethereal balladry of "There is a Ghost" (with Cave and the Bad Seeds), to the meaty guitar punches of Harvey's "My Friends Have," this album is a diverse set that's all tied together by the smoky resonance and phrasing of Faithfull's unmistakable voice. --David Greenberger

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Faithfull In A Long, Long Time March 2, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I have to say that my respect for Marianne Faithfull has been greater for her character and the bare honesty with which she's lived her life, than due to my love for most of her recordings of the last fifteen years.
Of course, this has changed dramatically with the release of Before The Poison. This album reveals Faithfull's talent and depth of emotion more than anything in a long time, perhaps harking back as far as Broken English.
It is, actually, an interesting paradox, that she can sound so authentically herself although most of the great songs in this CD have been written by other people, and in some cases -No Child Of Mine and Last Song- recorded by their authors before this album was even planned.
Whereas Kissin' Time, her album prior to this, also counted on a host of great writers -Beck, Jarvis Cocker and Billy Corgan- this one takes the promise of those collaborations to a higher, more intense level.
Eight of the ten songs included here are written or co-written by Nick Cave or PJ Harvey, and the chemistry between them and Ms. Faithfull is stunning.
Harvey's The Mystery Of Love and In The Factory could have been included in Uh Huh Her, yet sung by Marianne they were worth saving for this record. In them you'll find the same fierce vulnerability that Harvey's latest exuded. Of course, Child Of Mine -which was included in Uh Huh Her- deserves the same praise, as Faithfull's weathered and wise voice carves new truths out of it.
No less impressive is Cave's work. There Is A Ghost and Crazy Love must be counted among Cave's most accomplished ballads, as touching and solemnly vulnerable as the best of Boatman's Call.
Last but not least, her version of Damon Albarn's Last Song is equally impressive.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Most Honest CDs Ever January 26, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I'm admittedly a huge Marianne Faithfull fan. Nonetheless some of her stuff is way better than others. In this scope of fair disclosure, it's quite a pleasure to highly recommend her new CD.

This is one of the most honest CDs ever recorded. Most of it, co-written with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, illustrate they certainly understand Ms. Faithfull's unique vocal texture, colorful musical pedigree, and general perspective on life. Production is appropriately sparse and allows her voice to occupy center stage.

The sound is some blend of very late-night blues with cabaret/broadway. What we get for investing a listen is genuine, never cheesy, mature outlooks on love, complete with all its mysteries, uncertainties, and hopes.

The range of songs is spectacular. I'm knocked out with "My Friends Have" and "Desperanto," which couldn't be more polar tunes. "Crazy Love" and "The Mystery of Love" are also standouts.

I'll be listening to this CD repeatedly for a long, long time. And what more could I ever ask an artist to do?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minimalist Masterpiece January 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Marianne Faithfull is the quintessential rock star. If you move past her sorted history, you find an artist who truly knows how to define her craft. Ms. Faithfull's voice has a limited range yet she uses this to her advantage. This time around, she enlists the help of P.J. Harvey, Damon Albarn and Nick Cave to name a few. Instead of masking herself with their tunes, she absorbs their artistry and makes each song her own. (It's as if you beleive what she sings is her own experiences)

Few artists are able to covey such powerful emotion. What examples? "There Is A Ghost" and the title track alone make this album worth it. Harvey's contributions are an almost polar opposite to 2002's Kissin' Time.

This album dosen't "rock out" but it's impossible to deny Faithfull's placement among the greats. Though there are a couple missteps, this album is by far the most exciting album to emerge in 2005. (Other artists should take note that their work is cut out for them) Not since Broken English (her own album) has a female set the bar a notch or two higher for the next generation of rock stars...and to think, Marianne was defining a generation before some of these so called "rock goddesses" were even in diapers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A darker, more abrasive companion to "Kissin' Time" September 23, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Marianne's recent knack for finding sympathetic co-conspirators continues. This brooding album showcases contributions by singer-songwriters P.J. Harvey and Nick Cave, and the collaboration is dark even in its quieter moments. Unlike the pop setting of her 2002 album "Kissin' Time" which featured Beck and Dave Stewart, there's not a remake of "I'm into Something Good" on this disk. Even the song titles here ("No Child of Mine," "Crazy Love," "Before the Poison") sketch the risky and uncertain facets of human nature. What makes these songs resonate is Marianne's beautiful ruin of a voice, and when she closes the set with the delicate music-box ballad "City of Quartz" there's still no relief from the tension of her jagged lyric and sandpaper-tough delivery. Age and excess may have robbed Marianne of some of her vocal gifts but songwriting remains her stronger suit. Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marianne's Music Gets Better With Each Lp January 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD
its kind of sad that in america marianne faithfull is known for just 2 things "as tears go by" and her love affair with mick here to tell you that ms. faithfull has made some of the best albums in the last 20 years, starting with "broken english and now "before the poison"...this album is both decadent and beautiful...5 of the songs are co-written by p.j. harvey..."my friends have" is a non-stop churning song that keeps coming at you..her nick cave collabration "crazy love" is the centerpiece of this marvellous lp, its sheer beauty is astounding. most of the songs are only aided by an acoustic guitar, a crying violin and some tinkling piano....except for "desperanto" also co-written with nick cave which is a sonic blast to you ears and then fades into "city of quartz" with just her tortured voice over some chimes, a fitting close to another marianne classic...this is another album starting with "broken english" then 1995's "secret life",1999's "vagabound ways" and 2002's "kissin time" that make a body of work that surpasses all her sixties cronies, she is by far the most important artist from the 60s'...and for my money the best artist over that last 15 years....this album is a hidden gem, just like her other now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
AWESOME music and perfect condition.
Published 3 months ago by JR
5.0 out of 5 stars Marianne, Nick, PJ - the Big Three!!
This is the amazing CD that Ms Marianne Faithfull put out in 2003 in collaboration with PJ Harvey, and on some songs Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds! What's not to love about that!! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Surferofromantica
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to describe
Okay, I really believe this cd is a 3.5 but went to the higher four stars. I have to draw a comparison to Broken English in that this cd does not even come close to the brilliance... Read more
Published 23 months ago by BRIANNA
5.0 out of 5 stars Before the Poison
Before the Poison being a colaboration with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave and the end result is nothing short of magnificient. Read more
Published on December 15, 2009 by Bjorn Viberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Great voice
It takes a long time to get a voice like Marianne has, ans a lot of Living.
She uses it well on this cd, and I really can't get My Friends Have out of my head. Read more
Published on April 29, 2008 by Oldant
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album
Anthony Rupert get's it wrong below. I am not a Marianne Faithfull fan really, I don't know that I have every even listened to a full Marianne Faithfull album before. Read more
Published on June 11, 2007 by Bob Estes
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Album
Although melancholic, the album is better than "Broken English" - has very defined melodies matching quality singing. Worth every penny. Read more
Published on April 10, 2007 by Golovanov Alexey
5.0 out of 5 stars Potent and raw
The combination of Marianne Faithfull's voice with PJ Harvey and Nick Cave's lyrics and music is the perfect combination - starting immediately with the first track. Read more
Published on January 10, 2007 by S. J.
4.0 out of 5 stars Otherworldly dirges
In Marianne's book Memories, Dreams and Reflections, the chapter Mind Movies discusses the songs & musicians on this album where she collaborates extensively with PJ Harvey and... Read more
Published on February 10, 2006 by Pieter Uys
1.0 out of 5 stars Who Is Selecting Her Material Now?
I have loved Marianne Faithfull forever. Indeed, my introduction to her was her (self-described "classic f-up" on Saturday Night Live). Read more
Published on January 21, 2006 by K. M. Kem-Thomas
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