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Broken English

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Audio CD, June 15, 1990
$5.86 $0.33

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Broken English 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Witches' Song 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Brain Drain 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Guilt 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan 4:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. What's The Hurry? 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Working Class Hero 4:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Why'd Ya Do It 6:48$0.99  Buy MP3 

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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

Visit Amazon's Marianne Faithfull Store
for 76 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000001FSP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,029 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

CD Album, Re

Marianne Faithfull had been effectively written off as a one-hit wonder when she reappeared in 1979 to shock everyone with this dark masterpiece. Gone was the bland choirgirl voice of "As Tears Go By," replaced by an instrument that, although ravaged by drink, drugs, and hard living, had gained in expressiveness. The music, which sounded like a synthesizer phalanx hijacked by depressed punks, was perfectly suited to these songs of disillusionment ("Ballad of Lucy Jordan") and loss (the title track). Most powerful was a "Working Class Hero" that matched John Lennon's original sneer for sneer, and an X-rated response to infidelity ("Why D'Ya Do It") that could've been torn from Bill Clinton-inspired headlines. --Ben Edmonds

Customer Reviews

The honesty of each is what makes them truly unique.
Even better, it sounds like a debut album from a totally different artist, which in many ways it is.
33-year old wallflower
And it's still one of the best recordings (of thousands) that I've ever listened to.
R. Myhr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Although the boundaries have shifted in the decades since this album's release, Broken English has lost none of its trenchant appeal. And despite Courtney Love and many angry grrrl groups using explicit lyrics, Why d'Ya Do It? still sounds fresh, perhaps because it originally was written as a poem by Heathcote Williams. Her version of Lennon's Working Class Hero sounds as sharp as ever, while the brooding title track is still relevant today. On the melodic side, Lucy Jordan has become quite a standard and could easily be considered a country weepie, while Witches Song remains eerie and anthemic. The sound is typical 80's rock with tight musicianship supporting this classic monument to decadence and despair. This is probably her best selling album of all time for all the wrong reasons! The other two works from the same period, A Child's Adventure and Dangerous Acquaintances, are equally excellent and will richly reward the listener. Nevertheless, Broken English stands tall as a masterpiece of broken taboos, subversive poetics and timeless songs.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By 33-year old wallflower on September 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Even as she had hits in the '60s with "As Tears Go By" (written by her paramour Mick Jagger), Marianne Faithfull was primarily known as Jagger's girlfriend, and any sort of talent she may have possessed was not worth noting. But after she and Mick called it off, Faithfull began a slow recovery back into both her music and her life. Heroin addiction had sent Faithfull on a nightmarish journey that would be effectively captured on the Rolling Stones' classic "Sister Morphine". Marianne wouldn't get her chance to do good until 1979 with her highly-acclaimed comeback BROKEN ENGLISH. She had recorded a few albums before this, but they were tentative efforts before BROKEN ENGLISH effectively announced her return. Those who listened were in for a surprise, especially those who first heard her as the virginal voice of "As Tears Go By". Years of drug addiction had caused 33-year old Faithfull's voice to lower to a much more raspy, war-weary groan, but only that voice could have sung the material on BROKEN ENGLISH. "Guilt", Shel Silverstein's "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan" and "Witches' Song" all find Marianne creating true-to-life personas that all hit home even more with her scarred, yet still resonant voice. I'm always on the verge of sadness every time I hear those songs. Others like the title track, "Brain Drain" and "What's The Hurry?" are somewhat lighter, but not too much. Maybe it's the state-of-the-art new-wave production that the album actually benefits from and not dates it all. If the bulk of BROKEN ENGLISH finds Faithfull as a vulnerable waif, the last two songs display her as a woman quite angry with her past. Her cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" has her dismissing her early musical career and her decadence as much as Lennon used it to break away from the Beatles.Read more ›
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Harding VINE VOICE on June 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had forgotten all about this album until recently when a leading US business magazine recommended Marianne Faithfull's newest CD, Before the Poison, as a worthwhile listen. When I ordered that, I ordered Broken English as well.

The first time I heard Broken English years ago I liked it, but had in the back of my mind the idea it might be the last gasp of a wallowed-out, washed-up one hit wonder who is but one musical footnote to the many musical footnotes to the sixties. But now that Faithfull is back with an acclaimed release, her back catalogue deserves another listen.

One run through this CD, and you will hear that Marianne Faithfull is indeed a woman with attitude, the PJ Harvey of her generation. While not every song on Broken English is anywhere near a masterpiece, it is a CD that is sure to grow on you. My favorites are the title cut, The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, a sneering, mocking rendition of John Lennon's sardonic Working Class Hero, and the album's tour-de-force, Why D'Ya Do It? That last song is a woman's graphic expression of anger at being cheated on. Faithfull's snarling delivery makes me glad I'm not her target.

Forget about her version of the Stone's hit As Tears Go By. Listen to this, Faithfull will surprise you. And if you like your favorite female singers earthy and gritty, you are bound to like this. Check it out!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By L. Alper on July 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
When Marianne Faithfull's "Broken English" hit these shores, it was a wonderful tonic for those of us weary of the pop banalities of the time (Journey, REO, Cheap Trick to name a few). Her raw, jagged voice is so evocative on this album that even tho it's short by today's standards, you'll feel like you've travelled a minefield.
Some of the stand-outs include her rendition of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" (Lennon reportedly thought her version made his sound wimpy) & the song of ultimate betrayed love "Why D'ya Do It?". "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" takes us into the head of a suburban housewife who dreams of other lives & Faithfull's voice cracks wonderfully on the chorus, bringing incredible feeling into what could be a trite cliche. "Broken English" is a great Euro-dance tune.
If you're looking for an album to brighten your day, "Broken English" is NOT for you! If you're looking for something to listen to at 1AM after a lovers quarrel, you can't go wrong here!
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