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A Perfect Stranger: The Island Anthology

18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 27, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Marianne's '60s identity as a sweet chanteuse was really the creation of others; it wasn't until her stunning, post-drug-addiction comeback album, 1979's Broken English , that she found her own voice. This 35-track, 2-CD set collects her best from 1979-1995, with more than two-and-a-half hours of music from Broken English, Dangerous Acquaintances, A Child's Adventure, Strange Weather, Blazing Away and A Secret Life .

After a decade and a half of recording everything from '60s pop covers culled from the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, country music, and pensive singer-songwriters, Marianne Faithfull signed with Island Records as a reinvented new-wave punk queen. With sharpened edge at the ready, she cut 1978's Broken English, a harrowing purge of sexual jealousy and guilt, six cuts from which are featured here. Her voice, ravaged from years of excess, cracks with wasted beauty and lent tarnished experience to her tales of struggle and hopeless nostalgia. After several albums of modern pop (a healthy selection from all are included in this essential anthology), Faithfull hooked up with producer Hal Willner to record 1987's Strange Weather, adopting a new role as an ageless, bluesy chanteuse. A Perfect Stranger follows through her latest collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti (1995's A Secret Life) and features six previously unreleased tracks, including a cover of John Lennon's "Isolation" and "A Waste of Time," a song she cowrote with Steve Winwood. --Rob O'Connor

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

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
  1. Broken English 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Witches' Song 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Guilt 5:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan 4:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Working Class Hero 4:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Why'd Ya Do It 6:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Sister Morphine (12" Version) 6:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Sweetheart 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Intrigue 4:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. For Beauty's Sake 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. So Sad 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Truth, Bitter Truth 7:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. The Blue Millionaire (Long 12 Inch Version) 8:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Falling From Grace 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. Running For Our Lives 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
  1. The Ballad Of The Soldier's Wife [feat. Chris Spedding] 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Trouble In Mind (The Return) 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Yesterdays 5:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Strange Weather 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Gloomy Sunday 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Hello Stranger 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. As Tears Go By (1987 Version) 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. A Perfect Stranger 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Conversation On A Barstool 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. A Waste Of Time 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Isolation 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Blazing Away 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. When I Find My Life (Live "Blazing Away" Version) 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. Times Square (Live "Blazing Away" Version) 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Ghost Dance 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
17. Sleep 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
18. Love In The Afternoon 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
19. Bored By Dreams 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
20. She 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 27, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B00000DC4K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,621 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Donn Hart on February 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's about time the record industry smartened up. Marianne Faithfull is an artist who I always felt deserved to be better represented. And I must say, this is an excellent start. Included is the standard fare, music from the watershed "Broken English," plus it's follow-ups, "Dangerous Acquaintances" and "A Child's Adventure." In the middle is her post-"Broken English" return to "Sister Morphine," whose lyrics she wrote, and which she recorded before the Stones did.
Disc 2 kicks off splendidly with her biting rendition of Weill's "The Ballad of the Soldier's Wife." It is followed by Marianne's deep and dark interpretation of the old blues standard "Trouble in Mind." Then we get the slow and mellifluous beauty of the songs from "Strange Weather," another watershed. It is followed by some excellent unreleased tracks, "A Perfect Stranger," "Conversation on a Bar Stool," and "A Waste of Time." Plus there are some excellent selections from "A Secret Life." The whole collection is rounded out with that album's "She," a tear-inducing piece of orchestral beauty.
Marianne remains a favorite for me and for many others, and is an artist truly worth every accolade ever given to her, not the least of which was being voted the 25th greatest woman in rock history by her peers for VH1.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dennis McGlinchey on February 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Marianne Faithfull's "A Perfect Stranger - An Island Anthology" ia a suburub retrospective of her musical journey while with Island Records. When Marianne released her autobigraphy "Faithfull" several years ago, Island Records rushed out "A Collection of Her Best Recordings". I always felt that Marianne, a uniquely talented and gifted artist, was cheated, that it was a poor representation of who and what Marianne was all about. While the main focus of her "Collections" was on her muscical masterpiece, "Broken English", I felt she and her fans deserved better. If anything, her "Collection" served as an introduction to Marianne and her music. But, "A Perfect Stranger - The Island Anthology" is a more fitting and proper retrospective for this truly great artist of her Island Years. Side 1 of the CD focusses on her musical Trilogy (Broken English, Dangerous Acquaintences, and A Child's Adventure). This side contains a wonderful collection of songs from these three wonderful albums from the eighties. Marianne muscial career is like a roller coaster ride with peaks and, yes, with valleys. The Trilogy era is a tru peak in Marianne's musical career. In addition, side 1 contains a wonderful remake of her sixties classic "Sister Morphine". Side 2 contains, again, a wonderful collection of songs from her "Strange Weather" her live "Blazing Away" and her "A Secret Life"". Though a change in musical direction for Marianne, these songs leave no doubt of her talent and artistry. Side 2 also includes a remake of her sixties class "As Terars Go By" and some new songs that are a real treat.Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Focusing on her post-pop-diva career, this CD reveals Marianne's deeply complex and haunting, throaty style. Because of the brilliant positioning of songs, especially on the first disk, each one takes on new energy and meaning. The strong backbeat and in-your-face lyrics continue from the pounding opening of "Broken English" through "Witches' Song", "Intrique", "Why'd Ya Do It", and "Sweetheart" to the crisp intensity of "Running for Our Lives". I found this to be perfect long-distance driving music, especially at full blast, with the windows up, through sleepy Carolina towns and country roads. The second disk highlights her strong, wise, sorrowful and pensive sides. She is an actress and a perfomer, besides being a singer, and it all comes through here as she takes you on a journey through the ups and downs of love and life. "Ballad of the Soldier's Wife" will make you cry. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" will make you remember what regret is. "Sleep" will make you shiver. This is Marianne the artist at work, with three new songs and two great live versions of older ones. Old fans, you will be excited by this CD. New fans, be prepared to be charmed by Marianne Faithfull's sophistication, her art, and her rock 'n' roll heart.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Marianne was born into a wealthy family and didn't need a musical career. Nevertheless, she achieved a measure of success as a pop singer in the sixties, having six UK hits including four that made the top ten. During that time, she recorded four albums - two of pop music and two of folk music - but she also went from being a happy, smiley person (see the cover of Come my way, her first folk album) to an utterly unhappy person dependent on drugs. Her sixties music can be found elsewhere. This compilation focuses on her very different music from 1979 to 1995.

For most of the seventies, Marianne did not record any music such was the depth of her misery. When she started recording again, her voice was different, affected dramatically by all the drugs. She actually started again in 1977 with an album of country songs, mostly covers and three of them originally by Crystal Gayle, but it was her 1979 album, Broken English, that made the world take notice and it is then that this anthology commences.

The songs here are often melancholy, reflecting Marianne's experiences of life as a drug addict. She was past the worst but still affected by it. I find it particularly depressing because of the history. It is one thing to listen to somebody from a poor background singing about hardship - they were born into it and have made an effort to get out of it. Marianne went the other way, so her problems are, at least in part, self-inflicted. Yet there is no denying that her problems with drugs gave her music an edge.

This compilation is dominated by, but not limited to, tracks from her albums Broken English (6 tracks), Dangerous acquaintances (5 tracks), A child's adventure (3 tracks), Strange weather (6 tracks), Blazing away (4 tracks) and A secret life (4 tracks).
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