Horses & High Heels
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Top Customer Reviews
Of the thirteen tracks seven are new songs and six covers of classics from the '60's. Two of the covers are the Shangri-Las 'Past, Present & Future' and 'Goin' Back' which was a hit for Dusty Springfield. Both are now sung from the perspective of a much older woman who sadly acknowledges the passing of time. Marianne puts her boots on for a stomping version of Jackie Lomax's 'No Reasons' and her take on the late Lesley Duncan's 'Love Song' is breathtaking.
Marianne co-wrote four of the new songs. 'Horses And High Heels' which mentions places where she has lived. 'Prussian Blue' with it's great but simple key changes, the haunting 'Why Did We Have To Part' and 'Eternity'. The final track 'The Old House', which was especially written for Marianne by Irish playwright Frank McGuiness, conjures up images of ghosts and forgotten memories.
At sixty-four years of age Marianne is still a force to be reckoned with. She doesn't run with the pack, she's well ahead of it.
"Why Did We Have to Part" is haunting in a most beautiful manner. "Gee Baby" is a winning pop song and Marianne makes it work. "Eternity" has such excellent production and is uptempo. This is a real stand-out song to this listener. It is a song that makes one move to it. "Back in Baby's Arms" is a great cover and is also uptempo.
Yes, this album is full of ghosts and references to the past such as "Prussian Blue", "Past, Present and Future" but none so much as the tremendously haunting "The Old House". This song was another stand-out for me. I couldn't help but to stop and listen to the lyrics. It is a masterpiece and perfect for Marianne's voice.
"Horses and High Heels" is a new friend in my Faithfull collection. It is a most welcome friend. I knew I loved it by the second time I played it. It contains different genres but her previous album, "Easy Come, Easy Go" covered a wide variety of genres more so than on this album. Marianne Faithfull never disappoints me with her every album. She is an extremely intelligent woman and I admire her immensely. She would never release an album unless it met her high standards. "Horses and High Heels" is solid testimony of her artistry. I am enjoying getting to know this album better with each playing. It deserves a Five Star rating which I am glad to bestow upon it. Thank you, Ms. Faithfull.
Okay now that I've said that, I'll explain why, which may differ from previous reviews posted here.
I was there in the 1960s when Ms. Faithfull rode the British Invasion with her hit "As Tears Go By", and I was impressed by her hit single "Broken English", which was released in 1979. But, honestly, I haven't followed her career since. Then this CD arrived and I put it in my player. The first song grabbed my attention, and I was listening intently for the next 12 tracks. I then played the album again and liked it even better.
But it wasn't just Faithfull's voice - which is hoarse, and unlike any other singer I can think of - that got me. It was the way it was used by producer Hal Willner, a guy who has created some on the most unique and amazing albums over the last 20 years - often themed albums ("Stay Awake" - the Disney tribute is still a favorite). Willner is listed on every track as the one doing the "sampling" and, though I can't always identify what records he is sampling, the overall mood he creates is captivating.
Faithfull is a major part of the album's success, of course, with her voice and pen. Four of the songs were co-written by the singer (who is now 64 years old). And half of the songs on the album are covers. (While other reviewers have commented on how the covers compare with the original recordings, I'm one who takes the songs as if they were new to me, when rating the performance.) The album was recorded in 2010 in New Orleans, and there some NOLa musicians here (George Porter Jr. plays bass on every track, Dr. John sits in on piano for one, as does NOLa native Dr. Michael White on clarinet) - and there is an Allen Toussaint cover ( "Back in Baby's Arms") but this is not all NOLa-tinged.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great lady, songstress, a true survivor of the 1960s who is still a vibrant and worthy singer to this day. A great buy.Published 15 months ago by Alan R. Dennen
Following Marianne's career through the decades as always been an acquired taste that has as many ups as downs. Read morePublished on July 1, 2014 by kahoosier
Marianne Faithfull has such a great distinctive voice that I'm always awaiting her latest. I personally believe you can't go wrong with any of her releases and since she's been... Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by Lee Griffin
I love Marianne Faithfull's older, smoky voice, ever since her comeback album "Broken English." I was made aware of how greatly her voice had changed when I watched the Godard film... Read morePublished on June 5, 2012 by Martha Grenon
Horses and High Heels offers greater consistency than Marianne's output of the 2000s such as Kissin' Time (2002), Before The Poison (2005) or Easy Come Easy Go. Read morePublished on November 16, 2011 by Peter Uys
I ordered three Marianne Faithfull items at once - two CDs and a too-short magazine article for my Kindle. Loved the CDs, but the magazine article was way too short for the cost!Published on October 11, 2011 by Laura Huddleston
Marianne Faithful has been around for some time, and she emerged from the revolution of the 60's with her id still intack.Published on September 19, 2011 by McEldoy
I'm not necessarily lost in yesterday (love Lady Gaga, Adele, etc), but it's comforting to visit with an `old friend'. Read morePublished on September 1, 2011 by David