MARIANNE FAITHFULL-COME AND STAY WITH ME-THE UK 45s 1964-1969. 

Marianne Faithfull-Come And Stay With Me-The UK 45s 1964-1969.

Label: Ace Records.

Release Date: ‘26th’ October 2018.

In March 1964, nearly two years after The Beatles released Love Me Do it was already  apparent that pop music wasn’t just a passing fad. The Beatles were a global phenomenon, and the British Invasion of the American charts had just begun. Britain was a musical powerhouse, that the world envied. Despite this, many labels weren’t resting on their laurels.

Record companies in Britain were constantly on the search for ‘the next big thing.’ Surely they reasoned, there was another Fab Four somewhere in Britain. It was all a matter of finding them. Some labels put more effort into this than others.

Decca Records had an enviable network of A&R executives and talent scouts across Britain. Their finger was on the pulse of the local music scene. Night after night, talent scouts headed out to local pubs and clubs, where they listened to new bands and singers. Promising artists were signed to contracts, before other labels even had a chance to hear them. Helping Decca Records add to their already enviable roster, were various producers and music ‘impresarios.’

They were the trusted ears of some record companies. This included the Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. He was by 1964, was managing the second biggest band in the world. The Rolling Stones only rivals were The Beatles. So when Andrew Loog Oldham recommended a new, unknown artist to Decca Records, they took notice.

The artist Andrew Loog Oldham was unlike any he had come across. Even her background was unlike that of any artist he had encountered. The eighteen year old former convent girl, was the daughter of an Austrian aristocrat and a former British Army officer, who was now a professor of psychology and Italian literature at Bedford College of London University. They had met in Vienna, and were living in Hampstead when Marianne Faithful was born on 29th December 1946. However, this would soon change.

The Faithfull family had to move to Ormskirk in Lancashire, while her father finished his doctorate at Liverpool University. Later, the Faithfull family lived at the commune and institution for social research in Braziers Park, a Grade II listed building at Ipsden, Oxfordshire. This must have seemed an idyllic place to grow up. However, when Marianne was six, her parents divorced.

For Marianne Faithfull the Reading years weren’t exactly happy ones. She lived with her mother in Milman Road, Reading, which she refers to as the “Reading Gaol.” No wonder. It was a far cry from the early years of her life.

Now, money was tight, and Marianne Faithfull and her mother were reduced to living in suburbia. To make matters worse, Marianne Faithfull suffered from tuberculosis; and she had to become a subsidised pupil at St Joseph’s Convent School where she was a weekly boarder. It was at school, that Marianne Faithfull first took to the stage.

It wasn’t as a singer though. Instead, she was part of the school’s Progress Theatre group. Little did anyone realise, that when Marianne Faithful; left St Joseph’s Convent School, she spend much of her life on the stage. Before that, Marianne Faithful. escaped the drudgery and boredom of suburban Reading.

Very different was London’s social scene, which Marianne Faithfull threw herself into. It was as if she was making up for the Reading years. London was different from small-town Reading. Marianne Faithfull enjoyed the constant round of parties, record launches and gallery openings. She even travelled to Cambridge to attend a University ball, where she met her future husband John Dunbar. By then, Marianne was regular in London’s folk circuit.

For some time, Marianne Faithfull had been playing coffee shops, including Cafe Au Lait and Shades. Her career was in its infancy, but through John Dunbar, Marianne Faithfull met Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon. They were enjoying a successful career. Not as successful as the two men Peter Asher introduced Marianne Faithful to at a party in March 1964.

Marianne Faithfull went along to a party with John Dunbar in March 1964. That was where she was introduced to the leaders of the two biggest groups in the world. First Marianne Faithfull met Paul McCartney, and then she was introduced to Mick Jagger. Little did she realise the effect this meeting would have on her career.

Through Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull was introduced to Andrew Loog Oldham. Straight away, he signed Marianne Faithful to Decca Records. Soon, work began on Marianne Faithfull’s debut single.

For Marianne Faithfull’s debut single, As Tears Go By, which was penned by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards was chosen. On the B-Side was Greensleeves and both sides were produced by Mike Leander, and released in the summer of 1964. 

As Tears Go By reached number nine in Britain; twenty-two in the US Billboard 100 and thirty-five in Australia. The eighteen year old had enjoyed a hit single on three continents. However, the followup single wasn’t as successful.

Having chosen to cover a Jagger-Richards song for her debut single, Marianne Faithful decided to cover Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ In The Wind for her sophomore single. On the B-Side was House Of The Rising Sun which had given The Animals the biggest hit of their career.

When Blowin’ In The Wind was released later in 1964, it failed to chart on both sides of the Atlantic. Surely Marianne Faithful wasn’t a one hit wonder?

Decca Records didn’t think so, and decided that Marianne Faithful should begin work on not just one album, but two albums

This included Come My Way which was released on the ’15th’ April 1965  The album was well received by critics, and reached number twelve in Britain. However, Come My Way wasn’t released in America. Instead, Marianne Faithful’s eponymous sophomore was released on both sides of the Atlantic the same day as Come My Way

Marianne Faithful was recorded at the same time as Come My Way, and would be released in America and Britain. However, Marianne Faithful was a very different album to Come My Way. Gone was the folk sound of Marianne’s debut album. It was replaced by pop, chanson and ye-ye. Already, Marianne was showing that she was a versatile singer.

Critics remarked that some of the song’s were perfectly suited to Marianne Faithful in their reviews. When Marianne Faithfull was released reached fifteen in Britain, and twelve in the US Billboard 200. This wasn’t the end to the success

Come And Stay With Me was released as a single in 1965 with What Have I Done Wrong on the B-Side. It reached number four in Britain, and twenty-six in the US Billboard 100. Then This Little Bird was released later in 1965 with Morning Sun on the flip-side. It reached number six in Britain, and thirty-two in the US Billboard 100. For Marianne Faithfull this was a fairytale, as just a year after signing to Decca Records, she was a star on both sides of the Atlantic.

Less than a month after the release of Come My Way and Marianne Faithfull, she married John Dunbar on the 6th of May 1965, in Cambridge. After the wedding, the pair lived in a flat in Belgravia, in London and What looked like a fairytale continued.

Although newly married and expecting her first child, Marianne Faithfull had to record a new American album Go Away From My World. It featured twelve tracks, which were a mixture of traditional songs and cover version. The Reviews of Go Away From My World which featured a mixture of pop and folk were mainly positive. This was quite different to the pop oriented Marianne Faithfull.

In May 1965 released the Go Away From My World EP in Britain which also featured a cover of Donovan’s The Most Of What Is Least, Et Maintenant (What Now My Love? and The Sha La La Song. The EP was followed by the release of the Go Away From My World album.

After the success of Marianne Faithfull in America, Go Away From My World reached a disappointing eighty-one on the US Billboard 200. This was a bitter blow for Marianne Faithfull.

The only crumb of comfort was that when Summer Nights was released as a single, it reached number ten in Britain and number twenty-four in the US Billboard 100. Then Marianne’s cover of Yesterday which featured Oh Look Around You on the B-Side reached number thirty-six in Britain. Her last single from Go Away From My World was the title-track, which reached a lowly eighty-nine in the US Billboard 100. Little did Marianne know, that Go Away From My World would be her last American hit. That would’ve been the least of her worries.

In December 1965, Marianne Faithfull left her husband of seventh months, and went to live with the Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger. Little did Marianne Faithfull realise this decision would change her life, and people’s perception of her forever more. That was still to come.

Before that Marianne Faithfull released her mew North Country Maid on the ‘1st’ of April 1966 to critical acclaim. It was an eclectic album that featured folk, blues, country, acid folk and even pop. Despite the quality and eclectic nature of North Country Maid failed to chart on its release. For Marianne Faithfull this was another bitter blow. To make matters worse Tomorrow’s Calling which featured That’s Right Baby failed to failed to chart. This made Marianne’s next album and single crucial ones.

Later in 1966, Marianne Faithfull released Counting as a single with I’d Like To Dial Your Number on the B-Side. Just like her previous single, Counting failed to trouble the charts

The next single that Marianne Faithfull released was Is This What I Get For Loving You? in February 1967. It was one of her finest singles but stalled at forty-three in Britain. Sadly, Is This What I Get For Loving You was overshadowed by what happened next.

On Sunday 12th February 1967, she was relaxing with members of the Rolling Stones’ inner circle at Redlands, Keith Richards country estate. That night, the Sussex police raided Redlands looking for drugs. The claimed to have been tipped off that a drug were being consumed on the premises  When they entered Redlands, they discovered Marianne covered by just a fur rug. This would come back to haunt Marianne.

After a search of Redlands, various tablets and substances, including amphetamine and cannabis were discovered. This lead to the arrest of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. They were charged, and were facing imprisonment. However, as the story became front page news, so did the details of how the police discovered Marianne. This shocked many prurient little Englanders, who viewed not just Mick Jagger and Keith Richards with distaste, but Marianne Faithful too.

Suddenly, the press were raking over her private life, serving up every salacious piece of petty gossip for the titillation of the little people in their suburban two up, two downs. They stood in judgment of Marianne Faithfull, who was about to release a new album.

Just over three weeks later, Marianne Faithful released her fourth album, Love In A Mist on the ‘2nd’ of March 1967. Despite the quality of the music on Love In A Mist, the album never came close to troubling the charts. Whether the unwanted publicity affected sales of Love In A Mist is a matter of speculation? Following the release of Love In A Mist, Decca Records and Marianne Faithfull parted company. Marianne’s Decca Records ‘ swan-song was her most underrated albums.

Just over two years later Decca Records released Something Better as a single in 1969, with Sister Morphine on the B-Side. However, not long after the single was released it was withdrawn by Decca Records and brought to an end her five year association with the label. It’s documented on Come And Stay With Me-The UK 45s 1964-1969 which will be released by Ace Records on the ‘26th’ of October 2018.

Come And Stay With Me-The UK 45s 1964-1969 charts the rise and eventual fall of Marianne Faithfull. She made her breakthrough in 1964 as a teenager, but just three short years later in 1967 had her reputation dragged through the mud by those moral arbiters the tabloid press. They relished their role in feeding salacious tittle-tattle to the little judgmental people in their suburban homes.

The reaction of the press and public played its part in the decision that executives at Decca Records made, and twenty-one year old Marianne Faithfull parted company with Decca Records.

By then, Marianne Faithfull had enjoyed commercial success and critical acclaim and was a versatile and talented singer. She had enjoyed seven hit singles which all feature on Come And Stay With Me-The UK 45s 1964-1969 which are a reminder of Marianne Faithfull’s Decca Records years when it looked like she was about to become one of the biggest female singers of the sixties. 

Marianne Faithfull-Come And Stay With Me-The UK 45s 1964-1969.

 

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