One of the highlights of the first years of Marianne Faithfull’s career. Even the most loving fans have to admit that in those years she made better contributions sartorially than she did musically. But although a lot of Faithfull’s early work is hopelessly twee, she did record enough outstanding songs to fill out at least one full album. Her eponymous debut album was almost completely. She quickly cemented an image, quite typical of the early sixties, as the virginal yet poised beyond her years convent girl who trilled slightly masochistic odes to chaste devotion. Such was the ideal image for young girls back then, I suppose. The wistful, dewy-eyed blonde pining for a presumably much older man who barely notices her. She woos him with vows of self-abnegation in return for just – please! – letting her hang around. Not exactly an empowering role model, then. Faithfull herself was never than person and she quickly grew frustrated with her romantic English-rose image. At the time she understandably didn’t view herself as an artist with a vision to share or a message to impart. She fell into a singing career quite by accident and she was happy enough to fall right back out of it. At the same time, being a particularly intelligent and highly educated person, she saw the need to undermine the phony and harmful pretty-picture image of herself. Which she undertook doing via her personal life, becoming overnight a reviled and controversial figure for her sinful lifestyle and later, drug addiction. It wasn’t until years later that she embraced herself as an artist and realized that she did have an avenue of expression besides making herself ugly. In a way, her journey into darkness was almost an act of performance art. She used her body as the means to express her disgust with the roles that were thrust upon her. As a young singer who had been groomed and dressed to appear a certain way – a patriarchy-pleasing submissive waif in lace peter pan collars – she didn’t feel she had a voice to express her real self, and resorted to expressing herself through self-destruction, culminating in a highly publicized suicide attempt. As a heroin addict with no money, no record contract and no more fame, she came back to singing, but on entirely her own terms. It was a dramatic and unique evolution, and a continual inspiration. Nonetheless, even knowing how manufactured and phony the image of Marianne Faithfull was in the early sixties, the music should still be judged by its own merits. Corny and sugary it could be, yes, but who could deny she had a beautiful voice that even then was touchingly emotive.