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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Broken English

Marianne Faithfull

1979

Wikipedia

Broken English

Rating

2.86

Votes

3225

Reviews

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5

“Broken English” by Marianne Faithfull (1979) Banger alert. It’s hard to believe this album was released in 1979. If it had been produced today, the closing (banned in 1979) track “Why’d Ya Do It?” would be placed first, and perhaps have become the title track. This track alone is Exhibit A for the case that women belong in rock & roll (and hip hop, while we’re at it). The Go-Go’s should be shot. You’ve got to listen to this album as if you’d never heard Cyndi Lauper, who copied Faithfull in many ways. But Faithfull’s destroyed voice came honestly. Smoking, alcohol, and heroin will do that. Faithfull’s version of “Working Class Hero” is better than John Lennon’s. Seriously. Her voice is better suited than Lennon’s to express anger, angst, and ambivalence. And the instrumental production is a vast improvement over Lennon’s solo guitar. Jeez. The title and lead track here, “Broken English”, is best heard in the 1979 context of western perplexity over the young woman Ulrike Meinhof of Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang (“Red Army Faction”) taking up the cause of Marxism. Boomers with boom (demonstrating that women have a place in terrorism, too), they killed more than thirty people over course of their career. These kids made today’s Antifa look like a bunch of kittens. “Guilt” reflects on the formal distinction in theological anthropology between objective guilt and subjective guilt feelings. Take a moral dive into this song, and you’ll come to the surface with enhanced self awareness, maturity, and contentment. “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” echoes “A Streetcar Named Desire” and anticipates “Thelma and Louise”. Nuff said. God, this music makes you think. 5/5

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4

After a lengthy absence, Faithfull resurfaced on this 1979 album, which took the edgy and brittle sound of punk rock and gave it a shot of studio-smooth dance rock. Faithfull's whiskey-worn vocals perfectly match the bitter and biting "Why'd Ya Do It" and revitalize John Lennon's "Working Class Hero."

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4

Marianne Faithfull nailed this late 70's album. It's a synth-pop masterpiece. Steve Winwood's handy work on the synths and keys pairs well with Faithfulls' vocals, there are lots of interesting sounds and textures going on in this album. Winwood's parts were added as an after thought by the producer to make the album sound more modern and electronic. My first suggested album to listen to from this generator, and a great album to begin with.

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4

Love the new wave/post punk production, it's in the vein of Dylan's "Infidels" or "Empire Burlesque." I wasn't super familiar with much by Faithfull before listening to this, at least outside of her version of "As Tears Go By," which is gorgeous. This is a whole different animal, her alto has lost the honey sweet smoothness of the British Invasion days but it's beautiful in a more complex, adult way. The more I think about this, the more I'm in love with it and I want more.

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3

Surprisingly enjoyable. Voice not what I expected. Musically and stylistically diverse in parts but quite conservative blue rock soundings across quite a few tracks. Top tracks: Why’d ya do it, Broken English

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5

This blew me away in a weirdly subtle and understated way. Wasn't really paying much attention to it until I noticed the steady increase in intensity that seems permeate the entire record but which sharply climbs from The Ballad of Lucy Jordan onward. Wide ranging social commentary on a number of issues and themes contribute to a very provocative and captivating listening experience. I love how strained her voice is especially when it breaks. Brain drain is a highlight and the synth/sax outro to Guilt is amazing. Also her dad was an M15 spy - how cool. Have already listened to her other stuff which is totally different but equally as good. Feeling some big Neil Young energy from her catalogue.

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5

Underrated. Under discussed. Probably because the artist is a woman. It’s a great album. As good as anything her male UK peers were making at the time.

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5

Wow, this is stunning. I don't know if it's my own blinkers or those of the music world, but I feel I would have heard this album, and a lot more praise for it, if it was by a male artist. Anyhow, love the bluesy rock sound, which sounds fresh and edgy as well as being "proper rock". I love her voice, which has power and grit, but also a kind of fragility to it. Pretty fucking perfect. 5/5 and added to my personal collage. :)

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5

One of a very few woman that I enjoyed listening to. And you can understant what she is singing, too.

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5

Uno de los mejores discos de la historia.

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5

Great album

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4

Pleasantly surprised by this delightfully odd album!

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4

achingly cool

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4

Tooka second listen to appreciate this. Her voice is really cool and lyrics are really interesting too. Wasn't particularly taken by the music at first, but it grew on me and does goes through a few different waves throughout the album. Highlight is definitely Guilty. Working Class Hero is so suspenseful and intense too.

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4

Damn fine music.

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4

First time listener of Marianne Faithful and I loved it. Will definately give it another listen. And she is the original angry girl!!!! 4 stars

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4

I'm still surprised a few days later by how much I enjoyed this album, especially listening to it immediately after British Steel. The final song is dirty. I approve.

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4

Me gusta mucho este disco, aunque no lo escucho tanto. Quizá debería hacerlo más, pero bueno, un sólido 9/10. "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" y "Working Class Hero" me encantan.

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4

Her voice is unique and strange. The songs are intense. I appreciate it. The Working Class Hero cover was ambitious, but I think she pulled it off.

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4

Rock peculiar. Versión de Working class hero.

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4

A completely new album for me a really depressing album featuring Marianne's various struggles this really is a work of art and a revolutionary album for its time

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3

This is one that comes down to the vocals for me. I simply don't like her voice. I know that's supposed to be part of the story with what she went through and everything but it just doesn't work for me. I do like the arrangements and atmosphere though. My favorite track is probably her cover of "Working Class Hero" - she makes it so sinister. And I must say "Why'd You Do It" is an hell of a way to close an album. Wow. Gotta respect that honesty. God damn.

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3

60's female liberation calcified into snide, embittered, off-hand broadsides. She confidently rides disco-punk-and-even-ska rhythms that are itchy and agitated because it's not easy being a woman. Esepecially one who's putting everyone in the dock--herself, her cheating bastard boyfriend, and the cunt he had in their bed.

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5

I'm listening to Broken English by Marianne Faithfull. I've never listened to this album before, and only have tangentially heard of Marianne as part of the 60s London swinging rock scene. And she dated Mick Jagger famously. First impressions are positive. This is why I'm doing this funny generated album web site for a chance to find something new. I would have liked this album if I had explored and given her a chance. It connects with Television Marquee Moon, it feels of that time and place when punk was exploding. It's been a revelation to hear this on this morning when Trump leaves the White House. Marianne had quite a tough and colorful life leading up to this album, and I feel it all wash over me. I would like to spend some more time with this album. The title track and the one about Lucy Jordan are my favorites so far.

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4

4/21 Great songs, her raspy voice gives it that edge. Standout Tracks: Broken English, Guilt, The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan, Working Class Hero

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4

New discovery. I like it and her career arc is really interesting.

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4

Some hidden classics

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4

Great, too short really. Blindsided by the last track! :grin:

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4

Funny that guilt is on this album as it was also one of the closing songs in mindhunter which I've just finished watching. Guilt into ballad of Lucy John (which sounds like it had Leonard's fingers all over it) into a Blondie sounding What's The Hurry? is a very strong clutch.

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4

3.5/5

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4

Knew of Marianne Faithful, but had never heard her sing before. Dubious at the first few notes, I quickly found myself enjoying her voice and tone. The songs weren’t all awesome, but I’d definitely listen to another album.

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4

This is a forgotten favorite from my youth. Favorite might be too strong an adjective as I liked it never loved it. Marianne's voice is an acquired taste; all tobacco stained and whisky soaked. But the songs are tough and uncompromising, (check out Why'd ya do It) for about as raw a lover scorned song as you will ever hear), and her take on Working Class Hero, the Lennon classic, is absolutely definitive. I do love the arrangements and listening to this for this first time in many years was a nostalgic and rewarding experience. 4.5🌟

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4

Quirky. Klinkt niet alsof het uit 1979 komt. Veel covers.

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4

Verrassend goed album zeg!

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4

I am digging this vibe, but what are we talking about here in Broken English

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4

Well, it's a listen. Not sure if I'd go for the whole album again, but it does grow quite considerably between the first and last tracks. I can definitely see how this has influenced later work. I was thinking Grace Jones, and it turns out that Barry Reynolds worked with Jones following the release of Broken English.

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4

Enjoyed this. Never thought of Faithfull as musician. Shame on me. The synths are clearly bolt on, but they do succeed in modernizing it. I'm sure I've heard a cover of the title song somewhere too.

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4

I know the name Marianne Faithfull but haven't knowingly heard her before. I know that she sang backup vocals on Neil Young's Harvest record. And I think she's more "of that era" but then I start listening to this record... This is so dang rad! Such synthy goodness. I'm really into it. Another record that BUT - Her voice sounds weak and strange. Again, haven't heard other things from her, so I don't know if that's an anomaly here, or that's what she sounds like. I think it works well for this style of music (which isn't necessarily known for great vocals). Just not what I expected for a person that *I think" is known for a great voice. [Note: After writing this, I looked the record up on Wikipedia and saw this, which may explain the voice: "The album marked a major comeback for Faithfull after years of drug abuse, homelessness, and suffering from anorexia."] I need to see what other great female songwriters were up to in the mid-late 70s. Between this record and Joni Mitchell's output, it seems like the ladies of the 60s were much more interesting after their careers peaked. I mean, does anyone want to hear what CSNY were doing in 1979? Didn't think so... This is a great record and I'll definitely listen again. Man, so many 4's in the new year. Need so shitty records to break this trend.

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4

Un treball que expressa la música des d'una forma molt personal d'entrendre-la. I la persona que l'expressa demostra ser una artista en el seu sentit més punyent, rebosant -en aquell moment al menys, de coses a dir i de maneres com dir-les. Un disc molt personal, i a la vegada molt obert i fàcil d'entrar en ell. El cènit de Faithfull com a artista i una altra joia a conservar d'uns anys màgics de creativitat

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4

girlboss laying down some good shit. English Joni Mitchell not messing around I liked a lot

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4

I guess I never really got onto Marianne Faithfull’s post-70s career. I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t this. Not exactly for me but I’ll give it an extramarital point for some ahead of their times raw nasty lyrics

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4

dark, fractious, bohemian, a glass of wine and a Gitane. then another.

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4

Still like the title song; rest of album pretty good

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4

Very good album - surprisingly engaging.

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4

Few different sounds mixed well in here. Who knew that county could sound good with a little electronic backing.

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4

great transitional album with a couple electronica nods. keeps it punk though overall. working class hero cover is fantastic

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4

Y'a des petits bangers en vrai !

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4

Not bad. Reminiscent of grace Jones Dub in parts

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4

This is surprisingly good. I knew next to nothing about her. My only memory, and it vividly came to mind as soon as I read her name here, was when I was maybe 13 or so and she was the musical guest on SNL. I had never seen or heard of her before. The reason why the memory is so vivid is that I remember so clearly how striking her appearance was, and, sadly, not in a good way. I had never seen a human so thin and frail. She looked severely ill. The performance is referenced in the Wikipedia entry about this album, and the entry speaks to her years of substance addiction and it makes sense now why my 13-year-old self was so struck by how she seemed. She is still alive, though, and hopefully, she's okay. I never like to see anyone suffer. In this album, I hear a talent that can cut across an interesting variety of music. Synth-dance-y at times, dark edgy bluesy and rock-sounding, and a bit of punk and new wave sound. Really cool stuff.

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4

Liked this a hell of a lot more than I thought I would. Don't think I've ever listened to a Marianne Faithfull album before... Definitely pre-judged her and got it wrong

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4

Icy horror.

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4

pretty groovy, 8/10

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4

First time listening to this and I really enjoyed. Do recommend

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4

Goddamn but "Why D'Ya You Do It" is still bracing, isn't it? So many controversial songs get tamed by the passage of time, but somehow this hasn't...

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4

This is the kind of album I hoped I would find more often in this list, as far as variation goes. Generally, the album's style is pop/rock with some blues thrown in for good measure. The most well-known song is probably The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, which is dominated by a wobbly synth arrangement, but every single track is different here, so with every song the listener has something new to discover (unlike with so, SO many other albums on this list). This was a great find, to which I will listen again. 4/5

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3

On first listen, not seeing the classic status. But her voice has a way of worming its way into your brain as it moves above the close-to-post-punk beats. Certainly could be a grower, but for now more interesting historically than musically.

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3

Great songs, reminded me of blondie and I love that. The ballad of Lucy Jordan is my standout for sure.

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3

Solid

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3

I understood most of it, not so broken after all

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3

I could take or leave the vocals, but I'd listen to an album of just the band grooving. Some fun, if somewhat forgettable songs here. Best track: The Ballad of Lucy Jordan

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3

Interesting vocals, the last song was like O.O Kind of a trip, to be honest.

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3

Didn‘t know this cover of „working class hero“. Quite liked it.

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3

Just nothing that stand out or makes this album remarkable in any way

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3

good new wave sound but vocals are a little rough

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3

Fav Song: Witches' Song

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3

Good album. Great voice. Like a David Gilmour solo album with Marianne on vocals.

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3

Such a distinctive voice and style! Fave track - "Guilt"

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3

The first half of the album is a 2. The second half of the album is a 4.5 Maybe split the difference here?

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3

Rock, folk. Pasable.

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3

Bon album mais ressemble trop a d’autrs chose. Il en a des millions d’albums comme cleui la. Des fois ca se demarque plus qune ´autre. 3

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3

I like the dark ambience throughout, you can tell her life truly seeps into her vocal delivery. However, no song is really bringing something new.

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3

Després de caure al pou de la heroïna, viure al carrer i perdre la custódia del seu fill amb Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful va ressucitar d'entre els morts amb un àlbum amb que trencava el seu estil anterior basat més en el folk, i es va llençar a la piscina de la new wave, aconseguint el seu àlbum més rodó i reconegut.

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3

Never heard of it. Not bad

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3

Wasn't quite sure at first listen, but it grew on me throughout the album. She's quite the storyteller, and the vibe is kind of cool and chill. Listened during a nap, and it was nice! 3/5.

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3

A really good surprise - album builds after a slow start - enjoyed the music and lyrics - would revisit

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3

Surprisingly different to what I imagined. Fantastic voice and some great songs, even managing to pull off a cover of Working Class Hero. Will def revisit

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3

Not very exciting but bearable

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3

Enjoyed this far more than I expected to

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3

Bizarre lyrics. Well produced.

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3

Poignant lyrics with buckets of emotion. Songs feel like they are longer than they are.

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3

Some interesting stuff in there. Not what I was expecting.

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3

Not for me, though I did really like the tracks Guilt and Why'd ya do it

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3

some interesting parts but i hated her voice

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3

Not keen, not like proper rock

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3

3.5, nice and moody

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3

Lush instrumentation with some brilliantly written songs. However, quite a few of the deeper cuts fell flat for me.

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3

3/5 it’s not bad but nothing stands out as great.

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3

Lots of spoken word albums in this list. I really didn't like this album very much. I though the music and the backing band were good, but couldn't get into the vocals at all.

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3

Impressive album which helps her stand out from her peers.

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3

Interesting album. I did not know any of the songs.

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3

Wat rauwe new-wave met R&B/pop-achtig kantje. Niet onmiddellijk mijn smaak

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3

There is definitely something catchy about this record, still one spin aint enough to figure it out

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3

6.5/10

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3

Одна очень классная песня и очень приятный звук.

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3

I see what she's going for here, but also am not a huge fan of the vocal delivery.

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3

Not really a fan of this one, some songs were okay.

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3

Tough rating. I’ve never heard Marianne F, but I knew that voice had to be iconic then and now. Several songs really got me feeling things—especially the proto girl rock/Liz Phair stuff, but then (especially on the first listen) some of it felt just a little too country. I’d listen to some songs but not the whole album again.

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3

Good overall album. I loved the instruments and vocals were good as well. I’d dig this on a road trip especially on long stretches of open highway.

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3

Interessante la voce quasi roca, pungente. Non mi dispiace, ma non trovo niente che mi colpisca particolarmente. Bella la cover di 'Working Class Hero'

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3

Overall, this album is okay. Her voice kinda got to me after a while. But- I really dug a couple of the tracks, especially Why'd Ya Do it?. It's cool that she did a Lennon cover and that she used poets' lyrics (including Shel Silverstein), and that Steve Winwood played keyboards. (and that she dated Mick Jagger) Solid album.

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3

acceptable new wave

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3

Speak to me in broken englishbhh 3/5

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3

It's a good album. She only had a very few hits back in the days that I can remember. Her style is unmatched. She is unique and I can listen to it w/out the urge to skip to the next song quickly. I call that success.

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3

would never have listened without this list. Probably not going to listen to much more Marianne Faithful although I wouldn't count it out either, why'd ya do it is a great way to finish off the album.

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3

Not bad, not great. The backstory on the album and Marianne's career is interesting . Would listen to it again but not anytime soon.

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3

I enjoyed this and admire her place as a cultural icon. Not a stand out album for me.

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3

An interesting, up and down album for me. Some songs were really great, while others didn't resonate. Maybe it was just how I was feeling when I was listening, but even though I enjoyed the rough gravel of her voice, I couldn't get lost in her songs the way I wanted to.

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3

weirdly catchy low key post punk electro vibes. some startlingly crass lyrics to spice things up

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3

You ever feed your dog meatloaf and afterwards wonder if perhaps that wasn't your best idea? My dog ate two pounds of Manwich and spent the next two days shitting. Her stomach could be heard across the room churning and gurgling. The first song on this album reminds me of those two days. The album isn't terrible, some of it reminds me of a remedial Cindi Lauper or some polished Slits. The 80's vibe, though it's outdated, brings some enviable and unique nostalgia. What's the Hurry? and The Ballad of Lucy Jordan along with Why'd Ya Do It are good. The Working Class Heroes cover is terribly awful. I'm convinced the person who made the decision to include it is the same one that suggested the flatulating synthesizer be used on the title track. RIP Juno

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3

I picked this up on vinyl when I was a teenager, specifically for the title track. The album as a whole is actually nothing like the title track, which is probably why teenage me never really listened to it. That's really too bad, because that's actually one of the weaker tracks on the album. Musically, it turns out the album is quite good. Lyrically and musically mature, the songs mix acidic social commentary with pointed sexual politics. Fave Songs: What's the Hurry, Witches' Song, Working Class Hero, Broken English 3 4 3 3 3 5 4

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3

Цельный альбом с парой неплохих песен, которые под настроение очень даже могут зайти.

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3

better than expected for early 80s new wave

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3

album qui fait partie des oublis instantanés

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3

Classic.

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3

Interesting sound from the period between the 70's and 80's

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3

Stand out Tracks - Broken English - Working Class Hero - Guilt

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3

Alrighty then - Reverend Father Ace Ventura (Pet Detective)

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3

Some bops! But not full of them.

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3

Not my favorite new wave/pop album. Some things were executed well such as the songs ‘Guilt’ and The Ballad of Lucy Jordan’, but overall, I found that this album was not as engaging as other new wave music from this time period. However, this album does represent a triumphant return for Marianne Faithful after 12 years without an album and bouts of drug abuse and homelessness so something should be said for that.

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2

I'm sure it was good but I just didn't vibe the voice

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2

I didn't find it very interesting

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2

Don’t understand the appeal, sounds like her voice is breaking every other word

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2

This probably didn't need to be anyone greatest albums list

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2

sounds too much of that MOR eighties sound

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2

not for me.

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2

meh

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2

prettyy meh

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2

nah - C

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2

She's not singing very hard.

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2

About what you’d expect from Mick Jagger’s ex wife

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2

This album is a trip! I spend the bulk of it thinking, “She has such a gnarly voice. Why are these songs so bland and tame? When is she going to be let off the leash?” Then the last track rolls around and suddenly she turns into Andrew Dice Clay screaming, “WHY DID YOU SPIT ON MY SNATCH?” Lol! Who saw that coming?? Excellent Lennon cover and snatch spitting aside, I really wish the whole record could have matched the driving urgency of the title track. I think I would have liked that quite a bit.

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2

No es mi estilo

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2

8 canciones. 37 minutos. Año 1979. Hay una canción interesante que precisamente es la más famosa de ella: The ballad of Lucy Jordan. Un disco normal a día de hoy.

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2

The song about spitting on snatches and sucking cock just comes out of nowhere.

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2

Booooooring. The songwriting seems really shallow and most of the instrumentation overly simple and repetitive. The last song is an exception - but I didn't enjoy that one either.

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2

nice album art. music is exactly what I'm into but I'm not digging her voice/delivery. not into the lyrics either. her voice reminds me a bit of miley cyrus, or the other way around i suppose, especially during 'the ballad of lucy jordan'.

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2

Not a fan

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2

Singing isn't my speed but some of the guitar work is good esp on guilt. Why'd ya do it has some intense lyrics

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2

Not my cup of tea really.

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2

21. Tenho pressa. Sou uma gazela que já só quer chegar à mesa. Corro, subo às árvores, apanho as amoras. Vou dizer ao teu pai que aqui não moras. MotA: "What's The Hurry?" "Could have come through anytime"

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2

Mismatch between raw vocals and synthheavy production. I enjoyed the John Lennon cover

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2

I feel like this would have worked much better as an instrumental album. Great music, ruined by Marianne's vocals.

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2

Nothing too special here. Couldn’t find a way to get really into it. The singing is fine, but the songs aren’t really poppy and they’re too dull to be interesting. 4.4/10

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2

IDGI

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2

Nothing wrong with it, I just don't like it

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2

I know of Marianne Faithfull, but never heard anything. Ahhh well, even if it sucks it's only 37min lol. It's new wave, wasn't expecting that. Figured it'd be country. Not too bad, not too good. Dragged on a bit even at its short length. 2.5/5.

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2

Nasal folk rock with interesting lyrics

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2

Just kinda meh.

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2

Mumble pop. Nothing special with this album.

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2

Weird. Did not enjoy, but didn't hate outright

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2

Somewhat offensive English!

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2

Wouldn't listen again... Poor Lucy!

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2

Broken Music

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2

2.5 stars. I’m not a big fan of her voice but the songs are ok

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2

Not bad but not amazing

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2

4…5…4?…5?…4…5… There is real grit here. Grit from the streets of London. I like the music more than the vocals, and I don’t like the music all that much. The electronica bits are intriguing. The cigarette induced laryngital raspy voice is bad. I know Why d’Ya Do It? Is autobiographical, but the lyrics are not very appealing. 4…5…LOL…Just trolling the Jeff Buckley fan club…

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2

Inte riktigt min musik.

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2

C'est ok, très prévisible, musique intéressante mais un peu répétitive

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2

Awesome guitar but the vocals are unbearable. I think this would work better as an instrumental album, but I get that's not what she was going for. This is about her struggles and damn, reading her Wikipedia article for the first time, how is this woman still alive.

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2

Seems ok to me. Nothing really stands out, but it is enjoyable. 2.5/5

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2

All very elegant and simple, but completely uneventful

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2

Okay?

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1

A chore to listen to

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1

Not for me

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1

Annoying voice and terrible songs

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1

Can’t stand the nasally tone of her voice. The music adds no depth. Not good. Not completely awful, but definitely not at all good. 1.5

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1

ugh her bio on facebook that she posted herself - 'beautiful and articulate individual' along with the 20+ up close pics of her. not a fan of her vibe or her music

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1

Her voice really grates on me

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1

Who picks this garbage?

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1

Just some weirdo solo stuff

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1

Sounds like she chain smokes 1 billion cigarettes a day.

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1

Really didn't enjoy it, managed 4 tracks

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1

Go bored

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1

Not a singer…..

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1

Begrijp niet wat mensen hieraan kunnen vinden. Die stem is echt niet om aan te horen.

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1

meh

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1

Nope

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1

Not for me

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1

1.5

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1

Boring, derivative, annoying voice.

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1

The voice is a huge turnoff and I could not hate that broken English song any more than I do.

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1

This came out in November of 1979, and I'm pretty sure the intro to the first track created the 80s. Then Faithfull started singing, and let's just say it doesn't improve things. Some questions and observations: What the hell is "Broken English" even trying to say?? The thought of new wave witches is funny. The synthy new-waviness fades away after "Broken English," but I don't exactly care for what replaces it. "Guilt" is a bunch of lies, right? I thought we were veering back into the tolerable music zone there, and then the sax comes in at the end, again heralding the 80s. "What's the Hurry?" The hurry is to get this album over with. Yes, I am running for cover. I didn't think a song about a "Working Class Hero" fit here, and apparently that's because it's a cover of a John Lennon song. And then it finally ends, with the bizarrely crude reggae punk "Why'd Ya Do It." Musically, it almost got interesting there. Lyrically... I don't know but finally it's over.

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fsdf

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