This compilation -- which boasts fine sound -- features 15 tracks Marianne Faithfull
recorded for the BBC in 1965 and 1966 (including two versions of one of the songs, "Go Away from My World"); also included are five brief between-song interviews that give listeners a chance to hear her poshly accented, articulate speech. This was the era, of course, in which Faithfull
was still a fairly high-voiced pop-folk singer, and not the far earthier one she'd become when she emerged with a much deeper and more gravelly voice upon her late-'70s comeback. While it's a little disappointing there aren't more surprises -- every one of these songs was also recorded on her mid-'60s studio releases -- it does, as one would expect, afford listeners the chance to hear her do these songs in somewhat less elaborate arrangements than the versions that found official release at the time. On occasion, this can work to Faithfull
's advantage; her cover of the Beatles
' "Yesterday," not one of the highlights among her 1960s singles releases, is stripped of its too-fussy arrangement so that she's accompanied only by guitar. That's from a December 1965 session on which guitarist Jon Mark
is the only backup musician, and those three songs are by far the folkiest of this lot. Still, the other sessions go down well, too, including not only the hits "As Tears Go By," "Come and Stay with Me," "This Little Bird," and "Summer Nights," but also some relatively unheralded highlights of her early repertoire like the brooding "The Sha La La Song" and "Tomorrow's Calling." Faithfull
's early British Invasion-era work is generally underrated, and this collection makes for a worthwhile addendum to her discography that some listeners might find more dignified and less dated in some respects than her more gushily produced studio records.