MARIANNE FAITHFUL – “Sliding Through Life On Charm”

Everyone knows Marianne Faithful:
She was the Stones Number One Groupie
She was found with a mars bar up her cunt and/or wrapped in a white fur rug in a drug bust in the country house of the glitter twins
She had a minor hit in 1979 about cold war paranoia.
She was in that leather jumpsuit riding through german forests in that arty porn flick you saw as a bootleg, because of the tits.

She wasn’t Yoko.
She didn’t break anyone up, She didn’t make bizarre performance art or experiment with noise.
She wasn’t Linda
She didn’t take pretty pictures, she doesn’t really care about lambs.
She worked her own way, making albums, writing tracks, finding her way between chanson, cabaret and chart pop.
She did smack, spit with anger when wronged, wrote an autobio whose introductory chapters were mostly about her cousin Sacher-Masoch.
She spent 10 years doing cabaret albums.
She never quit smoking, and the feminists haven’t really reclaimed her yet.

So for the latest album what does she do ?
She hires the best minds in the business.
Young and hip, with careers ahead of them but with enough experience to hold their own.
Literate and well educated, comfortable discussing snatch.
The first single that emerges from this collaboration is the Jarvis penned defense of her life-Sliding Through Life on Charm.

The disco beats make it danceable, the voice is whiskey sodden to keep the diva lovers in check but the power is the coded history, the admission to gender politics, the freudian allusions and the admittance that what she really wants to do is piss standing up. She mocks the boomers who go to her concerts and the 17 year old girls who might look up to her. She calls Jagger and Richard faggots without using that word and she is amused by the supplicants kneeling to greet her.

One of the better written songs by Cocker, it’s a gift to the women who made it happen.