Negative Capability (album)

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Negative Capability
Marianne Faithfull - Negative Capability.jpg
Studio album by
Released2 November 2018 (2018-11-02)
RecordedJanuary 2018
StudioLa Frette Studios, Paris
LabelPanta Rei
Marianne Faithfull chronology
No Exit (Live)
Negative Capability
Singles from Negative Capability
  1. "The Gypsy Faerie Queen"
    Released: 14 September 2018
Professional ratings
Review scores
Vice (Expert Witness)(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)[1]

Negative Capability is the twenty-first studio album by British singer and songwriter Marianne Faithfull. It was released on 2 November 2018, and produced by Rob Ellis, Warren Ellis and Head. Described as her "most honest album", songs on Negative Capability deal with themes of love, death, as well as terrorism and loneliness. She revisits three old recordings: "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" from Rich Kid Blues, recorded in 1971 under the title Masques, which is her 'lost' album and was not released until 1985; "Witches Song", from 1979's comeback album Broken English; and "As Tears Go By", which started her career as a 17-year-old. Faithfull recorded it for the second time aged 40 on 1987's Strange Weather. The rest of the songs are, with one exception, all new and co-written by Faithfull with help from some of her long time collaborators like Nick Cave and Ed Harcourt. The "Loneliest Person" is a cover of a Pretty Things composition from their 1968 album S.F. Sorrow.

The lead single, "The Gypsy Faerie Queen", was released on 14 September 2018.

Background and development[edit]

The album was first announced in December 2017 in Faithfull's interview with Uncut.[2] The album's title is a reference to the famous phrase "negative capability" used by Romantic poet John Keats in 1817 in a letter to his brothers.

Music and lyrics[edit]

Described by Faithfull as "the most honest record she's ever made", Negative Capability has a "folky" feel. "They Come at Night" was written with Mark Lanegan following the November 2015 Paris attacks. Faithfull said she got the idea from producer Hal Willner, and his theory that every seventy years the Nazis return in some form or another. She debuted the song during her concert at the Bataclan theatre in November 2016, a year after the terrorist attack took its place there.[3]

Artwork and packaging[edit]

Shot by Yann Orhan, the cover art for the album was released on 5 September 2018.


On 13 September 2018, "The Gypsy Faerie Queen" was serviced to several radio stations in Europe as the album's lead single. It was released to online music stores on 14 September 2018 along with the album becoming available for pre-order.

Track listing[edit]

Negative Capability[4]
  • Marianne Faithfull
  • Rob McVey
  • Silvert Hayem
  • Ed Harcourt
2."The Gypsy Faerie Queen"3:40
3."As Tears Go By"3:52
4."In My Own Particular Way"
5."Born to Live"
6."Witches Song"
7."It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" (Re-recorded)Bob Dylan5:01
8."They Come at Night"
9."Don't Go"
10."No Moon in Paris"
Negative Capability — deluxe version (bonus tracks)[5]
11."Loneliest Person"2:52
12."No Moon in Paris" (radio edit)
13."They Come at Night" (alt. version)
  • Marianne Faithfull
  • Mark Lanegan


  • Marianne Faithfull – vocals
  • Nick Cave – backing & additional vocals, piano
  • Rob McVey - guitar, piano, synthesiser, backing vocals
  • Ed Harcourt - piano, bass guitar, baritone guitar, keyboards, wurlitzer, rhodes, organ, harmonium, backing vocals
  • Warren Ellis - viola, synthesiser, violin, keyboards, piano, alto flute, backing vocals, producer
  • Rob Ellis - drums, percussion, synthesiser, piano, thumbjam, glockenspiel, backing vocals, producer
  • Head - producer


Chart (2018) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[6] 20
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[7] 12
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[8] 43
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[9] 34
French Albums (SNEP)[10] 59
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[11] 27
Irish Albums (IRMA)[12] 99
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[13] 32
Scottish Albums (OCC)[14] 23
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[15] 85
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 14
UK Albums (OCC)[17] 44


  1. ^ Christgau, Robert (11 January 2019). "Robert Christgau on The Delines' Depth and Kacey Musgraves's Quiet Sell". Vice. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  2. ^ "De 'Negative Capability' van Marianne Faithfull". daMusic. 23 December 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  3. ^ "'I'm not afraid to return to Bataclan', says Marianne Faithfull". Malay Mail. 12 October 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Negative Capability by Marianne Faithfull". Marianne Faithfull. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Negative Capability by Marianne Faithfull on Apple Music". iTunes. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  6. ^ " – Marianne Faithfull – Negative Capability" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  7. ^ " – Marianne Faithfull – Negative Capability" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  8. ^ " – Marianne Faithfull – Negative Capability" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  9. ^ " – Marianne Faithfull – Negative Capability" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  10. ^ " – Marianne Faithfull – Negative Capability". Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  11. ^ " – Marianne Faithfull – Negative Capability" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Irish Albums Chart: 9 November 2018". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  13. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 45, 2018". VG-lista. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Albumes: Semana 45". Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  16. ^ " – Marianne Faithfull – Negative Capability". Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 November 2018.

External links[edit]