Strange Weather (Marianne Faithfull album)

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Strange Weather
Strange Weather (Marianne Faithfull album).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1987
StudioA&R Recording Studios, New York City; Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, NY; Record Plant Studios, New York City
GenreBlues, dark cabaret, rock
ProducerHal Willner
Marianne Faithfull chronology
Rich Kid Blues
Strange Weather
Blazing Away
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[2]
The Village VoiceA−[3]

Strange Weather is a 1987 studio album by British singer Marianne Faithfull.

This album is the first complete studio work recorded by Marianne Faithfull after recovering from a 17-year addiction to heroin in 1986. The album's 3 predecessors on Island Records were all recorded while Faithfull confronted various personal struggles and contained a majority of lyrics and some music penned by Faithfull herself. In contrast, Strange Weather is a striking mix of rock, blues and dark cabaret, and though none of the songs were written by Faithfull all are tied together by the spare and nuanced production of Hal Willner along with a notable group of contributing musicians. The title track has since become a Faithfull concert staple and has appeared live in three additional recordings.


In 1985 Faithfull contributed a single track, "Ballad of the Soldier's Wife", to Lost In The Stars, a tribute to the music of Kurt Weill by various contemporary artists. In response to the success of the project and to favourable reviews for Faithfull's contribution, producer Hal Willner suggested the potential of an expanded project of classic compositions, but, according to Willner in Strange Weather's liner notes, he believed it was "one of those projects which usually never comes to fruition."

Just prior to her recovery, Faithfull began work on a new album of rock songs, but Island Records scrapped the project[4] though five of the songs would later appear on the 1990s releases Blazing Away and A Perfect Stranger: The Island Anthology. Instead, Willner re-entered the picture and the concept of the album of classic standards was expanded to include not only material contemporary to Weill's Weimar Republic era but a more recent song by Bob Dylan, two early folk-era spirituals, traditional piano blues with accompaniment by Dr. John (credited as Mac Rebennack), and all new material was written specifically for the project. The album’s title track was written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, and "Hello Stranger" was written by Rebennack and Doc Pomus. Faithfull also re-recorded her 1964 hit, "As Tears Go By," in a markedly different arrangement using a slower time signature, and sung a full octave lower than the original.

Strange Weather failed to make it to the US Album charts (it did chart in both the UK and Australia), and never charted its only single "As Tears Go By".

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Stranger Intro" (Bill Frisell) – 0:31
  2. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (Al Dubin, Harry Warren) – 3:04
  3. "I Ain't Goin' Down To The Well No More" (Huddie Ledbetter, Alan Lomax, John Lomax) – 1:07
  4. "Yesterdays" (Otto Harbach, Jerome Kern) – 5:20
  5. "Sign of Judgement" (Kid Prince Moore) – 2:54
  6. "Strange Weather" (Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan) – 4:05
  7. "Love, Life and Money" (Julius Dixon, Henry Glover) – 4:40
  8. "I'll Keep It With Mine" (Bob Dylan) – 4:13
  9. "Hello Stranger" (Doc Pomus, Dr. John credited as Mac Rebennack) – 2:30
  10. "Penthouse Serenade" (Will Jason, Val Burton) – 2:34
  11. "As Tears Go By" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Andrew Loog Oldham) – 3:42
  12. "A Stranger On Earth" (Sid Feller, Rick Ward) – 3:56


Technical personnel[edit]