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A remarkable feminist history and biography that features fragments from the five-decade career of an iconic artist.
‘Through this deeply personal take, the real significance of Faithfull as an irrepressible female icon shines through.’
‘Excellent . . . Pearson deserves the widest possible audience.’
First as a doe-eyed ingénue with ‘As Tears Go By’, then as a gravel-voiced phoenix rising from the ashes of the 1960s with a landmark punk album, Broken English, and finally as a genre-less icon, Marianne Faithfull carved her name into the history of rock ’n’ roll to chart a career spanning five decades and multiple detours.
Why, then, was Faithfull absent from the male-dominated history of the British Invasion?
Putting memoir on equal footing with biographical accounts, historian Tanya Pearson writes about Faithfull as an avid fan, recovered addict and queer musician at a crossroads. Whether exploring Faithfull’s rise to celebrity, her drug addiction and fall from grace as a spurned ‘muse’ or her reinvention as a sober, soulful chanteuse subverting all expectations for an ageing woman in music, Pearson reaffirms the deep connection between creator and listener in this remarkable feminist history of the iconic artist.
‘Witty, passioante, and provactive. Finally, a feminist appreciation for Marianne Faithfull.’
VIVIEN GOLDMAN, author of Revenge of the She-Punks: A Feminist Music History from Poly Styrene to Pussy Riot
‘With vulnerability and a smart sense of humor, Tanya Pearson exposes the profoundly misogynistic music industry that abused Marianne Faithfull . . . heroic and hiliarious.’
JD SAMSON, of LeTigre and MEN
MUSIC MATTERS: SHORT BOOKS ABOUT THE ARTISTS WE LOVE
— Why Solange Matters by Stephanie Phillips
— Why Marianne Faithfull Matters by Tanya Pearson
— Why Karen Carpenter Matters by Karen Tongson
With vulnerability and a smart sense of humor, Tanya Pearson exposes the profoundly misogynistic music industry that abused Marianne Faithfull, and reveals how addiction recovery can lead you back to your song. This is a heroic and hilarious text that creates space for middle-aged women musicians doing our best work.
Witty, passionate, and provocative. Finally, a feminist appreciation for Marianne Faithfull’s unique career.
Pearson writes unapologetically . . . it's refreshing, but not light-hearted . . . Through this deeply personal take, the real significance of Faithfull as an irrepressible female icon shines through.
Fans of Faithfull will find so much to love in this book, and it will surely convince those who don't know anything about her beyond the label of 'Jagger's pathetic, junkie ex-girlfriend' that Faithfull's enormous body of work is worth a proper listen. But the true joy of Why Marianne Faithfull Matters has relatively little to do with its specific subject and everything to do with the voice of its author. Pearson deserves the widest possible audience and her mission to make rock music more inclusive deserves expansive, expensive support. She is analytically lean and self-aware where most rock critics are bloated and self-indulgent. She is organically super funny where most rock critics are cocky showboats.
Tanya Pearson is a public historian and director of the Women of Rock Oral History Project, a collection of digital interviews and written transcripts documenting the lives and careers of women-identified rock musicians. Her work has appeared in Bust Magazine, Memoir Mixtapes, and Oral History Journal.Read More
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