Marianne Faithfull "Broken English" Single (1979)
Marianne Faithfull "Broken English" Single (1979)
Marianne Faithfull "Broken English" Single (1979)
Island Records

Marianne Faithfull "Broken English" Single (1979)

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Details: Used 7" single of Marianne Faithfull signing "Broken English" b/w "What's The Hurry," from her seventh studio album "Broken English." This is the French pressing of the single (no other variants in this country) with blue metallic silver injection labels. Pretty sweet, intense track. 

Description: "Broken English" is a song recorded by English singer Marianne Faithfull for her seventh studio album Broken English (1979). It was released as the second single from the album on 25 January 1980 by Island Records. Written by Faithfull, Barry Reynolds, Joe Mavety, Steve York, and Terry Stannard, the song's lyrical theme revolves around terrorism. The inspiration behind the song was Ulrike Meinhof, a co-founder of the terrorist group Baader-Meinhof Gang. Faithfull allegedly got the idea for the song after watching a documentary about the group and was intrigued by its subtitle "broken English... spoken English".

Musically, "Broken English" is a mid-tempo rock song with a strong influence of new wave music. It is built around a simple rhythm guitar beat with synthesizer sound effects. It shows Faithfull's vocals cracked and lower in pitch compared to her earlier work as a result of severe laryngitis coupled with heavy smoking and drug abuse during the 1970s. "Broken English" received positive reviews from music critics who praised Faithfull's new musical direction as well as the political theme of the song. Despite the positive reception, it failed to chart in both the United Kingdom and the United States. However, it managed to peak inside the top forty in other countries, such as Germany, New Zealand, and Sweden.

No accompanying music video was filmed for "Broken English", although it was used along with the songs "Witches' Song" and "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" in a promotional short film for the album directed by Derek Jarman. Faithfull performed the song on Saturday Night Live in February 1980. During the infamous performance, her voice cracked and she seemingly strained to even vocalize at times. The song was featured in the film The Outsider (1980) and was covered by a number of artists, such as the English band SunscreemThe Mars Volta, and Japanese group Schaft."

Grade: VG (Cover) / NM (Record)


A1. Broken English


B1. What's The Hurry