10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

1995’s A Secret Life begins with a quote from Dante’s Divina Commedia for the album’s “Prologue” and its dark, historical text serves as a warning that this is to be one heavy trip. (The album ends with an “Epilogue” from Shakespeare’s The Tempest). Marianne Faithfull hadn’t recorded an album of new material since 1983’s A Child’s Adventure and her last studio album, 1987’s masterful collection of blues, torch and pop songs, the Hal Willner-produced Strange Weather, left Faithfull stylistically open to many possibilities. She decided to team up with composer and producer Angelo Badalamenti, whose ominous work on David Lynch’s Twin Peaks made him an intriguing and worthy collaborator. Together, the two score the perfect soundtrack to a non-existent film noir, with slow, sparse but gorgeously orchestrated settings. Reminiscent in spots of Nico’s electronic work (Camera Obscura) with its cold, creepy, futuristic pulses (“Flaming September”) and often deliciously languid (“Sleep,” “Love in the Afternoon”), A Secret Life stands as one of Faithfull’s most underrated works.

EDITORS’ NOTES

1995’s A Secret Life begins with a quote from Dante’s Divina Commedia for the album’s “Prologue” and its dark, historical text serves as a warning that this is to be one heavy trip. (The album ends with an “Epilogue” from Shakespeare’s The Tempest). Marianne Faithfull hadn’t recorded an album of new material since 1983’s A Child’s Adventure and her last studio album, 1987’s masterful collection of blues, torch and pop songs, the Hal Willner-produced Strange Weather, left Faithfull stylistically open to many possibilities. She decided to team up with composer and producer Angelo Badalamenti, whose ominous work on David Lynch’s Twin Peaks made him an intriguing and worthy collaborator. Together, the two score the perfect soundtrack to a non-existent film noir, with slow, sparse but gorgeously orchestrated settings. Reminiscent in spots of Nico’s electronic work (Camera Obscura) with its cold, creepy, futuristic pulses (“Flaming September”) and often deliciously languid (“Sleep,” “Love in the Afternoon”), A Secret Life stands as one of Faithfull’s most underrated works.

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