Re-Edit it in Broken English

"Broken English", the groundbreaking comeback album by broken voiced Marianne Faithfull would probably still cause some fuzz and scandal if it was released today. In the english speaking world "Why d´ya do it" was quite the upsetter with its obscene lyrics, while the Germans stumbled over the reported subject of the title track: dead terrorist Ulrike Meinhof!

The shock, which would be seen as utterly calculated today, was sugarcoated in the bitter-sweet interpretation of "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan". A hauntigly arpeggiated synhtie motive stutters over an insecure beat and merges with Marianne´s broken voice that sounds almost unreal in its fragility.
Although it sounds like the Kraftwerk robots suffering from severe depression after being subjected to too many Fassbinder films, "Lucy Jordan" became a worldwide hit and the album went platinum.

Later Faithfull would do much less original things, such as singing the umpteenth interpretations of Brecht/Weill songs, working with Jarvis Cocker and playing God in "Ab Fab".

Somehow "Island Records" hat a knack for producing monumental records for female artists which would stand the test of time, despite a mainstream new-wave sound. (See Grace Jones´ "Nightclubbing" two years later).

Actually, one half of "Broken English" is fairly conventional 70s rock with a few synths thrown in. However, the other half delivers a sound that takes on Suicide and anticipates Joy Division with its earth-shattering sequencers, and hollow post-disco grooves.
Her cover of Lennon´s "Working Class Hero" sounds like a top-ten hit straight out of "1984" and "Witches´ Song" is pure folk-tronica.

After 29 years, "Lucy Jordan" has become a standard, but "Broken English" still sounds amazing and fresh with its relentless dub-like bassline. No cover version ever bettered it (Winston Tong came close) and the new (inofficial?) re-edit by Baron von Luxxury can only tighten it up with some razer-sharp edits.

Broken English: Baron von Luxxury slow touch remix

Speaking of re-edits: Somehow this relic of the pre-digital era enjoys a shadow existence next to the remix. Probably still infatuated with old Razormaid-mixes, splice-cuts and self-made pause-button mixes, these re-edits are mainly interested in keeping the basic elements of a song intact. Re-edits are toying around with the full song instead of extracting elements from a multi-track.

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