“House of the Rising Sun” – Marianne Faithfull

One of the most underrated singers of the rock era is Marianne Faithfull. Sure, she got lots of props in the late 1970s when her voice, scratchy and scary from years of hard living put the fear of God into many (she came off liked THE last woman you’d ever want to pick up in a bar). But her earlier career … pre-hard living … doesn’t get nearly enough respect. As much as I love Faithfull with that late 1970s and beyond whiskey and cigarettes-voice, her earlier stuff is damn good. The fact that critics don’t have much use for it is why I’ve given up on rock critics. They can lead you to some good stuff you wouldn’t otherwise hear of, but ultimately, you need to trust your own ears and heart. While I prefer the Animals’ more famous cover, Faithfull’s version of “House of the Rising Sun” is particularly good.

For some perspective, I’ve posted Faithfull’s late 1990s cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Don’t Forget Me.” I love this cover, but it’s VERY different in style and tone to her material more than 30 years prior.

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