Lyric of the Week: Marianne Faithfull – Rich Kid Blues

Lyric of the Week - Regular (18)

Lyric: Always play to win, always seem to lose, that’s why I think I got a rich kid’s blues

Song: Marianne Faithfull – “Rich Kid Blues”

Album: Rich Kid Blues (1985)

Background: For years London’s music scene longed for a Marianne Faithfull record from The Rolling Stones era. Faithfull had a long history with The Stones; she even once carried Mick Jagger’s child. In 1968, Faithfull and Mick Jagger produced a studio session, from which emerged the “Something Better/Sister Morphine” single. This was Faithfull’s first shot at climbing the rungs of the creative ladder and many found it strange that she did not pursue releasing an album following the track. That long-sought after record did in fact exist, but it was not until 1985 that its release came to fruition.

Faithfull’s Rich Kid Blues (1985), also known as “The Masque Sessions,” was originally recorded in 1971. At the time, Faithfull was battling heroin addiction and often found herself living in the streets or abandoned homes throughout London. Songwriter and producer Mike Leander, who had previously worked with Faithfull at Decca Records in the 1960s, heard of her recent struggles and sought her out to create the record. Given her circumstances, it is not hard to envision the loneliness that haunts Rich Kid Blues. The title track enters with faint, nearly inaudible guitar strumming as a near-defeated Faithfull sings about her tormented state. The record offers something meaningful below the surface; it all bares down to Faithfull staring her reflection dead in the eye for every word.

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