In 1964, Marianne Faithfull debuted her fluttery voice on the single ‘As Tears Go By,' one of the first original songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
Almost half a century and a dozen public romances later, Faithfull's just released her 23rd solo album, cleverly titled Horses and High Heels. We met up with the British singer at the Standard Hotel in New York to discuss the joys of being dressed by Chanel, joining Facebook, and, yes, her new album.
Horses and High Heels is such a great title for the album.
It's nice, isn't it? Do you know who really loves it? Manolo Blahnik. He really loves the album, just because of the title.
This has got to be something like your 19th solo album?
It's my 23rd. I didn't know I'd been working so hard... You could knock me down with a feather. It just felt really natural, and to me this record just came next. Well, I wanted to make a really lovely pop record... nothing arty about it. And that's what I did.
The albums a mix of cover songs and originals. How do you go about picking songs to cover?
I love to somehow turn the song around, and make it mean something else. The thing about cover songs is I don't have to do much to make it different… I just have to be myself. I like to play with time a lot. I'm the right age for that now. Like with “Gee Baby,” I'm pretending to be much younger than I am. Ha, I'm acting!
Do you see yourself as an icon?
No, of course not. I see myself as a working artist. An icon is an insult really. It's something they call you when they don't know what to do with you.
But come on, you are definitely a fashion icon. I'm going to argue that one.
(Laughs) Okay, well I don't mind that. But I never thought I was well dressed when I was young. I'm not sure about my own taste, but people like it. I'm much better dressed now. Well, that's because I have access to Chanel.
How long have you been living in Paris?
Eight years. It's lovely there, isn't it? It's like a dream come true. I have the best manicurist there.
Is it true that you're on Facebook?
I'm on Facebook now and really don't understand it. I have a public Facebook, but then I have my own private one. I have an alias for it, so I can keep my anonymity. I'm not going to go any further though. I'm not going to do twitter. But I like Facebook. It can be a lonely life, and it's quite nice to chat with friends.
Are there any musicians you'd love to collaborate with?
No, I've worked with everyone I've wanted to.
That's an amazing thing to say!
I know. I can't help it. It's true!