Marianne's early background would appear to have made her an unlikely candidate for pop stardom. Her father was a senior British army officer and her mother had been brought up as a member of the Hungarian aristocracy. Marianne's education had been provided at St. Joseph's- a girl's convent school in Reading, Berkshire and her musical taste ran along strictly classical lines.
Life changed for Marianne when she made a chance acquaintance- at a party- with Andrew Loog Oldham, who at that time had only recently helped steer the Rolling Stones to great fame as their manager. Through this she soon found herself within the circle of people who regularly partied with the Rolling Stones and other pop idols of the time. Swept along by the excitement of it all, she soon found herself acting out the clichè that is 'sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll'.
This was a time when Oldham was encouraging Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to extend their talents to songwriting. Although the pair were no Lennon and McCartney, they were able to produce some passable material- one of the earliest of which was "As Tears Go By". This song would not have been good material for the 'Stones but, with persuasion from Oldham, the song proved the ideal vehicle to launch Marianne into a musical career.
Although Marianne did not have a strong or rich sounding voice, her gentle style was well suited to the carefully selected material that she was called upon to record. Her first hit was followed by a failed attempt at Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind". The hits flowed again with Jackie De Shannon's "Come And Stay By Me"- her biggest success- and John D. Loudermilk's "This Little Bird".
It is now difficult to be certain of the facts about her life with Mick and Keith at this time. Much of the publicity of the time was exaggerated and encouraged by Oldham who doubtless saw it as beneficial to the Stones' image. Much of what really went on remains either hidden or difficult to separate from the apochryphal. In any event, either despite- or because of- her success as a performer, Marianne became deeply involved with drug abuse. The end of the decade saw her life at the beginning of a downward slide. The 1970s were a generally bad time for her and it was surprising that she made such a strong recovery by the beginning of the 1980s.
The turning point perhaps came with her only UK chart hit of the 1970s- "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan". This disc achieved only a lowly #48 in November 1979, but it shows how much she had moved on musically despite the despair of the previous few years. She has subsequently shown herself to be a mature, original and compelling folk singer.
|As Tears Go By/ Greensleeves
|Blowin' In The Wind/ The House Of The Rising Sun
|Come And Stay With Me/ What Have I Done Wrong
|This Little Bird/ Morning Sun
|Summer Nights/ The Sha La La Song
|Yesterday/ Oh Look Around You
|Tomorrow's Calling/ That's Right Baby
|Counting/ I'd Like To Dial Your Number
|Is This What I Get For Loving You/ Tomorrow's Calling
|"Go Away From My World"
|Go Away From My World/The Most Of What Is Least/Et Maintenant/The Sha La La Song
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