5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To is a collection of our newest favorite songs. Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.
Listen to the whole segment below.
Brittany Howard picks “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” by Marianne Faithful
Our guest today is Brittany Howard. Brittany Howard is the lead singer of Alabama Shakes. This year she is breaking out on her own and releasing her own solo album, “Jaime.” She will also be playing at the Pabst Theater here in Milwaukee on Sept. 18. My guest today is Brittany Howard.
Justin Barney: Hey Brittany.
Brittany Howard: Hey Justin, how you doing?
Justin Barney: Good good. We are looking forward to your performance. Okay the interview is one question, Brittany, what is the last song you couldn’t stop listening to?
Brittany Howard: The last song I couldn’t stop listening to is “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” by Marianne Faithful.
Justin Barney: I love Marianne Faithful. Could you tell us what you love about Marianne Faithful?
Brittany Howard: From a personality analysis, I find it interesting that she was so posh and well educated and then turned into, what was it, a 15 year heroin addict. And then her voice completely changed. Her voice went from this beautiful, lifted, songbird voice to this gravely woman who has been through it. I really think that that is cool.
Her music is very honest and her voice is somehow made more beautiful by her life experience.
Justin Barney: I so agree. She released that album two or three years ago and you can hear the age in her voice. I think that’s the most beautiful part about that record.
Brittany Howard: I agree. My favorite record of hers is that “Broken English” record because I don’t know if there was another woman doing what she was doing.
Also, her being so young in the music industry and being with someone like Mick Jagger, who was definitely in the light. Then her being so in the dark. And her being so quiet and feeling powerless. To going through her own transformation and becoming empowered by all that heartbreak and experience. And you can hear that in her voice. We can both agree her voice is something beautiful even though it’s not classically…beautiful.
Justin Barney: So why this song?
Brittany Howard: Yeah, the song is “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” and it was actually written by Shel Silverstein. It’s the way she delivers it. And the way she put it to music.
It’s about the dangers of being a housewife. How dangerous it is to lose yourself. To be in this perfect little suburban world. And the sadness of losing your dreams.
It’s the way Shel Silverstein wrote it and the way Marianne Faithful performs it which really takes you into a place. It’s really imaginative.