SCOTT WALKER

SCOTT WALKER – “‘TIL THE BAND COMES IN”/”THE MOVIEGOER (1970/1972)

Thankfully, dosage Scott Walker is currently enjoying a mini-comeback in the public eye, thanks to both the release of his latest album last year, “The Drift” (on 4AD), and the new documentary “Scott Walker: 30 Century Man”, which I’m stoked to be able to see around next week sometime, thanks to the world of bit torrents.

Much has been made of Walker’s first four solo albums (succinctly titled “1″, “2″, “3″ and “4″,) but my favorite album of his is “‘Til The Band Comes In” (1970), the first album of Scott’s that wasn’t entirely covers, Jacques Brel or otherwise. Walker’s ear for original content led to the creation of an album that is unrepentantly dark, yet full of hope at the same time. The record’s opening moments are given to a Kafkaesque sound effects suite, followed by possibly the most majestic Walker tune ever recorded, “Little Things (That Keep Us Together)”, a quick ode to all the crap in one’s life that can push you to the brink of insanity, but still make life worth living in the face of it. Prescient mentions of exploding jumbo jets and “while the war’s going on” aside, the song soars high with a tripled main vocal line and a triumphant Spanish feel. Combine that with the funky, distant rendition of “Stormy”, and you’d have a mini-classic, but the album keeps giving and giving until it has no more left to give, especially when it comes to the title track, with lyrics way too gonzo for pretty much any crooner to utter, such as “put my sub-human sound to the ground.” Apparently the album completely tanked upon its original release, as it proved too dour for even that bleakest of periods in our popular culture, the early ’70s.

I’ve also included here a download of another Walker ’70s nugget, “The Moviegoer”, which is just covers of movie theme songs. It’s nowhere near as good as “‘Til The Band Comes In”, but it’s okay nonetheless.

Scott Walker – “‘Til The Band Comes In” (ZIP file)
Scott Walker – “The Moviegoer” (ZIP file)

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73 Responses to SCOTT WALKER

  1. Jude says:

    Nice to see The Scott getting the due credit he rightly deserves. It’s a fucking shame when that Jens Lekman bollocks gets any credit for being “original” when, in truth, he’s merely continuing his on-going campaign of unapologetically ripping off of Walker’s vocal style.

  2. Jim Donato says:

    I hear Scott Walker influence everywhere! I’ve never heard of Jens Lekman but Scott is unique in that he was an influence on artists who I consider titans and meta influences: Bowie, Ferry. When baritone croon is mated with art, look no further than Scott Walker.

  3. Geoff says:

    thanks for the post! These are hard to track down.
    Note that Scott Walker wrote original songs for Scott 1-4 (with 4 being all his songs) under his real name, Scott Engel.
    30th Century Man is well worthwhile.

  4. Paul says:

    Thanks for the great little piece on Scott; I too can’t wait to view Scott slapping on a side o’ beef in “30th Century Man”. Quick correction: “Scott 4″ was the first of his LPs to feature all originally-penned compositions.

    My favorite Scott record alternates with some frequency, but today it’s “Climate of Hunter”; this is when he truly shoved off into the weird.

  5. Nathan says:

    holy crap, you used to be postpunkjunk. it took me a minute. I’m so very glad I found you again right now.

  6. Sergej says:

    Amazing blog. I’m glad to find you. Thank you for the MUSIC.

  7. Gumby says:

    Hello,

    It’s funny that although I’m a Walker Brothers fan, I’ve never taken the time to listen to Scott’s solo albums. A little odd perhaps to start with these, but I’ll try googling for other albums or scrounge local libraries. Thanks for these hard-to-get ones, can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.

    Greetings,
    Jan

  8. Simon says:

    Great post! Thanks a zillion for posting both these albums!

  9. Codtamit says:

    Many Walker fans casually dismiss “Til The Band Comes In” because of the Side 2 covers, whining that Scott sold out by not writing all the songs himself. But the singing on these covers is as flawless as it gets. He makes the pop hit “Stormy” funking sexy and “What Are You Doing” is an exquisite vocal. I would place the singing right behind Scott 3.

  10. Matt Potter says:

    Mate! Thanks so much for a) the fresh perspective on these albums – and their place in the canon; and b) posting them up. WTBCI is great – and a strange record, almost Scott deciding to go on all-out unself-uncensored damn-the-torpedoes-and-attack mode. Amazing stuff… and it didn’t happen again until his next crossroads, side 1 of the Nite Flights record in 78 or so. Nice one. Respect!

  11. Clinker says:

    Thanks. You’ve made my day! Such a hard album to find (Til the …).