Scott Walker “Scott 4”

Scott 4

Scott Walker sure has an interesting career going. Starting as a teen pop idol in the early sixties, moving to session work on electric bass with Jack Nitzsche, Scott later formed the fabulous Walker Brothers (neither of which were Walkers, or brothers for that matter), broke away to a solo career that is the focus of this review, and in recent years has been recording acclaimed experimental music, his The Drift making Pitchfok Media’s top 10 albums of 2006.

Scott Walker’s albums from 1967 to 1969, Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3, and Scott 4 are all great and consistently satisfying records. Walker is kind of a psychedelic crooner, a deep tenored and dramatic singer backed with a full orchestra and groovy rock combo. His tunes almost sound kitschy, but should you choose to pay attention, you’ll find the words and images that no ordinary voice-man would dream to play with. It’s clear why David Bowie was so inspired by Scott; reading along with the lyric sheet is a mind wrenching exercise.

But I have to recommend treating this album as a series of poems. It’s obvious that the lyrics came before, and are tantamount to, the melodies and accompaniment. But that’s not to say that you won’t be singing along to Get Behind Me or any other great melodies on this record. On all of Scott’s earlier solo albums, Jacques Brel is a prominent songwriter, but on 4, Scott takes complete control.

There’s a new box set out but I think it would be cooler if you bought each separately and chronologically. Let us know when you get to 4.

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“The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated To The Neo Stalinist Regime)”

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  • Harry

    Man, I LOVE scott walker…well, I should say I love OLD scott walker. My first listen was via Jackie, which lead to Jacques Brel and Gainsbourg and all of those others, all in search for something that could TOUCH him in terms of style and ability. I’m still searching, but at least there’s a lot of material out there to enjoy.

    ps- have you heard bowie’s version of Amsterdam? Its pretty fucking amazing

    pps- have you ever come across any Scott Walker Vinyl in the wild? I’ve only ever seen his stuff on…well, and a Walker Bros record for like 60 bucks in NYC.

  • Brendan

    I haven’t found any Scott stuff out there yet, I bet it would look great on the big sleeve! Man I bet it would sound great too… my new mission is to get some Scotty Vinyl.. thanks Harry!

  • Len Liechti

    Scott Walker is IMHO one of the three greatest male vocalists in popular music history. The other two are Frank Sinatra and Roy Orbison (plus honourable mentions for Gram Parsons and Isaac Hayes). Scott’s voice can make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Scott and Jacques Brel is a marriage made in heaven. And I admire him for his refusal to compromise on his material from Climate Of Hunter onwards, after realising that his 1970s MOR stuff was not a good direction to travel.

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