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Welcome to Scott land
You’d think that a box-set collecting together Scott Walker’s first five solo albums on vinyl and CD for the first time would be cause for celebration. It is.
The Walker Brothers hit the number one slot in the UK back in the 60s with classic songs such as “Make It Easy On Yourself” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” but at the height of their success Scott Walker decided to go it alone and subsequently bowled a series of googlies with the albums “Scott”, “Scott 2”, “Scott 3”, “Scott 4” and “Til The Band Comes In”, which he released between 1967-1970. His first album is a curious mixture of MOR covers, his own compositions and Jacques Brel songs; and it was the Brel tracks which provided a clue to the direction he was headed, the Belgian singer/songwriter’s literate and theatrical songs proving a perfect fit for his seductive vocals. The subsequent albums saw him pushing further in this dramatic direction (picking up a BBC ban on the way for his swaggering cover of Brel’s “Jackie” with its reference to “opium dens, authentic queers and phoney virgins”) with “Scott 4” (filled entirely with his own stuff) now recognised as a classic. “Til The Band In” slipped under the radar somewhat, but has underwent something of a reappraisal of late and, indeed, each new generation continues to “discover” these seminal releases and take inspiration from them. A great Scott? Undoubtedly.
Scott: The Collection 1967-1970 has just been released by UMC/Mercury