SCOTT - Scott WalkerYEAR: 1967
TRACK LISTING: Mathilde, Montague Terrace (In Blue), Angelica, The Lady Came From Baltimore, When Joanna Loved Me, My Death, The Big Hurt, Such A Small Love, You're Gonna Hear From Me, Through A Long and Sleepless Night, Always Coming Back To You, Amsterdam
IMPRESSIONS: After (actually still during) the phenomenal success of the Walker Brothers, Scott Walker continued that success with his legendary first four solo albums of which this is the first. Far from the teen idol bluesy heartthrob releases of the "Brothers", Scott's solo material is something like an absinthe-drinking Tom Jones singing the theme from "VALLEY OF THE DOLLS"! It has been labelled "baroque pop" and I suppose that's as good a name as any to describe the sometimes gothic but always moody and atmospheric songs Scott placed on his first solo album. Nearly all handpicked covers with a smattering of original compositions like raindrops on a London street, SCOTT is certainly an album to spin on grey days or deep, dark nights of the soul. Walker's fondness for Jacques Brel emerges on the opening track which comes off like a demented dark carnival featuring strings occasionally evoking Bernard Herrmann's PSYCHO stings and the sudden appearance of mariachi-type brass; all provided by the wonderful Wally Stott's arrangements and conducting. The next song is an operatic and dramatic original Scott Walker composition which has all the bleakness of a hard-boiled detective novel without the crime; and one can certainly spot the huge influence Scott's vocals would have on David Bowie several years later! Scott follows that with song by Brill Building popmeisters Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann which could've (and may even have been) recorded by the Monkees; however Scott Walker's soaring vocals and Reg Guest's rainy day arrangements transform the song into the singer's very own. The album continues in this vein throughout it's entire (too brief) running time leaving the listener gasping for more. Thankfully for us, we can immediately pop on SCOTT 2! But that's a (sordid) tale for another (rainy) day. . .
GUEST ARTISTS: Wally Stott (arranger, conductor), Reg Guest (arranger, conductor), Peter Knight (arranger, conductor)
FACT SHEET: SCOTT is Scott Walker's first album. It was released only six months after the Walker Brothers' IMAGES album and reached #3 on the UK album charts remaining there for 17 weeks. "Mathilde" was written by Jacques Brel and
Gérard Jouannest and translated into English by Mort Shuman. "Montague Terrace (In Blue)", "Such A Small Love" and "Always Coming Back To You" were written by Noel Scott Engel (aka Scott Walker). Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann wrote "Angelica". Tim Hardin wrote "The Lady Came From Baltimore". Robert Wells and Jack Segal wrote the standard "When Joanna Loved Me". Jacques Brel wrote "My Death" and "Amsterdam" both translated into English by Mort Shuman. "The Big Hurt" was written by Wayne Shanklin and originally recorded by Toni Fisher. Andre Previn and Dory Previn wrote "You're Gonna Hear From Me". "Through a Long and Sleepless Night" was written by Mack Gordon and Alfred Newman.