Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A moving aria for a vanishing style of mind

Play it: Scott Walker The Drift

This album is freaking me out right now. I know today is the calendar's number of the beast and all, but I don't think numerology has anything to do with the horror that Scott Walker's The Drift is creating aurally around me (fittingly released on 4AD records.) Since it's release in the UK last month, it's had quite the amount of praise heaped upon it, and I guarantee you won't hear another album like it.

Scott Walker got his start as a teen idol discovered by Eddie Fisher in the early 60's. He formed The Walker Brothers and had a couple hits, including the Bacharach/David penned tune "Make It Easy On Yourself." Scott broke out on his own and moved into a more folk sound, becoming a star in the UK, even having his own show in 1969 called simply "Scott." Success found Walker wanting to stretch his sound more, and his album Scott 4 (1969) is considered his best from that period - but it also found him out of the UK top 10 for the first time. It was the first album of all original compositions, and it also was originally released under his birth name of Noel Scott Engel. Then Walker started moving in a more abstract direction with every release, also growing more and more recluse. Since 1974, he's released one album a decade, and his last two (aforementioned The Drift, and Tilt [1995]) have garnered rave reviews, even if they haven't sold well.

There's also a documentary that's been made called Scott Walker: 30 Century Man which features interviews with David Bowie, Radiohead, Brian Eno, Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz,) Alison Goldfrapp, Sting, Richard Hawley, Johnny Mar and many more.

Walker's only achieved a minor cult status here in his home country, and this album and film will probably do nothing to change that, but here's hoping it might open the door to get his back catalogue some digital distribution.

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Shawn Anderson said...

Scott Walker The Drift

1. Cossacks Are
2. Clara
3. Jesse
4. Jolson And Jones
5. Cue
6. Audience
7. Buzzers
8. Psoriatic
9. The Escape
10. A Lover Loves

tiny_love said...

i am also loving this cd right now. finally someone else who gets it.

yeah! and great blog by the way,

Shawn Anderson said...

thanks... I'm glad someone else is in this Scott Walker labrynth.

It can feel pretty dark and lonely, to say the least ;)