From way back in 1969, Scott 4 is a classic of intense and majestic songcraft; the first set of entirely Walker penned songs combining sophisticated, easy-listening pop with lyrical complexity touching on the darkest of subject matter. Seen as a something of a commercial flop at the time of its release compared to his four previous albums, Scott Walker connoiseurs now consider this to be amongst his best work.
Vinyl LP £25.02 ARHSLP8
Reissue LP on Mercury. Mastered and cut to vinyl using the half-speed process, at Abbey Road Studios.
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Vinyl LP £17.99 3728852
Reissue LP on Universal.
9/10 Penrith Steve 20th October 2014
I’ve often dismissed Scott Walker as pretentious or as just plain taking the piss (Tilt, Bish Bosh) and aloof. But then there’s this guy who is serious about what he does, doesn’t like the limelight and musically does what he wants, so good on him. I don’t want to put him down because I know many people who have a genuine passion for his music. I am far from his biggest fan but I adore “Scott 4”. “The World’s Strongest Man” is the album’s first great track. “The Old Man’s Back Again” and “Get Behind Me” are great too.
The problem I have with singers is that they all too often over-sing, losing track of the all important melody through their ‘interpretation’, and that, I think, is true of Scott Walker. But here, he is understated, doing what is necessary especially on “Duchess” which is mind-blowingly sublime, a perfect song. I think this is head and shoulders above his other albums. Clocking in at around 30 minutes, it is supreme quality and not quantity that’s on offer here.
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