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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever

 
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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 5/11/2011 4:31:45 PM   
MovieAddict247


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Clara is great.

I haven't heard The Big Sleep before - what a beautiful song.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

I've always been drawn to extremes in voices (in the best vocalists polls, my top ones were Scott and Kate Bush)



Imagine that duet. That would be amazing.


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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 5/11/2011 4:48:46 PM   
Piles


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I didn't expect to see The Big Sleep here but it's a really good song. Clara is obviously magnificent.

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Post #: 62
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 5/11/2011 5:26:45 PM   
rawlinson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

I didn't expect to see The Big Sleep here but it's a really good song. Clara is obviously magnificent.


Pretty much this.

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Post #: 63
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 6/11/2011 3:18:07 PM   
Rhubarb


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MovieAddict247

Clara is great.

I haven't heard The Big Sleep before - what a beautiful song.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

I've always been drawn to extremes in voices (in the best vocalists polls, my top ones were Scott and Kate Bush)



Imagine that duet. That would be amazing.




I honestly can't reccomend B4L highly enough, especially Two Suns. Her Daniel is my most played song ever on Last.fm.

And yeah KB and SW on the same record would probably cause the universe to implode or something.

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Post #: 64
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 6/11/2011 3:59:06 PM   
demoncleaner


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Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
I don't venture into Audiophile much...it's for the young hipsters...well, people more hip than I...so I've completely neglected this thread but the list is excellent, well done sir.

Scott was my main obsession about 3 years ago when I first discovered him.  Couldn't understand for a second why you guys were mentioning songs I hadn't heard...then I realised it's all new stuff.  I'm not against it, just fearful of it I suppose.  For me Walker and The Walker Brothers is about aural opulence (with great sensitivity as well naturally) I'm fearful of the minimalism and alienating nature of the contemporary output.  It's all about the big Wally Stott conducted/composed? orchestral pieces.  This the reason that Rhubarb and I may have disputed the greatness of Scott 4 elsewhere.  (Scott 4 is obviously great, just not my favourite of the 4 albums).  I'd love him to allow the go ahead to release all the intervening self-admitted tatty albums he did in between his two creatively free periods.  You get glimpses of these releases on a compilation I have (the primer I got before the four solo albums and the four Walker Brothers albums), tatty fun rips like The Rope and The Colt, and one song he did (literally) to the tune of The Godfather.  That was Scott At The Movies I believe?

The one song I HAVE to play when I'm in I-pod Scott-ville is The Girls from the Streets. (Scott 2 is probably my favourite album). That gorgeous terrifying baroque vision that always makes me think of the Joker and a great gothic opening sequence for a Batman movie.

P.S.  I'm also obviously a massive fan of Kate Bush as well. For a period I was convinced I was only ever going to listen to proper visionaries..and Little Boots

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Post #: 65
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 14/11/2011 8:06:34 PM   
Rhubarb


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I once saw a copy of Scott At The Movies (its out of print) in real life, in a real shop. But it was £40, so I just held it for a bit. I'm pretty sure all of his drunken lost years will be released on proper CD when he dies and stops moaning about them.

4 is my favourite of the albums, yeah, possibly my favourite album fullstop. I think 3 is Wally Stott's masterpiece, and I think 2 is the weakest of the 4, even though it has some of the best Brel covers on it.



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Post #: 66
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 14/11/2011 8:07:31 PM   
Rhubarb


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From: No Direction Home
18 Hero Of The War (Engel)



So here’s something more cheerful, erm sort of.

Scott Walker isn’t really known for his political stuff, much less so in the sixties, but then again it was the sixties, and Vietnam was raging and people were protesting quite a bit, I hear. Anyway, Walker’s subversive take on the anti-war song is a deceptively cheerful piece about a mother who is really proud of her son, who is the titular Hero of the War. She’s ALWAYS getting her medals out and showing the Joneses, and showing the local kids his gun. The song starts out quite sunny, but this is offset with the sarcastic aside, noted by Walker that this hero, “can't shake hands or move his feet”
It gets worse, his dad died in “the war before”, unable to see his son grow up, and causing his wife to nearly die from the pain herself. Walker laments the tragedy of boys leaving their mothers for their guns, lending a whole freaky Fruedian slant to the whole thing. Its rather brilliant.

Find it on Scott 4

Listen to it right here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEiOAPfNtU0


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Post #: 67
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 14/11/2011 10:51:00 PM   
FritzlFan


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Definitely one of my favourite Walker songs. 

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Post #: 68
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 14/11/2011 11:35:28 PM   
paul_ie86


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Too low.

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Post #: 69
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 15/11/2011 11:18:38 AM   
matty_b


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Good tune.

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Post #: 70
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 15/11/2011 1:57:43 PM   
rawlinson

 

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Yeah, good choice.

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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 15/11/2011 2:05:25 PM   
paul_ie86


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It should be #1 though

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Post #: 72
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 15/11/2011 5:14:53 PM   
Rhubarb


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I have like four songs from that album ahead of it or something

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Post #: 73
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 15/11/2011 10:55:12 PM   
Piles


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Predicted it.

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Post #: 74
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 15/11/2011 11:37:13 PM   
Rhubarb


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No you said, "I hope". And you got the next one wrong.

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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 4/1/2012 10:18:11 PM   
matty_b


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And with just 17 to go.

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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 4/1/2012 10:24:15 PM   
Rhubarb


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From: No Direction Home
Oh yeah this. I'll bring this back, don't worry.

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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 4/1/2012 10:25:46 PM   
matty_b


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Post #: 78
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 10/2/2012 8:51:06 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
17 Boy Child (Engel)

[image]http://images.bizrate.com/resize?sq=450&uid=602110752[/image]
A big sparse production, Boy Child is one of Walker’s most beloved songs (also a convenient title for a irrelevant hits compilations) and it is simple to see why – it sounds like something that Scott Walker could have written, and Scott Walker from this period. Its woozy and dreamy, but captures you instantly, so much so that when it seuges into the (apparently) chipper Hero of the War on Scott 4, it doesn’t sound anywhere near as jarring as it probably should.

Find it on Scott 4

Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14PSE0FJoUo


< Message edited by Rhubarb -- 10/2/2012 8:56:39 PM >


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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 10/2/2012 8:58:59 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
16 Plastic Palace People (Engel)



While I think Scott 2 is the weakest of the “Scott” albums, that is not to diminish it in the least, and hdden in the middle of that album, is Plastic Palace People, clearly one his best songs. We’re in full on string territory, but it sounds fanciful, playful to begin with, before dropping to a halt and Walker sings the title of the song, and the song builds into a familiar pound. At a full six minutes, its daringly long, but it breaks up into movements – this is where classical meets pop music. As for the words, Walker takes in polka dot underwear, children being called by their mother, and the titual people reaching for the stars.

Find it on Scott 2
Hear it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayrS74ktTyE


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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 10/2/2012 9:00:01 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
15 Jackie (Brel/Shuman)


Its probably obvious by now that I am a big fan of Jacques Brel, and Walker’s interpretations of his songs. This was my first real favourite, although its an odd song for Walker to cover – It is Brel as his most theatrically Brel, with references to brothels opium dens and chinamen, not to mention its self referencial nature – it appears to be about a singer (who is called Jackie) who sings songs in coffee bars who dream of being cute-cute, and having his songs covered all over the world. Walker of course, was cute-cute though he was desperate to resist the stupid-ass kiss off.
It still works, somehow, perhaps because of all that subtext. In fact, it worked so well that it was one of Walkers few solo hit singles (he was still releasing 45s up to Tilt unbelievably). It was banned by the BBC however, due to the line “authentic queers and phoney virgins”.

Find it on Scott 2, or the compilation Scott Walker Sings Jacques Brel
Listen: To Walker awkwardly try to channel Brel here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBkK3RhN73g&feature=related


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Post #: 81
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 10/2/2012 9:12:14 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
14 The World’s Strongest Man (Engel)


Sadly not the theme song for the annual muscle man challenge on Channel 5. Its probably fair to say that a fair few of Walker’s songs are about heartbreak and sadness, so here we arrive at a proper love song, or as close as we’re going to get. Walker admits his weakness for a certain girl (didn’t you know?/I’m not the world’s strongest man/when it comes to you I’m lost) its obviously not all sweetness and light – there is a certain sadness to even that devotion, but still The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore it is not. Its also not exactly The Locomotion, Walker starts the song by stating how he wants to replace the girl in question, but one look from her and he melts, alas.

Find it on Scott 4

Listen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqgAG7o74yU

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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 10/2/2012 10:05:06 PM   
paul_ie86


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Jackie is one of favourite Walker songs and I love that video

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Post #: 83
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 10/2/2012 10:05:43 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
13 Big Louise (Engel)



The way Big Louise starts, kind of encapsulates everything I love about SW in this period of his career, it could easily just be noise, but there is something so beautiful about it, and that’s even before his incredible voice, sounding a bit more broken and fragile than usual here, kicks in. It is one of those rarest of pop things – you are completely sold on in within about three seconds of the song beginning. The song itself is about the titular Louise, and what you can hear her do. When this gets played on the Scott Walker doc, to various famous people, they all look they are going to break down and cry at the sheer amazing beauty of the thing, and they’re bloody right as well.

Find it on Scott 3
Listen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ-NPo-s9IE


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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 10/2/2012 10:09:34 PM   
Rhubarb


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12 Thank You For Chicago Mr James (Engel)



Till The Band Comes In sits in a curious place in history. Essentially it is Scott 5, but due to the commercial failure of Scott 4 (it failed to chart and was promptly deleted), Walker was convinced to just revert to cover versions, at least for the second side (the second side that provoked Jarvis Cocker’s ire on Bad Cover Version, produced by Walker himself in a bizarre twist of fate). Walker’s career after TTBCI would slide into increasingly middle of the road cover versions and alcoholism, and he has deleted the entire period from history (I once saw a copy of Scott at the Movies on Vinyl in a record shop, and it was £40 due to the rarity of the recording. I decided to just hold it for awhile, I was a student) and until recently, had deleted TTBCI as well, though it has recently be reissued. It is a shame that it has fallen into the category of the latter, rather than the former part of his solo career, in the internal tug of war, because it has some corking tunes on the first side, not least this – Thank You For Chicago Mr James. A open letter to a sugar daddy, with all sorts of gay overtones, this completely undermines all the apparent MOR that Walker was supposed to be sinking into, and shows that he still had a sense to undermine and adventure even as he was about to go under. It is a final, brilliant last gasp before silence as a songwriter for a long, long time.

Find it on Till The Band Comes In
Listen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Bk1IN-h1C8


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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 11/2/2012 10:51:43 AM   
matty_b


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Woo-hoo, it's back!

Big Louise is the best of those (and bearing in mind how much of a fan Jarvis is, was surely an influence on Big Julie). Now for the rest of the lists -Manics, Springsteen, Smiths - to be finished.

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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 18/2/2012 10:56:45 AM   
hubu_phonk


Posts: 1118
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From: between chit chat and analysis
I'm disgusted at myself for only just bothering my hole with this excellent thread. I first got hip to Scott Walker around 1999 and that was just playing Scott 4 over and over for a wee while. For my sins i haven't delved that deeply into his discography, so reading this thread is inspiring me to have another chew on Walker. I have the Drift (somewhere!) and its not bad, especially when i stuck it on at a party full of pill heads in my house around 4am one playful summer before i was married

For me, so far, there are two songs that i adore and still pop on now and then when i get the notion. The first already ( and rightly so) placed in the list, "The World's Strongest Man"

But the other, and one of my favourite songs of all time and i hope will be included in this list, is the wonderful finger-popping cryptic crossword clue "The Old Man's Back Again (Dedicated to the Neo-Stalinist Regime)"
http://youtu.be/uVZA-C1KtP0

< Message edited by hubu_phonk -- 18/2/2012 11:53:22 AM >


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RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 18/2/2012 2:18:53 PM   
Rhubarb


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Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
That might pop up later in the list, don't worry

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Post #: 88
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 18/2/2012 2:30:35 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
11 30 Century Man (Engel)



Light, apparently throwaway acoustic number banged on in the middle of the waltz-heavy Scott 3, 30 Century Man on first listen appears to exist entirely just to break up the beautiful strings for a second so that you don’t go into emotional overload. It works that way on the CD, but on the original vinyl, it is oddly placed at the start of side 2, so you would have just got that breather anyway. The start of side 2 is traditionally where a big hit single went, and the truth is, its just a song that Walker thought was done before throwing it to Wally Stott to throw a load of strings and things all over it, it was perfect from the point he finished writing it.
Apparently, Walker had become deeply interested in cryogenic freezing in the late 1960s, and like a lot of others of his generation, briefly became oddly future-obsessed (Scott 3 came out in 1969, a year after Planet of the Apes, 2001, and the year of course, of the Moon landings, so space was very much on the agenda) and became interested in the idea that we might be able to live forever. This coupled with the fact that Charles de Gaulle (referenced in the lyrics) was still president of France (he would step down after ten years in 1969) leading to a joking reference to de Gaulle living forever anyway, set up a perfect mix.
30 Century Man lent its name to the documentary about Walker, and is an appropriate title, him seeming so far not of his age, even when in vogue. Fortunatly he doesn’t need to freeze, because tunes like this will go on and on and on.

Find it on Scott 3
Listen to it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AexzqFLquG8


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Post #: 89
RE: The Top 30 Best Scott Walker Songs Ever - 18/2/2012 2:49:18 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
10 The Electrician (Engel)



After Scott spent a period in the wilderness doing increasingly middle of the road country music, he reformed the Walker Brothers to everyone’s surprise, and they even had a hit single (No Regrets). This wasn’t enough to save the record company from bankruptcy though, while the Walker Brothers were in the middle of the third album of their comeback. Realising that they could do whatever the hell they wanted, they set out to make an album in three parts – Scott would write the first four tracks, Gary the second two, and John the final four. They could do whatever they wanted, the record company was going to put it out anyway.
You don’t need to me to tell you that the best bits are Scott’s (although John and Gary’s are cool too) and while the title track is pretty brilliant, the best thing is The Electrician, the most stark hint at exactly what Scott Walker was going to find himself doing next.
It starts with just noise, eerie, chilling, feedback. Quietly some duuurrrrms come in the background. Then Walker’s voice, already noticeably different from No Regrets. “There’s no help, no”. Drums kick in, and for a split second you think the song is going to begin, it sort of does but not where you would expect, we’re immediately into Scott’s wail, you wonder if some of the instrumentation is just to give the others something to do, and then suddenly…strings. Walker effortless walks across the gap from No Regrets to Track Three and it all makes absolute sense, in a way that it simply does not on paper written down. In this six minutes, Walker kisses goodbye The Walker Brothers legacy (after the record company went under, they broke up again and Walker went silent until Climate of the Hunter) and embraces and entirely new Scott Walker. And it is thrilling.

Find it on Nite Flights
Listen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmRVU-MEXU0


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