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Coming from Sheffield, I'm a big Pulp fan and recall reading that he in turn was a big fan of Scott Walker. Scott Walker is not a particularly memorable name, in fact I think I went to school with one at some point, so I wasn't too sure whether I'd heard his music or not.
I decided to start my odyssey into the career of this 60s crooner by oing for a best of album, 'No Regrets' has both songs from The Walker Brothers and Scott's later solo career. In my eyes, it's as good a place as any to start but having not heard any of the other albums, I'm not really in a position to comment.
Vocally powerful in the vein of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and of course good old Engelbert, I was instantly captivated by the style of singing that is now pretty much obsolete. I like a good strong voice like his, not the woosy kind that's so popular amongst pop artists today where the fools flap their hands by the sides of their shoulders and utter noises that should be limited to the toilet.
The album starts off with the upbeat 'My Ship is Coming In' and later but also rather near the beginning of the album is "Make It Easy on Yourself", a track that I used to dearly love when it was played over the radio on a golden oldies station. I never knew who sung it but automatically sang a long when ever it was played. It truly is one of the best 'breaking up songs' to date.
Particularly on tracks like "First Love Never Dies" the lyrics to tend to have a Neil Diamond cheesiness to them. Then there's the dramatic "If You Go Away" where Scott's vocals are booming more than ever as he laments over the possible exit of a partner from his life. A combination of both styles can be song on the emotional 'Joanna'. The 'Lights of Cincinatti' is extremely tuneful and catchy but another sad number in comparison to the extremely fun cover of Jacques Brel's 'Jackie' which just has to be played again and again and remains the best English language cover of the classic in my eyes.
So the jist of it is that Scott's a dude with an awesome voice and this is a great album to add to your collection if you like a bit of crooning. I'm keen to listen to his more recent experimental and totally odd, dark album 'The Drift' as well as the 2006 documentary film 30 Century Man.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 No Regrets - Walker Brothers
2 Make It Easy On Yourself - Walker Brothers
3 The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore - Walker Brothers
4 My Ship Is Coming In - Walker Brothers
5 Joanna - Scott Walker
6 Lights Of Cincinatti - Scott Walker
7 Another Tear Falls - Walker Brothers
8 Boy Child - Scott Walker
9 Montague Terrace (In Blue) - Scott Walker
10 Jackie - Scott Walker
11 Stay With Me Baby - Walker Brothers
12 If You Go Away - Scott Walker
13 First Love Never Dies - Walker Brothers
14 Love Her - Walker Brothers
15 Walking In The Rain - Walker Brothers
16 (Baby) You Don't Have To Tell Me - Walker Brothers
17 Deadlier Than The Male - Walker Brothers
18 We're All Alone - Walker Brothers