― amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 11:07 (9 years ago) Permalink
― amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 11:08 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Jonathan Z. (Joanthan Z.), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 11:46 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Jonathan Z. (Joanthan Z.), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 11:54 (9 years ago) Permalink
ok his dedication to Kruschev is obvious, and you're right, again it _is_ very much of the times (a real bad cynic would say it's a cash-in on another summer of love gone horribly wrong, if one really thought about marketing, but to me a sincere "protest song" nicely coming correctly from right-field) (plus) a meditation on "springtime", but viewed paradoxically. I _do_ like the way this song positively excels in country western cowboy cliche. The story/words are so simple and direct. Makes me think of John Wayne and the Cavalry not coming to the rescue. Milosevich. George W Bush.
Scott _does_ generally come across in all the exposures we get as a dreamy kind of guy i agree (with the lyrics just seemingly the start of biographical puzzle if they're not so disembodied from him as to be really rather useless except as indicative of his then intent) -- he's got to be the role model for david bowie's messy-cum-meaningful lyrics, and bowie made good on at least half his '70s output seemingly saying something to lots of people (exceptions like Ziggy are beyond my understanding of glam and too simple to even be slightly creepily OTM except re: audience-hysteria) -- they've both got a way with tunes and musical collaborators that i think is exceptionally musically gifted -- i suppose musicians have to be poets to be songwriters, which has got to be hard.
i think hero of the war gains something in its bluntness, but yeah it is impossibly self-righteous well someone had to sing about peace and stuff right then i suppose, a baby-boomer at that, part of his back-turn on "pop", or better, let's use "pop music" norms to _really_ say something -- i like the way the song sounds stuck in its own funereal pomp actually, a far cry from the catchy "it's all over for the unknown soldier", however well-intended that song was
try to rationalize the song as a kind of self-parody but for all his achievements in that era (and more recently) i wonder how capable of that scott really istragedy, lonliness, the spaces between all the beautiful monumental architecture of Europe where the people were meant to be singing happily -- yeah, he's a culture-vulture and i suppose it comes out all blurred or maybe an idea gets followed through or copied and doesn't sound so good afterwards (like "seventh seal") -- the original idealist with cred., even with the blurry poetry
i'd love to believe Scott was sincere and maybe yes a 20something child of the revolution and maybe guilty over that bullshit of the Walkers' US invasion ever since. Reverting to Engel of all names, he's trying to be honest about the parodoxical tragedy of so many US and European people during those times.
permanent beauty vs. fleeting pleasure/beauty, that bittersweet thing. All his songs set out to turn pop norms on their heads and say something profound and poetic even if as small a subject as an ageing duchess. I agree he's dreamy, seemingly organised but vague but i guess that is what it felt like back then. Confusing unsettling times for all, yet with pop music spitting out "feel good" all the time. I admire his honesty and how he ultimately stuck to his guns.
I approach it often as music with nice well-meant words -- a male voice i can actually enjoy as noise, with the words these days just providing clues or dedications for the 'songs', a bit like bowie's, except bowie was a crafty cynic as well as a sometimes good commentator who spread as many good songs over far more albums with lots of filler. Scott comes out more focused, so much more intense, like he eventually overcome himself with his feelings, knocked himself out. I presume the later '70s and '80s were Scott's psychic implode and recovery, just like bowie's coming back to life now. Certainly in the '70s, i think bowie took scott's ball and ran with it, with careful extra airbrushing (or eyeliner) for the larger public. I think the results could have been worse.
― george gosset (gegoss), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 12:43 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Jonathan Z. (Joanthan Z.), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 12:57 (9 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 14:16 (9 years ago) Permalink
and ok yes, maybe he did want a bergman dedication/ allusion.
I think, for whatever reason, it belongs (out of the way) as the first track, although it probably doesn't belong at all for many, and yeah ok, i agree, he _probably_ _was_ a completely a young idealist.
thank goodness Ady Semel was there to at least help the seemingly drained Scott produce at least a few more good songs (and david bowie! to try carrying the torch -- maybe he should cover more Scott songs and help out with the royalties somemore)
― george gosset (gegoss), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 14:43 (9 years ago) Permalink
The John Walker songs are just abysmal from memory but some of the Gary Walker songs are quite interesting - if only he could sing but he most certainly can't.
― Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 17 February 2004 14:59 (9 years ago) Permalink
The cd booklet contained an image of Bowie's "War Child" charity art piece from '97, where ".. famous celebrities .. all homages to .. other musicians .. they considered to be a big influence on their work".This art consisted of a lightbox containing 3 x-rayed skulls and six eyes (a curious Residents coincidence). There are two side-view skulls on the two sides of this box and one forward facing central skull, presumably Skott, the brains of the operation. The eyes mystify me. OK we all know about David's special eye, but was the Walkers' invasion of Britain really in part due to tricky eyes ? It seemed a rather self-aggrandizing feature from Bowie's art otherwise, epecially as of all things Walker to leave out it left out their ears.
― george gosset (gegoss), Thursday, 19 February 2004 05:38 (9 years ago) Permalink
― george gosset (gegoss), Thursday, 19 February 2004 05:53 (9 years ago) Permalink
by a mile.
― piscesboy, Wednesday, 2 November 2005 14:20 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Jimmy James Inc, Wednesday, 2 November 2005 21:42 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 2 November 2005 21:53 (7 years ago) Permalink
― yugi ex, Thursday, 3 May 2012 19:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
lol 'The Amorous Humphrey Plugg' just popped up on random play
― 'scuse me, while I Rim the Sky... (snoball), Thursday, 3 May 2012 20:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
Oh man, it's all I can do not to play Scott's stuff day after day after day...
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 3 May 2012 22:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks to facebook, I only JUST learned about the song The Plague. Can you imagine, having known Scott's 1 - 4 (and side A of 'Til the Band) by heart and obsessing for years and suddenly learning there was another song? I don't know how I missed it.
― dan selzer, Friday, 4 May 2012 03:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
...containing the immortal couplet "It's all so vague/When you meet the plague".
― hugo_w, Friday, 4 May 2012 05:54 (1 year ago) Permalink
That's awesome, Dan! I'm jealous! It was there from the beginning for me as my first Scott purchase was the Boy Child compilation.
(In a bookend kind of way, I assume you know about his track on 4AD's Plague Songs comp?)
This is a pretty great Scott thread that I've never noticed before. My answer is, resoundingly, Scott 3. Wally Stott ftw.
― bit.ly sno cone maker (Jon Lewis), Friday, 4 May 2012 15:24 (1 year ago) Permalink
The Plague is the first Scott Walker solo song I heard, it got me hooked.
― Respectfully, Tyrese Gibson (Nicole), Friday, 4 May 2012 16:16 (1 year ago) Permalink
interesting timing for the thread revival as i was thinking about this the other day and concluded that Scott 3 is probably top 5 of all time for me. Scott 4 is a bit too cavalier for me in parts, whereas Scott 2 doesn't quite connect with me the whole way through. Scott 3 has the perfect balance of introspection and storytelling and is capable of moving me in unique ways.
― charlie h, Saturday, 5 May 2012 05:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
― dan selzer, Saturday, 5 May 2012 07:28 (1 year ago) Permalink