Scott Walker - 'Til The Band Comes In (Poll)

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I'm surprised we haven't really polled that many of the Scott albums. How about this sorely-neglected demi-triumph?

Poll Results

Little Things (That Keep Us Together) 6
'Til the Band Comes In 4
The War Is Over (Sleepers) 3
It's Over 1
Cowbells Shakin' 1
Thanks for Chicago Mr. James 1
Joe 1
Time Operator 0
What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life 0
Reuben James 0
The Hills of Yesterday 0
Stormy 0
Long About Now (Sung by Esther Ofarim) 0
Jean the Machine 0
Prologue 0

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 15:36 (two months ago) link

Quite difficult to choose actually.

Is Lou Reed a Good Singer? (Tom D.), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 15:38 (two months ago) link

Oh hell yeah, the Walker originals here are as great as Scott 4 imo. My vote goes to Joe--tremendously moving exploration of old age and loneliness.

J. Sam, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 15:41 (two months ago) link

Yes, one of my favourites.

Is Lou Reed a Good Singer? (Tom D.), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 15:42 (two months ago) link

Strangely, I get 'Long About Now' stuck in my head quite frequently and (in my head) it sounds fantastic. The actual song is just okay

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 15:54 (two months ago) link

The first 10 tracks are really great though. I can't believe I slept on this one for so long, probably because a lot of Scott history says he took a nosedive immediately after Scott 4.

It's hard to choose a favourite because it works as a suite more than most other Scott albums. The concept of it being about different characters living in the same block of flats really taps into the kitchen-sink movie aesthetic mined by he and the Walker Brothers.

The 'Prologue' track is such a great scene-setter and a one-and-a-half minute distillation of Scott's sound. Cowbells Shakin' does a lot more for me than a lot of his other acoustic songs.

Jean The Machine is supposedly a comedy number, except the joke is so abstract and pseudy that when Scott sings 'Spiro Agnew!' I can't help laughing at him a bit. It's that same sense of esoteric humour that would get revived on Bish Bosch.

I love the big-sound grandiosity of Little Things (That Keep Us Together), and especially the title track which shares some dynamic subdued/bombastic/subdued qualities with 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' from around the same era. I think I might vote for that.

But that would be discounting Joe, Chicago and Time Operator which are all great and showcase Scott's love for West Coast jazz, which had been kept muted up until then.

Damnit, if it hadn't been for the lousy final five songs, this would be an absolute 100% classic right?

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 16:08 (two months ago) link

I usually stop the album after 'War is Over' but you know what, the last songs aren't TERRIBLE. Stormy is pretty funky. Reuben James has a bit of a cool, country strut. They don't compare, but it's not as bad as they say

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 16:15 (two months ago) link

I hate "Stormy" and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" to be honest. "Reuben James" meh. "The Hills of Yesterday" is quite nice but belongs on his "Sings Songs from His TV Series" album not on this. "It's Over" is OK too.

Is Lou Reed a Good Singer? (Tom D.), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 16:19 (two months ago) link

Gay cowboys FTW.

Melomane, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 17:38 (two months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 24 May 2020 00:01 (two months ago) link

Voted "Sleepers".

Is Lou Reed a Good Singer? (Tom D.), Sunday, 24 May 2020 00:03 (two months ago) link

I love "Little Things", it's the craziest sound, and Scott sings like a harmonizing foghorn, it's so weird

flamboyant goon tie included, Sunday, 24 May 2020 02:11 (two months ago) link

I was wrong about the gay cowboy bit. It has been a while since I last listened to "Thanks for Chicago Mr. James", and my memory was led astray by someone’s remarks I read somewhere that the song was a forebear of Brokeback Mountain, and Walker had never got credit for this kind of daring songwriting.

On listening to the song again, I see that the lyrics only suggest that the speaker is a rural drifter, not an actual cowboy. I wonder if Walker found the inspiration for this drama of rural drifter and big-city homosexual sugar daddy from somewhere in the Beats.

Melomane, Sunday, 24 May 2020 15:45 (two months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 25 May 2020 00:01 (two months ago) link

no votes for "time operator"? insane!

Kate (rushomancy), Monday, 25 May 2020 03:14 (two months ago) link


doorstep jetski (dog latin), Monday, 25 May 2020 06:57 (two months ago) link

Missed this but would have voted ‘Joe’, which really should have been on the boy child comp

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Monday, 25 May 2020 15:38 (two months ago) link

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