50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's a haunted house and her windows are broken...
The arguement over which of Scott Walker's albums is the best is not an easy one to decide. Whilst the undeniable genius of 1995's TILT holds a special place in this listener's heart as one of the darkest, most innovative albums ever produced, if I was pushed into a corner and asked which Scott album I listen to more than any other, it would probably be SCOTT 3...
Published on 12 July 2000
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Distortion on two tracks.
Today received replacement record as on playing side one there was severe distortion at the end of Big Louise' and 'We came through' The distortion is exactly the same on both discs. It is quite severe and very clearly a pressing problem. Whilst the vinyl version is listed as being on Abraxus' label it is in fact Four Men With Beards'. As are Scott 2 and 4 which I have...
Published 7 months ago by Brian Bathie
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's a haunted house and her windows are broken...,
By A Customer
The arguement over which of Scott Walker's albums is the best is not an easy one to decide. Whilst the undeniable genius of 1995's TILT holds a special place in this listener's heart as one of the darkest, most innovative albums ever produced, if I was pushed into a corner and asked which Scott album I listen to more than any other, it would probably be SCOTT 3.
Often strangely overlooked in favour of SCOTT 4, Walker's third solo album sees that amazing, haunting voice at it's most powerful and thought provoking. Unlike it's predecessors, SCOTT 3 really does begin to push the limits on what the "general" record buying public were willing to fork out money for, and it wouldn't be long until the Scott of the 60's WALKER BROTHERS would disappear altogether.
From the wonderful, complex arrangement of the album's stunning opener IT'S RAINING TODAY (written by Scott), which cleverly mixes a traditional 60's romantic melody with an undercurrent of disturbing strings that hints at disaster and heartache ahead, SCOTT 3 never fails to make the listener sit up and take note as the singer songwriter takes us on a journey drenched with darkened romanticism.
True, there are still lighter romantic tracks here, the seemingly jolly COPENHAGEN being a prime example, but as with even his WALKER BROTHERS output, the lyrics nearly always tell a darker story than the tune may have you believe (I mean, just listen to the lyrics to THE SUN AIN'T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE).
As with his previous albums, Scott delves into Jacques Brel territory, although it's to Scott's ever growing confidence as song writer that the album owes the majority of it's most impressive moments to his abilities alone. For example, the tear jerker BIG LOUISE is one of the saddest songs you'll ever hear, about a woman who realises how time has passed her by, boasting breathtaking lyrics such as.."she fills the bags, 'neath her eyes with the moonbeams, and cries 'cause the world's passed her by".
I could go on and on (but I won't, I promise!), and other stand out tracks would include the timeless TWO RAGGED SOLDIERS, WINTER NIGHT, and TWO WEEKS SINCE YOU'VE GONE (a man trying to get over a lover just departed, hoping he might relive that feeling of true love again someday). The masterpiece from SCOTT 3 though, does ultimately come from a Jacques Brel composition, called IF YOU GO AWAY. Beautifully arranged, it's a seemingly simple enough "love-lost" song, but with Scott's unique expressive voice that touches you in a way that no other can, it becomes something special. A tale of a man so in love that he can't bear to lose the woman he loves (she may even be dying), and feels that his life would be empty without her, it revisits the suicide tones of THE WALKER BROTHERS' most daring song, IN MY ROOM.
If SCOTT 3 isn't Walker's career best recording, then it must come mighty close. For me, his voice has never sounded better, and it just seems that every one of the thirteen engrossing tracks has got something to say. Something that upon first listen will make a lasting impression and stay with you for days, and in turn keep you returning to this album again and again.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflections in a diamond eye...,
Obvious from its no-nonsense title, this was, of course, the third self-titled offering from Scott following the initial dissolution of the Walker Brothers sometime in the mid 1960's. The songs and song writing ability in general had improved since the rather angular Scott II, and could definitely be seen as something of a precursor to the near mythic status of the amazing Scott IV (with songs like Butterfly and Winter Night being taken to their logical conclusion with later tracks like The Hero of War and Duchess) -- with this record displaying a confidence and maturity that was lacking in the work that came before. Scott's songwriting is here nurtured by the production of John Franz and those gorgeous arrangements, which here draw on the sound that Scott is most synonymous with (and later acts like Morrissey, the Divine Comedy and Pulp would attempt to ape)... with celestial strings pouring melancholy, being callously undercut by the bombastic horns that underline Walker's resonating croon.
The album opens on a high, with one of Scott's all time classic ballads... It's Raining Today. The sound is typical of the chamber pop of this era, though, at the same time, sounds as otherworldly as anything you can imagine... even pre-empting Bowie's space-age crooner from records like Station to Station. It sets up a mood of nostalgia, loss, dislocation & heartache that will continue throughout the album, transporting us to a place that is shrouded in a misty sepia, (or subdued, like the Neil Jordan visualisation of Graham Greene's the End of the Affair... a film that continues such notions of loss and even alludes to Scott through the use of Michael Nyman's wilting string-based soundtrack). Next up is one of my very favourite Scott ballads, the ethereal and transporting Copenhagen, which, despite being exceedingly short has some wonderful piano work and harpsichord trail-off featured in those divine, closing moments. The lyrics are great throughout; much more confident and wordy than those few snippets of original material that turned up on previous efforts, with Walker not afraid to reference such diverse inspirations as Samuel Becket, William Blake and Wordsworth (whilst 30th Century Man even sounds like Scott's pop-contemporary, Bob Dylan).
Both Rosemary and Big Louise find Scott on top-form, both vocally and instrumentally as the singer picks away plaintively on an acoustic guitar as that orchestration builds in the background, whilst the lyrics drip poetry like melting glass ("my coat's too thin, my feet won't fly, and I watch the wind... see another dream blowing by" from Rosemary and "she's a haunted house and her windows are broken" from Big Louise are better than anything by romantics like Keats, Yates... you name 'um). Even better is We Came Through, which sounds almost like the theme tune to a Hollywood western, and certainly lays the groundwork for Scott IV's opening number the Seventh Seal... with lyrics that are possibly, better than Dylan ("we came through... like the gothic monsters perched on Notre Dame, we observe the naked souls of gutters pouring forth mankind" -- and people found Tilt shocking??). The next five tracks are impeccable, and show Scott at the height of his powers... crafting gorgeous ballads unlike anyone else, before or since. These songs lead us to those three excellent closing numbers, each of them translated covers of the songs of Jacques Brel... and each of them interpreted perfectly by Scott.
Sons Of remains one of my favourite songs of all time and demonstrates a more creative 'out-there' side of Scott, as he expertly crafts a giddy-carnival melody to complement what is essentially a gorgeous and haunting lullaby. Next is Funeral Tango, which is possibly the most bombastic thing Walker has ever done (& possibly the best... though it does have stiff competition from We Came Through, The Seventh Seal, Blanket Role Blues and Farmer in the City, etc), and certainly acts as a great diversion from all this lulled romanticism, with sniping lyrics that really suit Walker's cynical worldview. The album ends with Brel's If You Go Away, which mirrors the opening track, giving the album a definite cohesion, as well as offering us a prime example of that classic Scott Walker melancholy... which is great. Scott III remains one of my all time favourite Scott albums, alongside the later Tilt, and should be experienced by as many people as possible. Though, unlike the more popular Scott IV, it does take a few listens for the full effect of the album to sink in... though, when it does, you'll discover that there is simply nothing else like it.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing Tour de Force,
I was first introduced to Scott Walker by the 1981 compilation put together by Julian Cope: "Fire Escape In The Sky -- The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker". Now, with such a hyperbolic title like that, you got to make damn sure that your boy can deliver -- and deliver he did. Stupidly, though, I assumed that what wasn't on that album would be all the filler tracks -- how wrong can you get? Scott 3 is, quite simply, the most perfect pop album ever made -- although the word 'pop' may be misused here: this really is art.
Songs of such heart-wrenching beauty and melody as 'Copenhagen', 'Rosemary', 'Butterfly' and 'Two Ragged Soldiers' are rare enough finds on their own, but to find them grouped together on one album is a minor miracle.
An absolute essential to any serious record collection.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Allmusic site conspicuously wrong again,
Marvelous songs: It's Raining Today, Rosemary, Big Louise, Two Ragged Soldiers and Brel's Funeral Tango. Allmusic could get it wrong on any other album (as they frequently do), but not aspire to be arbiters of good taste, and get this one wrong. They seem squeamish about 'Funeral Tango', which actually is absolutely hilarious due to Scott's wonderful, perfectly judged rendering. Raining, Rosemary, Louise, and Ragged are some of the best reasons for the existence of popular music: brilliant, intense, warped and majestic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Distortion on two tracks.,
This review is from: Scott 3 [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Today received replacement record as on playing side one there was severe distortion at the end of Big Louise' and 'We came through' The distortion is exactly the same on both discs. It is quite severe and very clearly a pressing problem. Whilst the vinyl version is listed as being on Abraxus' label it is in fact Four Men With Beards'. As are Scott 2 and 4 which I have already just purchased. Online research reveals a considerable number of adverse reviews as to these pressings by 4MWB although 2 and 4 whilst a bit noisy are nowhere as bad as 3 . I would not recommend anyone to buy them. The content of all albums is quite beautiful. I think I will send them all back and purchase the more recent box set.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The thoughts of Chairman Scott,
After two fine albums, mainly of outside material, Scott Walker puts his faith in his own songs. The first ten tracks are self-penned, while for the last three, he dips again into the Brel songbook. As ever, the orchestra-backed arrangements are superb, as is The Voice, and his lyricism is peerless (on Scott 4, his ambition would lead him over the top). 'It's Raining Today', which opens the album, is a superb, reflective ballad of dramatic pauses and hard-hitting melody. Indeed, of his own songs, only two are of a noticeably different style. 'We Came Through' is taken at a stirring tempo, while '30 Century Man' is the work of the cool troubadour in shades, the one obviously modern track. Individually, his other songs are fine efforts. The only problem is that, together, they are too alike to realise their full impact. The Brel material is a mixture. 'Sons Of' is excellent, 'Funeral Tango' is partly successful and 'If You Go Away' is the most imposing, but is a little melodramatic and overlong. Even so, like all of Walker's numbered albums, this is well worth acquiring.
3.0 out of 5 stars scott before his lynch music,
This is the scott most fans like
Before his later attempts at being musics answer to david lynch ie the DRIFT ,BISCH BOSCH etc I get the
Feeling he will leave his depressing landscape one day
Hede probablly have to in the end if only for his own sanity if you look for misery scott youlle find it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Scott Walker - wonderfully haunting Voice!,
Oh yes this album is wonderful with good songs and fabulous lyrics - an asset to anyone's collection! Every track tells a great story.
4.0 out of 5 stars scott 3,
Great recording, goes well in my collection, I have now got the cds that I need, keep up the good work
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sign Of Things To Come,
This 1969 solo effort from Scott Walker came at a time of remarkable prolificacy for the man, being the third of four solo albums in the space of three years (now, of course, we're lucky to get a single new work per decade). Scott 3 also continued the trend Walker had established with the preceding two solo albums, by increasing the proportion of self-penned songs, 10 of the 13 here (with 3, now trademark, Brel compositions making up the difference) - a trend that was to reach its conclusion (as it were) on his masterpiece, Scott 4, which contained only Walker compositions. Equally significantly, Scott 3 also demonstrated Walker's growing tendency for introducing elements of musical dissonance (and atonality) into his song-writing - a direction that he was, of course, to explore extensively in his later solo works.
Indeed, such dissonant signs are evident from the word go, as the album opens with Walker's own It's Raining Today (one of my all-time favourites from the man) to the haunting sound of the strings' vibrato, before Walker's resonant voice enters the fray, intoning a beautiful melody, but never quite breaking free of the unsettling orchestral backdrop. Similarly, each of Rosemary and Big Louise provide compelling fusions of Walker's more traditional composing (and crooning) with his developing, less conventional style, whilst the brilliant, acoustic 30 Century Man is the clearest sign yet that this song-writer does not want to be trapped in the past (or even the present), eschewing, as the song does, the big production values that had hitherto been Walker's staple. Such production values shouldn't be entirely discarded (or belittled) though, as they are well to the fore on my other favourite song here, Two Weeks Since You've Been Gone, whose sublime opening melody is about as close as Walker ever got to Jacques Brel.
As far as the Brel covers are concerned, whilst Scott 3's selection does not match up to the trio on Walker's debut album (Mathilde, My Death, Amsterdam - well what could?), they all demonstrate touches of Brel's characteristic and brilliant idiosyncrasy, particularly Sons Of and Funeral Tango, whilst If You Go Away has a renowned and exquisite melody, which has been covered by just about everyone (indeed, in my mind's eye I can see Shirley Bassey now belting it out on 1970s Saturday evening TV!).
Principally as a result of Walker's own compositions, Scott 3 represented a significant developmental milestone in the song-writer's musical career.
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