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Til the band comes in
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£44.34+£1.26shipping
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2007
I bought this album with some trepidation. I had heard that SW was a reluctant performer at best in the early 1970s, and merely paying the rent in this subdued period following the excitement which greeted his launch as a solo artist 3 or 4 years earlier.

I need not have worried. "Little Things" , "Call Me Joe", "Mr James" and "The War is Over" could belong on any great SW CD and to my mind are better than many of the tracks on Scott 4. "Long About Now" is a beatiful collaboration track which desereves to be played over and over.

Bizarely following the Epilogue the record goes into cover mode with some middle of the road stuff which is ok only. Possibly the record company insisted on a more commercial approach. But thankfully by then you will be in love with the first 10 Engel tracks so who cares?

Til the Band is a fascination continuation of the Scott 1-4 outings and delivers as a great cd.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It's apt really that '`Til the Band Comes In' (1970) shows such a pronounced split between its two sides (Side A featuring original material, some of it excellent; Side B consisting almost entirely of covers, most of them dreary) because it can be seen very much as a 'bridging' album for Walker: the four preceding albums, Scotts 1-4 are the stuff of legend, each progressively darker and more idiosyncratic than the last, as Walker gradually shed his teen appeal, and moved away from classic ballads and Broadway hits towards Brel covers and his own, much more interesting material. But he always struggled to balance his own stuff with the demands of the entertainment industry and later 70s work saw Walker losing that battle, reverting to schmaltzy film tunes and country covers (before eventually moving towards a new, avant-garde sound in the 80s). All of which makes '`Til the Band Comes In' a fascinating halfway-point artefact if nothing else; the sound of a man straddling two eras, with one foot still in his creative past and another heading towards his tamer near-future. Which would be reason enough to take interest I suppose were it not for the fact that '`Til the Band Comes In' actually does stand on its own merits for the most part; this is much more than merely a curio, it's a sporadically excellent album. Conventional critical wisdom that the covers on Side B let the album down is about right; presumably a compromise with the record company and a sad signal of the rot that would eventually set in (although they're boring rather than plain awful; Walker's voice is too good for that). What's more, the Walker originals on Side A, though good, are mostly are a step down from those on Scotts 3 and 4, or at least, they don't display the same growth which those records did. Be that as it may, there's still room for some exquisite moments, and from Side A there are three or four tracks which surely rank among his best work, particularly the rousing-but-melancholic title track, the jazzy, measured 'Time Operator' and the gorgeous epilogue 'The War Is Over'. And then there's the real standout: 'Thanks For Chicago Mr. James' - an absolute Masterpiece. And by Masterpiece, I really do mean a a 24-carat, Chateux-bottled, ocean going, copper-bottomed, nuclear-powered MASTERPIECE. Two minutes of heartbreaking perfection sung as only Scott can sing. That song alone would justify the admission price. Factor the rest of Side A into account and you're looking a genuinely worthy addition to the Walker catalogue.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2009
This is an album that Scott Walker does not rate well. He never liked this type of music and had to make it due to his contract. I love it and was pleased to be able to purchase it in CD format.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2014
Some of the material on here is so good it could easily have fitted on Scott 1-4. Long about now is heartfelt and terrific and the Prologue track is exquisite. The last 2/3 songs bizarrely have a slight cabaret feel (the reason it gets 4 as opposed to 5) but the album amply shows that Walker has a knack of delivering the unexpected brilliantly.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2008
SCOTT 4 has always been over-rated and Walker's finest album is probably SCOTT 2, it certainly was his biggest commercial success in the 60's, but I've always thought this album (his 5th) to be his most under-rated. THANK YOU FOR CHICAGO MR. JAMES is a lost gem. And his version of STORMY astonishing. There are some standards which we could have done without (especially WHAT ARE YOU DOING THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? - better done elsewhere) but the title track and WAR IS OVER are very fine indeed. The real jewel however is not sung by Walker himself but by Esther Ofarim: LONG ABOUT NOW. A haunting, melancholic masterpiece that stays in your head for years and is beautifully sung by a singer, frankly, I know nothing about. LITTLE THINGS cropped up on the original vinyl version of SCOTT WALKER SINGS JACQUES BREL and will be well known from compilations but it's musical introduction is seldom included and is amazing. I can't claim to like Walker's 80's/90's stuff but this is a must for all fans/completionists of his 1960's cannon.
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1 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2009
i am a lifelong fan of scott but this is not good. in fact it is dire. what a disappointment! if you prefer the older stuff this is not for you.
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