Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An very well chosen collection, 7 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Scott Walker Special Collectn (Audio CD)
Scott Walker's career has gone through a number of distinct phases: 3 top 10 albums as teen heart-throb in the 60's with the Walker Brothers; 4 excellent self-penned solo albums (Scott 1 - Scott 4); 5 covers albums in the wilderness years of the eary 70's; 3 unsuccessful Walker Brother's LP's during their ill-fated reunion in the late 70's ;and then his current glacial rate of production as avant-garde artist with 3 celebrated LP's in the last 20 years. Of these 5 phases, the 60's material and early solo efforts are continually re-released as they are a now well established part of Britain's musical heritage. Scott's more recent solo productions are also easy to locate and they are hungrily pored over by intellectuals and all lovers of experimental music. However the 70's material, both as lounge crooner and as a member of the doomed Walker Brother's relaunch are too often overlooked. This is because quite frankly the quality and consistency were not there in their entirety as Scott battled both his inner demons and his fellow band members.

However, what this collection does is cherry pick from the best moments of the 8 unfashionable albums of the middle period and the result is a convincng argument that these were far from wasted years. Scott delivers a truly faultless sequence of heartfelt vocal tracks backed in most cases by lush orchestration. Scott's voice has rarely in his career been given such room to breathe and despite almost all of the tracks being cover versions, Scott makes them all his own and gives the best rendition available of all of these classic (mostly American) songs. "No Regrets" is the sole hit of the collection but the self-penned "Nite Flights", later covered by Bowie, shows he can write tracks of equal stature. Many of the songs are romantic ballads, such as "We're all Alone" and "We had it All" and the glorious "Sundown", but in Scott's hands they take on a melancholic or painful tone typical of much of his work. However, it's not all tears and sadness as some of the tracks have a gospel-tinged treatment which adds a comforting and redemptive tone, such as "Boulder to Birmingham" and "Many Rivers to Cross".

This collection is for listening to in front of a log fire with a brandy. Yes, it's lounge singing but it's lounge singing by possibly the best male voice of the last 50 years and a master of interpreting the work of others. Seek it out if you can find it and you may find that it takes up a permanent residence in your CD Player.
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