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on 29 September 2014
A friend of mine bought the book and I needed to return it, but I wanted to read it more fully, so I bought it to support the effort of publishing a niche title. Sometimes it seems that writing about a cult figure gives some writers the licence to 'go on a bit', writing pieces that seem to be like album liner notes that are about 20 pages too long, or PR excerpts badly in need of an editor. That and the fact that Scott doesn't talk to the press much doesn't help, so writers come up with their own ideas. Putting in lyric quotes that seem incorrect doesn't help either. Maybe Laurie Anderson was right with her quote in regard to writing about music.
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on 21 April 2015
Very interesting compendium of essays on a truly great artist for our times.
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on 27 June 2012
Enjoying the book so far although I haven't yet read every section (I'll update this review when I get round to that!).

On the whole it has a fairly casual journalistic tone which is easy to read and usually informative and insightful without getting too bogged down in needless critical theory spiel. As to be expected each of the writers tend to be gushing over Scott Walker and their love and passion for the music comes through.

I enjoyed reading The Walker Brothers section written by Anthony Reynolds which helped me to put those early records into a context and make sense of them in the greater scheme of things. I really love having the full transcription of the Wire interview from 2006 which finds Scott in a surprisingly open and enthusiastic interview with Rob Young around the release of The Drift, an album that is definitely worth being happy about! Stephen Kijak, director of 30th Century Man, has a section devoted to recounting the making of the film which is, again, a great read which adds light to the film.

I didn't care much for Nina Power's relatively short section on Scott 1 and 2, she makes some fairly interesting points throughout but they oddly come across a little hollow and unnecessary academic and at the end of the day I don't feel she really does the albums justice and it comes across less illuminating than the other pieces in the book that I've read so far... sadly. Derek Walmsley's piece on Scott 3 and 4 by contrast was a nice read although he seemed totally infatuated with It's Raining Today, a beautiful song for sure and also a very important one for Scott to write, but it stops him from writing much about the rest of the tracks on these fantastic albums.

Overall I'm enjoying this book, maybe for some readers this wont really bring anything new to the table but it's a nice collection of writings on Scott Walker and I can't wait to read the rest of the sections.

UPDATE:I've now finished the book and I have to say it is definitely a mixed bag and is by no means the definitive guide to Scott Walker. There are sections of this book with real insight yet there are also dull moments and misguided whole sections (I'm looking at you Ian Penman!)

Here's a quick breakdown of what I thought...
1-Introduction by Rob Young. Gets the job done, nothing flashy but functional.

2-The Walker Brothers by Anthony Reynolds. A great little read that is fascinating and gives you insight into The Walker Brothers of the 60s. Reynolds has also written a book on The Walker Brothers... will have to pick that one up!

3-Scott 1&2 by Nina Power. To me this was way too short and didn't do the albums justice which is a shame.

4-Scott 3&4 by Derek Walmsley. I enjoyed this more than Nina's piece, it feel more fleshed out to me, although I think he gets a little too caught up in It's Raining Today to pay much attention to anything else! Haha

5-TV Series, Til The Band Comes In, The Moviegoer by Ian Penman. This is, for me, the worst part of the whole book, Ian desperately needs an editor, he rambles on for almost 70 pages of a 300 page book. His section could easily have been cut down to 20 pages, easily. But it wasn't and as a result you have what reads like the ramblings of a madman going in circles...

6-Any Day Now, Stretch, We Had It All by Amanda Petrusich - Amanda sums up Ian's deligated albums in one page, and does a better job than he did across 70 pages, and then goes on to give a short but sweet take on the three 'lost' Scott albums.

7-The Walker Brothers reunion by Biba Kopf. Good solid writing, no complaints here.

8-Climate of Hunter by Damon Krukowski. Another nice little piece, breathes more life into this album than I thought was there.

9-Tilt by Brian Morton. Again, a nice piece here, really enjoyed the writing style.

10-Tilt-era interview by Richard Cook. Essential bit of reading.

11-Soundtracks etc by David Stubbs. Kind of like a functional guide, nothing outstanding, but, yeah, functional!

12-Making The Drift by Chris Sharp. Another nice piece (I'm starting to think I only dislike the first half of the book!)

13-The Drift by David Toop. Toop is a bit of a marmite writer, you'll either love it or hate it, he writes very evocatively and from the senses and memories which is pretty unusual. His section is pretty fluid and doesn't have much of a structure as such but I did really enjoy it and wish more writers took as many risks as he did here.

14-The Drift-era interview by Rob Young. Again, 100% essential!

15-Documentary by Stephen Kijak. A nice little diary-esq write up on his time working on the documentary, really enjoyable read.
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on 31 December 2014
Bit of a slog to be honest
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on 17 April 2017
A great insight to my favourite singer
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on 25 January 2015
it was a present
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on 19 February 2013
This was a present so what can I say other than I hope he liked it, oh no not another 4 words needed!!!
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on 3 July 2012
This book is worth buying for Ian Penman and David Toop's essays alone. I say 'alone': the first of those must be 20,000 words long, and it's as incisive and creative as music writing gets, very powerful stuff in places. No mean feat when you're writing about the 'lost years' most people neglect. The second brings 'The Drift' alive by drawing your attention to a surprising set of musical styles, books and films from across various cultures and eras, and seamlessly back to its subject again. I guess the ever-elusive Walker is the ideal subject for good writers like these to get stuck into, cause they're free to let rip.
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on 21 May 2012
the Penman essay is a great read, except for the bits where he appears to enter into the mind of Walker - rock journalists should never do this.
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