Monday, April 5, 2010


It made sense to continue my Easter listening with something in a similar vein, vocally led and easy on the ear. An afternoon spent reshuffling my records and realizing I don't currently have a copy of 'Fifth Dimension' pulled this out. I got very enthusiastic about this about a year or so ago when I re-discovered 'Such a Small Love' the second track on side 2. It's a very rare thing indeed - A perfect song. So what about the rest of the album. To be honest I don't think I have listened to this in it's entirety since college.

As pony as it sounds it could well have been Jarvis Cocker's musings that led me to explore the world of Scott Walker. I'm sure that he was cited as an influence in a Melody Maker cover interview or something similar, quite why I read it I'm not sure. As much as I respected what Pulp were doing it was a million light years from my then listening habits which I seem to remember were stuck somewhere between NOFX, Easy Listening and bad Hip-Hop at the time. Anyway, a copy of 'Scott' turned up in my local used record shop (Vinyl Vault) and I gave it a go.

Pretty sure I came away from it non-plussed: I couldn't hear the boy Cocker in it and there was no guitar, fast-forward ten years later and I had successfully over-looked this in favor of the latter two 'Eponymous' LPs without thinking twice. Not sure what it was that made me play it again but I did. I think I managed to play 'Such a Small Love' twenty times on one night exploring various scenarios for it's use, my funeral, a second wedding, a pseudo-non-religious Christening. It's kind of like a fore-runner to Robbie Williams' 'Angels' in so much as it's an all encompassing 'Births, Deaths and Marriages' anthem, only without the gurnings of the former Take That cheeky chap.

I hadn't really appreciated quite how much of that simmering epic quality saturated the rest of the album until listening to it on headphones just now. It's fantastic and all of the clues are there, the pre-cursors to the utter insanity of 'Stretch' or 'Climate of the Hunter'. Scott is a man obsessed with hookers, heartbreak and death, all of that to a symphonic accompaniment to match many film scores. Makes you ask what can possibly go wrong? Well to be honest very little. Much as I would love to tear this apart with my bare teeth and then use it for toilet paper it's not possible. The sleeve's great. The arrangement, the music, the lyrics are great.

I suppose if I was to nit-pick I'm not massively into the name Scott. It's a bit shit. It brings to mind the Scottish, reminds me of Terrier dogs for some reason, or an older kid I went to school with who I let beat me up because I felt sorry for him. Also it rhymes with 'snot'. Snot Walker.

Anyway, buy this, but don't get the 4 Men With Beards press or I will find out where you live and take a shit in your fridge.

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