Album no. 130/1001
This is the first album from Scott Walker, JUST KIDDING IT’S HIS SECOND YOU CAN TELL FROM THE TITLE. Alas, Scott 1 didn’t make the list, but we are ready and raring for Scott 2.
Scott was in a band called The Walker Brothers. Walker isn’t his real name, he’s actually Noel Scott Engel, bless his little heart. He had a varied career; the Walker Brothers were pretty big, and this was a number one album (!!!) in the UK. However his sales weren’t always great, and he ended up reinventing himself as an avant-garde musician. That’s down the track though. Come on, stay focused!
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: I certainly haven’t, but I LOVE the confidence/arrogance of calling his albums Scott 1, Scott 2, etc. What a legend.
CL: Nope. Never heard of Scott Walker. For some reason I seem to have the folk genre attached to this person. I don’t know if this is true.
CL: AND IT’S DEFINITELY NOT TRUE. Oh no.
NK: He sounds like Jacques Brel! But singing in English.
CL: I didn’t think I could hate this style of music any more after Jacques Brel. Turns out I can.
NK: I think ‘Jackie’ is the standout. It’s got a bit of pace to it at least, sounds like it’s going somewhere. The rest came across as a bit half-hearted after that. He definitely hits his notes. I don’t really know what this style of singing is. There must be a proper name for it. Chamber pop? Baroque pop? It’s weird. The music gets a bit samey after a while. I tried to listen to the lyrics, but wasn’t super impressed. ‘The girls say you’re on the right track, and then they take it all back, tie it up in a sack’. Good rhyming, but what are you on about Scott?
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: If you think you might like to go to the opera, but you’re not quite sure. Or if you’ve ever thought ‘I’d really like to see an orchestra, but instead of a conductor I’d like a big-headed egomaniac singer with a smooth voice’. I realise that’s quite specific, but it’s the truth, and that’s what I’m here for.
CL: Who would EVER want that? No thank you.
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: As well as Jacques Brel, it reminds me of The Divine Comedy, who I have an on again/off again relationship with. That weirdo chamber pop with the orchestra instruments and big singing. The Divine Comedy sounds basically exactly the same as this, so I can see that influence for sure. Pretty blank on other influences really. It’s quite a specific sound. Actually, Adam Green does a bit of stuff a bit like this. His lyrics are a lot more risque, but the sound is similar. So there’s another one.
CL: Ok, fine. Other people liked this music and decided to copy it. This could have all been sorted if, back in 1968, someone sat old Scott down and said ‘Look bud. This music… it’s weird. It’s not working for you. Why don’t you go follow your dreams of becoming a boutique shoe-maker? You’ll be happier.’ I would also be happier if this had happened.
Will you be listening again?
NK: I don’t think so. I didn’t hate this! But it’s similar to Jacques Brel, similar and not as good. Doesn’t quite have the energy Jacques had. Maybe it needed to be a live album.
CL: Maybe you need your brain checked. This was awful. I absolutely will not be listening again – and we still have another album to go!
Listen to Scott 2 on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.