I have been increasingly familiar with these albums (Scott 1-4 & 5/‘Til The Band Comes In’) for the best part of thirty years now. I have them on CD, most on vinyl and have a few (some quite rare) compilations on vinyl, most notably ‘Sings Jacques Brel’, ‘Fire Escape In The Sky – The Godlike Genius Of Scott Walker’ and ‘Spotlight on Scott Walker’ not to mention some cracking CD compilations, ‘Boychild’ and ‘5 Easy Pieces’ being standouts. In short I’m well familiar with this material.
So listening to the latest re-issue in release order over the last few days and reinforced certain opinions rather than enlighten me. Namely...
1 – What a fantastic run of five albums, surely rarely if at all bettered in the history of popular music.
2 – Common perception is that ‘Scott 4’ is the pièce de résistance, and indeed it is amazing. For me though ‘Scott 3’ slays all comers. Its overall feel and presentation, the melancholy and delicacy of the orchestral arrangements, the first really self written of the albums (though it does have three Brel tracks tacked on the end), it’s truly heart stopping stuff. Also the sleeve may not be as iconic as Scott 1, but, I really like it.
3 – Should I have purchased this all again? Well, yes. The remastering is subtle; not the usual boosting of the extreme dynamic ranges, in fact the CD’s seem somewhat quiet. But there’s more detail there, more to appreciate than ever before. And its only £21.41 on Amazon (be quick, it’s already gone up by 4 quid since I ordered it). You should really buy it if you have an appreciation for diverse music, especially if you don’t already own this stuff.
Psssst! Get it here! Amazon - Scott Walker - The Collection 1967 - 1970
4 – Listen, as the enclosed booklet suggests to ‘Til The Band Comes In’ as Scott 5, the self written tracks 1-10 in isolation. At 25.55 in length it’s not the most epic of albums but without the covers at the end It makes more sense as an album, the covers at the end are OK but add nothing to the whole.
An immense reissue. Each and every home should have one.