On First Listen
Scott Walker

By: John M. Cunningham

Posted 07/12/2005 - 08:40:25 AM by TheBrad:
 "We Came Through" is my favorite Walker song out of what little I've really heard (i.e., Scott 3). I'd say you got to the heart of his catalogue pretty well.
Posted 07/12/2005 - 10:54:38 AM by wmdavidson:
 Your aside on rockism humorously brought to my mind the sincerely-insincere "Not that there's anything wrong with that!" refrain from Seinfeld. Was that intentional?
Posted 07/12/2005 - 02:12:34 PM by cwperry:
 Now this is a great example of a good "On First Listen" column: an examination of someone who's critically lauded, but few have actually heard. It is also personally timely, as I dipped into Mr. Walker's catalog for this first time this month. My exposure is limited to Scott 2 and the later compilation . I thoroughly enjoy them, but I must admit: if we are being really straight up, some of Walker's music sounds straight off the Gigi soundtrack - i.e., things we might make fun of in a different context. (If you're a rockist like me, har-de-har-har, that is.) I can't help but wonder if I would even put up with this guy's early solo work if it weren't critically accliamed - in other words, I wonder if his established place in the pop/rock canon is what perpetuates survival of his work, rather than straight-up, unabashed enjoyment of his work. There's a reason why Scott Walker is viewed as hep and the Gigi soundtrack ain't, if you get my drift. One possibility is that Walker - especially when interpreting Brel - broaches risque topics that your run-of-the-mill showtune doesn't.
Posted 07/12/2005 - 02:13:10 PM by cwperry:
 My last comment left out the identity of said "later compilation" - it is Scott Sings Jacques Brel.
Posted 07/12/2005 - 11:35:44 PM by IanMathers:
 The only pre-"Tilt" stuff I've heard is "The Seventh Sign" and "The Old Man's Back Again (Dedicated To The Neo-Stalinist Regime)", but they're both gold. Tilt is one of the best albums of the 90s, and I'm really excited to hear he's got something else on the way.
Posted 07/14/2005 - 02:11:26 PM by CosmicJuan:
 "ampsterdam" is def a highlight... and 'next' just cuz it's really weird... Your opinion is well tempered... don't sound like the type of person to jump into the sandbox all oozing love and not caring if you get dirty unless you REALLY mean it. As for me.... first Walker track I heard was 'Jackie' and was immediately balls out in love with him... I even like the schmalzy lounge crooning... even love some of it... Montague Terrace in Blue... His appeal imo is in the oblique (maybe novel) approach to the hyperstereotyped genres he works in... sort of like serge gainsbourg or missy elliot... that and Tilt is awesomely beautiful... This column is really interesting... listening to "classic" artists for the first time is the equivalent of gauntlet running in appreciating music (or whatever it is people who listen to music are doing). Dunno how many times I've been mocked for not liking something "classic" (or accused of bandwagoning(eering?) by likewise declaring love of.
Posted 07/14/2005 - 04:36:37 PM by corpse:
 Excellent article John. I really need to hear Climate of the Hunter again, I can't believe I forgot to put it on the CDR. Scott 3 still remains my favorite.