Sunday, April 21, 2013

Scott on TV

After the Walker Brothers' success, Scott Walker had become such a popular artist in the UK that he was granted a TV show of his own. Scott surely hesitated because singing other people's songs didn't really fit his artistic ambition that kept growing. Despite being hungry for getting to present his own compositions and lyrics Scott agreed to do the show. He saw it as a way to challenge himself as there were many songs he hadn't sung before.

Scott: Scott Walker Sings Songs from His TV Series was released in July 1969 being his fourth solo album release. The songs on the album are studio re-recordings of the same songs Scott performed live on TV, consisting of big band numbers, ballads, and film music.

At the moment the album is not officially available on CD, thanks to having being blocked by Scott himself. However, most of the songs can be heard on various CD compilations. The rest can be heard through unofficial channels, such as YouTube. Despite the difficulties in availability, the album itself just might be worth hearing if you happen to enjoy Scott Walker singing any kind of good music (and not just self-penned material).

My personal experience with this album has been quite interesting. Knowing Scott and his artist persona, him singing something like Will You Still Be Mine was very bizarre at first. However, those kind of cheery big band numbers didn't sound so strange too long – Scott does a fantastic job throughout the album – even though his version of Look of Love isn't as good as Dusty Springfield's.

In any case, many of the songs on the TV show album are melancholic ballads (which you could definitely expect from Scott) and Scott's renditions are impeccable. You can hear how he took the challenge seriously. The orchestrations are very pleasant thanks to Peter Knight's work as music director.

Wish to hear more of Scott's standards, tender ballads or jazzy numbers? Don't underestimate the power of Scott's TV show music!

P.S. Unfortunately, the actual TV show is gone, thanks to BBC overwriting the tapes. The audio was salvaged, though, which is a good thing even though the quality isn't superb. Search for "Scott Walker BBC TV show".