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You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. Preview this item Preview this item. But despite this, in forty years of music, there has yet to be a serious book on Scott Walker. This collection put together by Rob Young of The Wire magazine features a handful of previously published articles and newly commissioned pieces, largely drawn from the orbit of The Wire's writers including Ian Penman, Chris Bohn and Rob Young. Read more Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private.
Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Collection of pieces on enigmatic genius Scott Walker.
No Regrets: Writings on Scott Walker by Rob Young
The chronology emerges piecemeal in No Regrets , which is apt given the acute angles of Walker's career graph, commercially and so the myth has it artistically. Here he is in his teens being touted as "the gonest gasser of all gassers", gleaning production smarts as a studio hand for Phil Spector , recording the first Walker Brothers tracks with Spector's legendary arranger, Jack Nitzsche.
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The apprenticeship is important; by the time he arrived in London in , Walker was well apprised of the lure of well-groomed professionalism versus the scarier potential of artistic self-fashioning. Maybe he was already stranded. The rest, anyway, is well known: brief manic stardom, diminishing sales for four astonishing solo albums, the long slow trek to a place where he was in control. What is there to add to that narrative arc? Rob Young, author of Electric Eden , a remarkable history of visionary music in Britain, is well placed to fill the analytic gaps.
No Regrets: Writings on Scott Walker by Rob Young: review
A former editor of the Wire magazine, he has corralled a book that at first glance seems to depend on Walker's current experimental credentials. His last two albums have essayed a music of extraordinary intimacy and strangeness, schooled in the last century's avant gardes but with baritone phantoms of the familiar Scott still in attendance.
Young mounts a compelling case for Walker as belated modernist: an American remaking himself according to English and French models. Brian Morton pursues that comparison in an essay on Tilt , from Walker's song had evolved to a state of extreme lyrical abstraction, the voice grown higher and panicked among blocks and wires of indeterminate sound.
By the time of The Drift in , the now something singer had vanished inside soundscapes that were constantly, as David Toop puts it, "flexing, sagging, cracking, breathing, stretched over bloody fluidity". Was Scott more alone than before? Scott was also the beginning of a period of prolonged creative output, with five albums Scott 1—4 , plus the Sings Songs From His TV Series LP appearing in the space of two years, followed by exhaustion and withdrawal.
The album itself came hot on the heels of his work with The Walker Brothers, appearing only half a year after the last collective effort, Images. It comprises a mixture of obsessions, borrowings, original tracks and extraordinary arrangements by Wally Stott, Reg Guest and Peter Knight.
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Walker was just twenty-three when he made Scott , a fact that seems scarcely believable. His voice somehow manages to be more magnificent than all the string arrangements, would have buried any other singer in their furious bid for attention. But here it is, confident, masterful even, despite or perhaps because of the content of the songs, which are all about love lost and regained, reciting female name after female name: Mathilde, Angelica, Joanna, a lady from Baltimore named Susan Moore, whose Daddy read the law.
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- No Regrets: Writings on Scott Walker!
That only serves to enhance the ironic framework of the song, which Walker asserted was written about a young man attending the funeral of a close friend, observing the disproportionate tears of a woman who only knew him for one night. The sleeve, too, hints at a kind of glorious expansiveness compared to the troubled loner of the first solo record: his mouth open in a roar, his hands raised as if conducting an orchestra at the back of a bar. Scott is at his sexiest here, his most aggressively humorous.
The work always dominates, and yet the work will never be enough… The gaps and the periods of silence, the air between walls of sound, will of course only increase in decades to come.