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Customer Reviews

The March of Time

It all began when my wife noticed in the UK‘s ‘Radio Times’ a program to be broadcast about Scott Walker. We recorded it and watched it later in the week when it was more convenient. We watched and, more relevantly, listened. We were both astonished at the changes in Scott Walkers music. The difference in his musical style and content now is a million light years from those yesteryears of the Walker Brothers. Both my wife and I could never have dreamed that the Scott Walker we had listened to in the ‘Sun Ain’t Going To Shine Anymore’ era was the same Scott Walker we were listening to now. We both listened incredulously to the musical examples being broadcast along with the utterances of Scott himself, Brian Eno, Dave Bowie et al. My wife was very disappointed, she was hoping to listen once more to the deep rich voice she had heard during the Walker Brothers era. Now, we were being confronted by a trebly voice, a painful, at times, frightening voice but still, non-the-less, pure, brilliant and utterly engrossing, at least for me that is. Like my wife, I was also disappointed but, I was also curious at this considerably older Scott Walker and his musical transformation. From my early childhood days, I have always liked to listen to classical music. I the 1970’s I had set myself up at considerable expense with a Hi-Fi system the sound of which was fantastic and inspired me to delve into classical music even deeper than I had ever done. I even got into ’progressive rock’. My delvings caused me to experiment with ‘New Music’ the ‘Avant Garde’, ‘Modern Classical Music’ etc. So, I got used to hearing atonalism, harmonic dissonances, polyrhythm’s, leaping pitch changes and so on. I listened to the likes of Carl Ruggles, Edgard Varèse, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Peter Maxwell Davies etc. etc. Heady stuff believe me. So, when I watched the Scott Walker program, unlike my wife, I was not shocked at the musical leaps and contortions dominating the new Walker and my early experimental days were once again triggered into life. My curiosity got the better of me and so I downloaded both the ‘Tilt’ album AND ‘The Drift’ album to my PC and listened. I listened, and listened again and again over a period of days. I think I must be going through my second childhood because, recently, I have also started to listen again to those composers I experimented with well over 30 years ago ! The music of Scott Walker is not easy to slot into any genre. It is not classical, it is not avant garde, it is not modern jazz and certainly, it is not rock music and once more, it is certainly not ‘commercial’. Scott Walkers music is unique. Gone, way gone, are the days of the Walker Brothers. Now, with Tilt and The Drift, we have Scott Walker offering anyone who cares to listen, dissonant, atonal sounds ranging from double pianissimo to triple fortissimo in an instant. Shocking, sometimes frightening sounds rip into your psyche. It is never ending, the Scott Walker musical onslaught is relentless. We now have pounding unwavering beats that disturb, annoy and puzzle the listener, they certainly puzzle me that’s for sure and yet, I cannot dismiss this music, it is fascinating, disturbing, curious and utterly engrossing (if you are open to such that is). As for the words of his ‘songs’ they are weird, obscure and utterly bewildering in their obscurity. After some frantic searching, I even found a web site that allowed me to download and print the words to the songs from both albums. Now even having read them, I am still bewildered. I intend to listen again to Tilt (and The Drift) albums of Mr. Walkers. To sum up my feelings of both albums, I think Scott Walker is a very lucky man. Lucky in the sense that, had he not got the talent to create music and use it as an outlet for his mind, I am sure he would be in a mental institution now, drugged up, pacing up and down the corridors, mumbling to himself, banging his head against some favourite wall. Fortunately for us, Scott Walker has appeased his mind and spirit by producing two albums of music that are, without doubt a challenge to listen to, that are fascinating to listen to and that are perplexing to listen to in the fact that, I for one, cannot understand what the hell he is on about ……….. But I intend to continue to listen to both albums ………. perhaps one day, one day, yes, perhaps just one day, I too will comprehend madness and come to terms with extreme melancholia and be glad to have added the experience to lifes rich tapestry !!? In the meantime, Doctorie, pass me a C for this babaloo (from Bolivia 95 - Tilt album).

Stunning

This is a remarkable, breath-taking, compelling album that constantly challenges, frequently delights and sometimes even appalls. The envelope is well and truly pushed, indeed this is a must for the adventurous, however there are no half measures with 'Tilt'. You will either be bewitched by it, or you will find it unlistenable. I guarantee though that you will never had heard anything like it before.

A taste well worth acquiring…

Do you know that feeling of stepping out of the cinema and struggling to recognise your suroundings? Spend an hour with this amazing slab of music and you will be engrossed and transported in the same way. Most pieces are soundscapes in three parts; only the title song Tilt follows a traditional song structure. Even then, with characteristic perversity, Walker kills the atmosphere dead for the chorus. I once had a conversation with the album's producer Peter Walsh about it - he said even he had to ask Walker to explain parts to him! This is an immensely detailed record in terms of both sounds and emotions which will reward you with many surprises as it reveals itself to you.

Biography

Born: 09 January 1943 in Hamilton, OH

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most enigmatic figures in rock history, Scott Walker was known as Scotty Engel when he cut obscure flop records in the late '50s and early '60s in the teen idol vein. He then hooked up with John Maus and Gary Leeds to form the Walker Brothers. They weren't named Walker, they weren't brothers, and they weren't English, but they nevertheless became a part of the British Invasion after moving to the U.K. in 1965. They enjoyed a couple of years of massive success there (and a couple of hits...
Full bio