Posted by: docdenbow | February 10, 2012

Cute In A Stupid Ass Way

“What’s got you so jumpy?
Why can’t you sit still, yeah?”

Now I have pretty wide and varied musical taste. I feel that I must start this post with this video by the true kings of cheesy glam rock. The thing is this type of song doesn’t really appeal to the cerebral part of a person. No, it’s a song that appeals to the part of you that wants to jump up and down and wave your arms about, generally dance around and shout out……

“Unskinny Bop,Bop – Just blows me away…..”

Personally I love this song, but I can’t think why as it really goes against the grain for me. I mean, I like intelligent music. I like Art Pepper. I like Tubby Hayes. I like Miles Davis. I own lots of albums. Lots of albums with decent “intelligent music” on them. You know like Roxy Music, Nick Drake, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aerosmith, The Beatles, The Who, Glenn Hughes, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder – the list is virtually endless. I have all of Prince’s albums for God’s sake! So why the hell do I love “Unskinny Bop?” Well, I think different songs or types of music reflect different aspects of your personality. So if all you like is Leonard Cohen, for example, then find a tall building and throw yourself from it. What I’m trying to say here is that if you only like/listen to one genre of music, then to me you’re a pretty one dimensional sort of person. Now I’m not setting myself up up as a perfect and interesting multi faceted individual – no it just happens that I am!

Now this brings me, not exactly neatly to someone I tend to play/listen to intently for a few weeks and then move, only and inevitably to return. Now in what is loosely known as “Rock Music” the epithet of “Genius” is bandied around with such gay abandon that it makes the term meaningless. The word is totally mis-used as is “random,” but let’s move on. Now the chappie I’m talking about can in my opinion be called a “Genius.” Good old Wikipedia tells me that Genius is “someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight.” I think this term can safely be applied to Scott Walker.

Until relatively recently I was unaware of Scott apart from the songs by the Walker Brothers that turned up every now and again on Radio 2 and suchlike. Then in 1995 came “Tilt.” It’s not exactly easy listening, something a Scott Walker virgin may not have anticipated when you think of The Walker Brothers and “No Regrets,” “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” and “Make It Easy On Yourself.” Whilst I have to say that “Tilt” requires patience and understanding, I can understand why it could be dismissed as tuneless drivel – it’s hard work.

It seemed every “posh” newspaper I picked up had arts section stuff about Scott Walker and the fact that he had dropped from the public eye. There were outlandish stories about him watching games of darts in London pubs whilst nursing halves of bitter. Q magazine and Mojo often referred to the latest Indie releases as “Walker influenced.” I got curious. Someone lent me a copy of “Cousteau’s” 1999 Cd and told me that he had real overtones of classic Scott. Along with the CD came the advice “Bollocks to Tilt! It’s shit.” Well I really liked the Cousteau album, handed it back and promptly forgot all about Scott Walker and Cousteau.

Then in 2009 Angela Morley died. There was an obituary in some paper or other where it mentioned that this gifted musical arranger had done lots of work for Scott Walker. Then it said further down in the article that Angela was Wally Stott and Wally had a gender reassignment to become Angela. Wally had a good career, Angela was more successful and had two Oscar nominations.

So again Scott Walker’s name cropped up, so this time I checked out just what was out there and found a 5 CD box called “5 Easy Pieces,” and luckily there was a copy in the music library so one play, all the way through and I was hooked. Kerching via Amazon (well judge that for yourselves!) and I had all the best stuff of Scott. The first CD of this set alone is worth the money alone with Scott’s takes on Jacques Brel. I’m not going to go on and on here about how great Scott Walker is, go and listen for yourselves. If you don’t want to spend tons of cash, this is a great place to start “Scott Walker Sings Jacques Brel” on Amazon UK for £3.49. Give it a try, you know you want to. It sounds nothing like Poison.

Ciao For Now Jackie



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