If I joined the social whirl: The best of Scott Walker

In the last two years, peaking after his death, I’ve explored the late Scott Engel’s discography. Lacunae in my knowledge remain: the string of post-Scott 4 albums (‘Til the Band Comes In, The Moviegoer, the country-tinged We Had It All, etc), Bish Bosch, for example. In a paradox he spent a career embodying, I had to learn to listen to him because for a while he was easy to listen to. The America that embraced the British, Madras-born Engelbert Humperdinck and Tom Jones (Wales) accepted a pair of Yank through-and-through Walker Brothers singles into the top twenty before sentencing followup albums to cutout bins. I found the rigors of Tilt and The Drift more familiar than the Bacharach-David material. To go from gonorrhea and queer lieutenants in “Next” to the rubbing and fusing and the sealing and pivoting of “Bouncer Sees Bouncer” only took thirty years.

Scott 2 grabbed my ear last January. “A radically different concept of the Worried Man from that of Dylan’s, and one possibly more attuned to that period’s other American viewing Britain through lovingly jaded eyes, Patrick McGoohan, the record has little in common with any of the other trends which this year covers – no particular connection with folk-rock, certainly none with what was left of the British beat boom, not much concretely to do with soul music,” Marcello Carlin wrote.

My obit published last spring.

1. It’s Raining Today
2. Rosary
3. Fat Mama Kick
4. The Old Man’s Back Again
5. Track Three
6. Plastic Palace People
7. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
8. 30th Century Man
9. The Girls and the Dogs
10. The Seventh Seal
11. Farmer in the City
12. Jolson and Jones
13. We Came Through
14. Next
15. Rawhide
16. Copenhagen
17. Make It Easy on Yourself
18. Nite Flights
19. Duchess
20. Track Six
21. MY Ship is Coming In
22. Jesse
23. Get Behind Me
24. Patriot (A Single)
25. Track Five

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