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Scott Walker - The Moviegoer CD (album) cover


Scott Walker

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3 stars I am more or less familiar with Scott Walker's classic repertoire from the late sixties (actually I mostly have had good compilations at my hand instead of whole individual albums), so it may feel strange that I choose to make a review of this collection of movie songs. Perhaps the given low rating makes me want to find out if it's really that bad in comparison. Upon my initial youtube listening I'd say this isn't a poor album per se, although I certainly see the point why it's not on the same level. First of all, the songwriter Scott Walker is not present here. This was a product aiming at easy marketing.

Wikipedia: "Having lost creative control of his music after the commercial failures of his previous two studio albums Scott 4 and 'Til the Band Comes In, Walker was tasked with recording 'inoffensive, middle-of-the-road material that could be easily processed, marketed and sold'. By way of compromise Walker had some say in the song selection and drew together a selection of themes from some of his favourite films." Some of the twelve tunes on this album are familiar to a large audience, but at least to me there are many good songs unfamiliar to me in advance. Middle-of-the- road easy listening, admittedly. But as such, this is worth hearing: Scott Walker as a singer doesn't fail, and the arrangements are ok.

'This Way Mary' is a theme song from "Mary, Queen of Scots" composed by John Barry who is IMHO among the best movie composers, far beyond his well-known contributions to James Bond films. Nino Rota's 'Speak Softly Love' from The Godfather is unfortunately overplayed up to these days (not the Scott Walker version, but it sounds pretty much the same anyway). 'Glory Road' comes from the film W.U.S.A. (1970, not familiar to me). A recognizable Neil Diamond softness in this song. Nice, if a bit forgettable. 'That Night' composed by Lalo Schiffrin is also a slow-tempo ballad, and the orchestration is very romantic. I do have a sof spot for music like this.

Other featured composers include masters such as Michel Legrand and Henry Mancini. Songs written by less familiar names, like 'Come Saturday Morning' from Pookie (1969) are also very good in this particular easy listening genre, all very suitable for Scott's emotional voice. And it's very nice to hear 'The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti' (Ennio Morricone, Joan Baez), being only familiar with 'Here's to You'.

It's safe to say this album is pretty unessential in Scott Walker's discography, but worth listening to, if you have nothing against romantic, orchestrated crooner stuff.

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Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2023 | Review Permalink

SCOTT WALKER The Moviegoer ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only
  • 2 stars Gordy (El Gringo del Mundo) SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Folk/Eclectic/PSIKE/Metal/Post/Math Team
  • 2 stars WinterWarlock (Johnny)
  • 5 stars dannyb

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