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Scott 4 (180 Gram Vinyl)

4.4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Vinyl, February 26, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Despite being the first of his solo albums not to reach the British Top 10, Scott 4 was perhaps his best, and most ambitious album to date. Originally released in 1969 it is the first record to feature only Scott Walker originals. It is also the first to back off a bit from the heavily string laden production of past releases, allowing other sonic influences to shine through, from country to folk to soul. The lyrical content remains intense as Walker tackles everything from war to Stalinism to heartbreak with equal success. A classic. Deluxe 180 gram vinyl reissue in a gatefold sleeve.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Seventh Seal
  2. On Your Own Again
  3. The World's Strongest Man
  4. Angels Of Ashes
  5. Boy Child
  6. Hero Of The War
  7. The Old Man's Back Again (Dedicated To The Neo-Stalinist Regime)
  8. Duchess
  9. Get Behind Me
  10. Rhymes Of Goodbye


Product Details

  • Vinyl (February 26, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4 Men With Beards
  • ASIN: B0010VD7CQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,545 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. N. Marks on May 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Walker inhabits a capricious realm in popular music. The unfortunate fact remains that he is little known in the United States and his music never seems to be mentioned by connoiseurs of "easy listening" or pop critics with wide readership. . . but upon consideration you can almost understand why. This realm is capricious because his passion balances on the knife edge of ardor and sensitivity and over-the-top cliched shmaltz. But he wins and does not let the cliches outflank him.

Walker's music is frequently fervid and ardorous (if not always in style and presentation, certainly in substance). Take "The Seventh Seal" for example. The driving rhythm and the slightly "Mexican" horns make the track seem almost cartoonish at first. Is this the work of a lounge singer? Well, no. No it is not. The lyrics of the song consider the famous chess game between the knight and "Death" in Ingmar Bergman's film of the same name. Why would Walker place so formidable a theme within these lyrical and odd melodious confines? I can't answer that question but I would contend that he is trying to make you listen harder, even trick you. I find that this song, with each listening, bores a hole larger and larger in me and the melody and imagery are rather dogged.

But if I need a break from this blitzkrieg I can turn my attention to "Hero of the War" or "The Old Man's Back Again," two tracks that are as close to rock as he ever came on his solo recordings of the period. But wait! What's this? "It's a shame how you almost died of pain when he was born/too bad you didn't have your husband right beside you through it all/ Ring the bell when you get hungry or you fall" (Hero of the War). I was struck by the lyric in the same song, "It's the emptiness of heroes like your son.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is just sweeping! From romantic country ballads to epic Ennio Moricone jams, this has it all. This was Scott's first album of all original material and it's easily his best. "Old Man's Back Again" and "The Seventh Seal" are just knockout works of passionate drama; nothing in excess, just great, creative musicianship. "Duchess" and "Rhymes Of Goodbyes" are such gorgeous slices of gospel country...Scott at his most soulful. "Angels Of Ashes" has to have the most beautiful lyrics ever writtern, while "Boy Child" has to have the most beaitufl strings ever arranged for a pop song. This is Walker showing off. All in all, a total classic.
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Format: Audio CD
Scott Walker's only fully self-penned album 'Scott 4' not only captures a stunning voice at its peak but a rare and special songwriting talent. The album begins with 'The Seventh Seal' a song directly inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film of the same name. Driving rhythms combine with Walker's eerie and inspiring imagery to dramatic effect. The album builds with 'On your own again' one of his best and most moving ballads and follows into 'Hero of the war' a beutifully observed account of a soldier's homecoming and peaks with the wonderfully funky 'The old man's back again'. This album is an education in popular music, A genius' masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
If you don't own any Scott Walker's albums yet - you should, you know.What he does on this LP is simply beyond any rational explanation...well how could anyone alive record a song as beautiful as On Your Own Again or The World's Strongest Man?
Yes, there are people who don't like Scott Walker but what are their hearts must be like?
This is an album to die for! Buy it now and thank me later.
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This is another great album by Scott Walker (following Scott 1, 2, and 3), and an extremely rewarding listen. This is the most accessible of the four self-titled albums, and is arguably the best. The songs are all self composed and lack the over-the-top arrangements that were characteristic of his other albums, but they are all excellent compositions, perhaps more succinct than on prior albums. The best songs are "The Seventh Seal" and "The Old Man's Back Again", both with ghostly choirs; and "Duchess" and "On Your Own Again", both beautiful ballads. This album also contains "Get Behind Me", which I believe is the only Scott Walker song (from the 60's) that features distorted guitars. This album is highly recommended for any music lovers.
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Scott's voice has to be one of the most beautiful sounds in the universe. A voice touched by the gods for our aesthetic pleasure...a pop Jussi Bjoerling...on top of which is his amazing songwriting talent.
This is a great CD...it stands somewhat halfway between the top 40 music of the early Walker Brothers recordings, and his most recent work, the unclassifiable, magnificent "Tilt".
Favorites include the marvelous "The Seventh Seal" with its Spanish flavored brass arrangement, the powerful "The Old Man's Back Again" which is one of the 3 songs he ends with some terrific scat singing, and "Hero of the War" with its Bo Diddley rhythm.
This CD was a surprise gift, for which I'm most grateful, and one that will bring beauty into my life for the rest of my days.
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It is hard to evaluate Scott Walker's late-1960's work before evaluating Walker himself. Here is a guy who, at the peak of acid rock, chooses, on its face, easy listening music, singing with the voice of an absolute crooner. But he sings about "The Stalinist Regime," and "The Seventh Seal," about playing chess with death, an idea that came from an Igmar Bergman film.

To quote Joe Pesci from Oliver Stones JFK, Walker is an "riddle wrapped in a mysert wrapped in a enigma." There are so many levels you could evaluate Walker's work on during this period, and if it had no other value, there would be great value in the sheer eccentricity of his first four solo albums.

But there is a lot more value than this, and it is in full display on 1969's Scott 4. "The Seventh Seal" may be the best place to begin. The lyrics handle symbolism with a dynamic narrative about playing chess with the grim reaper with the same ease most top 40 bands dealt with boy girl relationships in 1969. Walker sings these with a tenor smooth as silk, his annunciation so clear and perfect you are helplessly captured into listening to his lyrics. The same holds true with "The Old Man's Back Again. (Dedicated To The Stalinist Regime)" This was a year after the Prague Spring reform movement was crushed in Iron Curtain Czechoslovakia, and Walker is using his own strange hybrid of smaltz and statement to make you pay attention to his masterfully crafted decelerations. If you are drawn in by the music being so obtuse, there is ample substance to keep you there once you are so drawn.

Of course there is plenty of music here, filled with lush orchestrations, choirs of backup singers, and great backing tracks of folk, lounge, and semi-classical music.
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