Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Scott Walker Series, #3: Scott Walker- 'Til the Band Comes In (1970) MP3 & FLAC

"You've been beyond the boundaries, understood it all, and thought of nothing."

Universally panned at the time of its release, the ensuing 40 years have been somewhat redemptive for 'Til the Band Comes In.  What was once considered a sell out (and what wouldn't after a record like Scott 4?) now sounds like an album that lacks a clear conceptual focus but still manages to contribute a number of worthy additions to the Scott Walker canon. Songs such as "Thanks for Chicago Mr. James," "Jean the Machine," and "Cowbells Shakin'" would have fit seamlessly on one of the iconic earlier albums and deserve much better than the relative obscurity they have been relegated to for much of their existence. Where the album falters, and what has unfairly determined its reputation for many, is the series of covers finishing the album, all dressed in too much "saccharin," and thus quite at odds with the existential darkness of the original material. Nevertheless, this is essential listening for anyone with more than a passing interest in Scott Walker's early solo career.

'Til the Band Comes In (1996 Remastered Edition)
 1. Prologue  (1:22)
 2. Little Things (That Keep Us Together)  (2:19)
 3. Joe  (3:42)
 4. Thanks for Chicago Mr. James  (2:18)
 5. Long About Now (Vocals, Esther Ofarim)  (2:06)
 6. Time Operator  (3:38)
 7. Jean the Machine  (2:10)
 8. Cowbells Shakin'  (1:06)
 9. 'Til the Band Comes In  (3:50)
10. The War Is Over (Epilogue)  (3:36)
11. Stormy  (3:09)
12. The Hills of Yesterday  (3:45)
13. Reuben James  (3:03)
14. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?  (3:36)
15. It's Over  (2:23)


  1. "Thanks for Chicago Mr. James," is one of my favorite songs of all time. It gives me a sensation not unlike nostalgia, but applied perhaps to a time or place I've never been.

  2. Cain, thanks for being the first to comment on this under-appreciated album. I am in full agreement with you on that song; one of my favorite Walker songs as well

  3. I sort of wish Scott had made this a 100% concept album, rather than finish it off with four cabaret songs, even though they are good, they are definitely out of place on this album!(tracks 11 to 14)
    I sometimes wonder what other previous tracks he had recorded would have suited the mood of this endeavour?
    My selection would have been, "My Way Home,Two Ragged Soldiers, Cowboy and Two Weeks Since Your Gone"
    I have been a Scott Walker fan since 1965 and still love his music!:)

  4. This is a great album and a wonderful coda to his 60's work


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