Saturday, March 19, 2011


Scott Walker Series, #14: The Walker Brothers- Nite Flights (1978) MP3 & FLAC


"We will be gods on nite flights, with only one promise, only one way to fall."

The album cover of The Walker Brothers' mid-seventies album, No Regrets, paints an apt portrait of the band's direction at the time: Gary and John looking perfectly at home in the era's regalia of bare chests, jean jackets, and sun-bleached smiles, while Scott, tan, shirtless, and holding a beer, looks away with hand held up to block the camera's view as if to say, "I'm only here for the party; I don't want to be held responsible for all this." After two lackluster "comeback" albums, the band was contractually required to deliver a third; however, the record label to which they owed the recording was on the verge of folding, thus creating an artistic "perfect storm" in which Scott Walker's genius was to re-awaken after eight long years of ceaseless slumber. In relation to its two predecessors, Nite Flights (at least Scott's part) is a spectacular artistic whiplash of an album that not only laid the groundwork for Scott Walker's still-continuing intermittent forays into unexplored regions of musical dissonance, but also played a major role in funneling Kraut-Rock and experimental electronic music into the UK music scene, and in the process, heavily influencing the fledgling Post-Punk movement. While Scott only contributes four songs to Nite Flights, they are all stunners, but none more so than "The Electrician." It is clear that Scott had been listening to David Bowie's work with Brian Eno, but he uses this only as a port of entry, after which he takes the song into regions entirely unknown. Grand, epic, lush and terrifying, "The Electrician" is one of the great avant-garde rock songs of the seventies. Unfortunately, (though predictably), the songs written by the other Walker Brothers are utterly forgettable, making the album a strangely conflicted creature indeed, but Scott's contributions are as essential as it gets.

Night Flights (2010 Re-Issue)
 1. Shutout  (2:47)
 2. Fat Mama Kick  (2:57)
 3. Nite Flights  (4:25)
 4. The Electrician  (6:10)
 5. Death of Romance  (3:45)
 6. Den Haague  (4:04)
 7. Rhythms of Vision  (2:55)
 8. Disciples of Death  (3:48)
 9. Fury and the Fire  (3:58)
10. Child of Flames  (3:14)



10 comments:

  1. What would I do without your excellent taste and curatorial choices? THANK YOU!

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  2. Anon. thank you for your comment. I'm a little surprised that more people haven't commented on this one, since it's been entirely unavailable in lossless (except on private torrent sites). This is my rip from a brand new, recently released, box set of the 70s Walker Brothers albums. I will post "No Regrets" on the other blog

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  3. I was waiting to comment until I could remember who recorded a cover of "The Electrician" that I really like. It was Sightings on their "Through the Panama" album.

    I love the four Scott songs on this album (let's face it: it's hard not to treat it as an EP). "Shutout" sounds like something that should be playing in some lynchian disco on the edge of town at 4 AM. "Fat Mama Kick" has this weird "outsider" feel, like it could have been recorded by one of those obscure groups they post on the Mutant Sounds blog. The title track sort of looks forward to the bizarro commercial/not-commercial uber-80s sound of the "Climate of Hunter" album. And then there's "The Electrician", which is one-of-a-kind.

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  4. thanks wolfspider! I'm in total agreement. However, it does seem the other Walkers were trying their best to keep up with Scott's reawakening muse on this album, but failed miserably in doing so. John's songs, which have intriguing titles, all sound like early 80s bubblegum hard-rock. Gary's contributions, well, nor sure what to say about those ;)

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  5. Thanks for this. Those 4 Scott tracks are top notch.


    Not sure about who covered The Electrician but I did go to a gig where Surgeon opened a techno set with it.

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  6. Anon. I've often dreamed of what an entire Scott Walker album called "Nite Flights" might have sounded like. Based on these 4 tracks, it would have been amazing. Given the conditions under which this album was made, I guess we're fortunate to even have these

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  7. Ah, I was waiting for you to post this one. Thanks.

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  8. you are spoiling me and everybody with all these treats all gathered in one place: my heart-throbs kendra smith and hope sandoval...lambchop and scott walker, too much in such a short time. good luck in these hard times, thank you

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  9. Anon. thank you for your kind comments. I guess these treats can help us all get through these hard times, because they are hard indeed. Be well and keep coming back :)

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