I bought this in a charity shop very recently (Oxfam, in Oxford’s Summertown area if I remember rightly) as it was pretty cheap and I’ve long been intrigued by how much devotion and column inches the Walker Brothers seem to have gotten since they were an active outfit. I’m still not entirely convinced, based on this record. It’s okay, but oddly bland, and the meta-operatic vocal style grates a little. I’m yet to hear Scott Walker’s recent solo work, but from what I’ve read it would seem that he’s become some kind of leftfield maverick genius of late. It’s hard to see the glimmers of that in this record, to be honest. Ah, maybe I’m just not of the right soul to appreciate this, or something.
Two interesting facts I’ve learnt from this purchase, however:
- The Philips record label only has one ‘L’ in its name. It’s so easy to think it should be two, especially after seeing the logo so many thousands of times in the past and presuming that this was the case.
- (According to the liner notes on this record) the Walker Brothers are not brothers at all:
…the Walker Brothers is a phenomenon, the like of which has never before been witnessed in this country and one which has not been explained entirely satisfactorily. Scott Engel, John Mans and Gary Leeds, related only in a musical sense, were interlopers from America. They had arrived in England in February 1965, completely unheralded and without even the benefit of stardom in their own country to boost their chances here.
Lumme. Hyperbole aside – perhaps this kind of liner note writing set up their status as legends in music – that’s genuinely educational for me. Did everybody else know this fact already?