The Naked And The Dead

I found this again recently, Orbital’s The Naked And The Dead, the B-side to their monumental 1992 Halcyon single. The Naked And The Dead samples Scott Walker doing Jacques Brel and borrows the title of Norman Mailer’s 1948 World War II novel. It is just shy of seven minutes of pounding, heady, forward thinking techno.

The Naked And The Dead

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>Nite Time

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While we’re in The Walker Brothers area here’s Nite Flights from a few years after No Regrets. This is a different kettle of fish entirely, more in Bowie’s Kraftwerkian experimental central European musical zone. Nite Flights was their last album and each member recorded their own songs separately. This is one of Scott’s songs and it’s very good indeed.

>For Far Too Long I’ve Had Nothing New To Show To You

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Sometimes you need to wallow in some premium tearjerking schmaltz, and The Walker Brothers 1976 comeback No Regrets ticks all those boxes. Lacking the echo laden drama of their 60s work, the one-man vision of Scott’s solo albums and the avant garde nature of his later albums featuring someone punching a side of beef for percussion, this is wide screen, orchestral, Vegas-style pop. But still featuring those killer lines that Scott Walker can deliver- ‘I woke last night and spoke to you not thinking you were gone, and it felt so strange to lie awake alone’ being just one. Guitarist John Walker died recently aged 67.

Nearly two decades ago me and my then flatmate started going to a pub quiz. We hooked up with a pair of middle aged blokes, a builder and a carpet fitter, when we realised between us we had the required level of general knowledge and useless nonsense (especially for the music round) to win the quiz each Monday. Pete used to pick us up in his van, and we’d drive down to the pub, often with this song belting out. We must have looked pretty ridiculous, two twenty somethings and two forty somethings arriving in a builder’s van bellowing Scott’s song of lost love. I’m now a forty something, and Pete is a sixty something, and we still get to a pub quiz, despite having lost the other two along the way. Funny how such random encounters can lead to lifelong friendships being made. For the record, we don’t win very often anymore. Maybe we need some young blood.

Lights Out

I’ve returned from a short holiday to find two posts attacked- a DMCA notice and removal for Friendly Ghost by Harlem and the Manics track removed from my Mediafire folder (possibly by Ctel from Acid Ted), so I’m not posting artist’s names and song titles as post headings any more, in a cunning bid to foil the DMCA search engine.

Whilst visiting mid-Wales we found out several things. It’s very lovely. When it rains, it rains heavily. Aberdovey has a nice beach. Aberystwyth is a great little town, and has many things to do though possibly not 1001. Machynlleth is a funny but great little place, half Welsh speaking, half hippy, left-field community, and is unpronouncable with an English accent. But it does have a record fair, which caused E.T., 7 years old, to say ‘here we go again’ when I pointed out the signs proclaiming ‘Record Fair Here Today’ and whooped. Results- the first Scott Walker solo album, 1967 pressing, good nick, £3.99, and the soundtrack to the mucky 70s film Emmanuelle, £3.00. Thought it was worth a shot. Ahem.

I listened to Scott last night, havn’t heard it for years since I borrowed it from a friend on cd, and it sent me back to this 1966 Walker Brothers B-side, After The Lights Go Out. A wonderful piece of dramatic 60s pop, with some great lyrical touches that plant it firmly in reality. Cracking song.

Walker Brothers – After The Lights G.mp3