Like many people,Â director Stephen Kijak has a bit of a passion for the mysterious musician Scott Walker (the stage name of Noel Scott Engel). The difference between Stephen Kijak and others, though, is that he decided to turn his passion into a documentary film, interviewing as many artists as he could find to discuss Walker’s influential work, from David Bowie to Al Clark to Sting. Kijak’s film – Scott Walker: 30 Century Man – originally debuted in late 2006 at the London Film Festival, an apt choice to premiere such a film as the UK is where Walker enjoyed the majority of his popularity in the late 1960s with the band The Walker Brothers before the band broke up and Walker went solo and evolved into an underground, avant-garde music-maker.
Now that the film has been run in limited release in both New York and Los Angeles, Lakeshore Records is releasing Music Inspired by the Film Scott Walker: 30 Century Man: a collection of Scott Walker covers that Kijak has put together with 12 bands submitting covers of Scott Walker songs covering the life of his work from his debut album Scott in 1967, to his most recent solo album The Drift from 2006. It’s unsurprising that the majority of the tracks included here are covers from the first four albums (Scott – Scott 4) which were all originally released between 1967 and 1969. These are the songs that shot Walker to stardom and therefore the ones that most Scott Walker fans will instantly recognize, though the songs from Walker’s later solo work help fill in the gaps between the immensely popular pop star of the 1960s and the reclusive Scott Walker of the present day. The chronologically next song after that time period – Laurie Anderson’s cover of “The Electrician” (a song from 1978) – already clearly displays the unusual musical path that Walker chose to embark on after his success as a pop star.
Like any collection of covers, the album immediately has a recognizable feel to it, even though each song is performed by a completely different artist. For those who have enjoyed Walker’s music over the years, this album will likely come as an unexpected breath of fresh air, while those unfamiliar with Walker’s work are likely to use this album in the way Kijak intended – as a guide “back to the source.”Regardless of your Scott Walker experience, Music Inspired by the Film Scott Walker: 30 Century Man has an impressive atmospheric quality that makes it hard to dislike. There’s a deceptively simplistic sound to Walker’s songs that makes them easy appreciate.
Zach’s Rating: 9 (out of 10)
Music Inspired by the Film Scott Walker: 30 Century Man will be released on May 5th, 2009.
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1. Duchess – Peter Broderick – from ScottÂ 4Â - 1969
2. Big Louise – Sally Norvell – from Scott 3Â - 1969
3. The World’s Strongest Man – Damon & Naomi – from ScottÂ 4Â - 1969
4. Manhattan – Saint Etienne – fromÂ Tilt – 1995
5. The Electrician – Laurie Anderson – from Nite Flights- 1978
6. The Seventh Seal – Nicole Atkins – from ScottÂ 4- 1969
7. Montague Terrace (In Blue) – Dot Allison – from Scott – 1967
8. The Bridge – Bee & Flower – from ScottÂ 2 - 1968
9. Rhymes of Goodbye – Stephanie Dosen – from ScottÂ 4- 1969
10. It’s Raining Today – Ulrich Schnauss – from Scott 3Â - 1969
11. A Lover Loves – Jarboe – from The Drift - 2006
12. SuchÂ A Small Love – Little Annie & Paul Wallfisch – from Scott – 1967