6:00 AM GMT 22/06/2011
The swansong of America's British chart crashers, too square for the freaks and too loose for the straights.
There have been some great incongruous support acts across the ages - Bad Manners supporting Echo and The Bunnymen at the Electric Ballroom in 1979, for example - but the bill for the Walker Brothers' farewell UK jaunt in April 1967 is a classic; joining the faux siblings at the nation's Granadas, Gaumonts and Odeons were Englebert Humperdinck, Cat Stevens and Jimi Hendrix. Images, the last album Scott, John and Gary made in the '60s is also something of a contrast to the increasingly psychedelic times. Released just as they were on the way out - singles were charting ever-lower, while work permit hassles had obliged them to quit Britain for six months - it's a curious mix of material to appease their mental teen fanbase, MOR-minded mums and dads and even those wanting real substance to their pop entertainment. Immaculately realised by the three-tunes-in-four-hours studio hands, ably orchestrated by chain smoking producer Johnny Franz and arranger Reg Guest, the Scott-sung cover of Michel Legrand's Once Upon A Summertime has that mix of half-cut lachrymosity and super-lush soundworld that would have gone down a storm at the Batley Variety Club. It's followed by Scott's Experience - a fantastical, careering waltz through the central European bierkeller of his mind - and John Walker's lazy, heat hazed saunter through Blueberry Hill. These gear changes persist throughout; Scott's extraordinary Orpheus and Genevieve (a dry run of sorts for Always Coming Back To You on his first solo LP) also stand out, while equally as good is I Can't Let It Happen To You, a cool, swinging-London-at-rest song of empathy written and sung by John, the essential harmonist who sadly died on Saturday.
Posted by Ross_Bennett at 6:00 AM GMT 10/05/2011
The Walker Brothers - Portrait (Philips, 1966)
Dusty Springfield - Where Am I Going? (Philips, 1967)