PRICE: $85.00
5 Easy Pieces

MERC 81044 MERC 81044

2003 release, 96 tracks across 5 themed CDs ('Bedsit Dramas', 'Songs of a Lady, Love & Loss', 'Songs from Europe & America', '15 big hits' and 'Music From Film and for Films'). Many rare & deleted tracks. Scott's soundtrack work collected on one CD for the first time. 56 page booklet of notes. "Anthologizing Scott Walker's career is a daunting task. Along with Walker, perhaps only The Beatles, Roxy Music, John Cale and David Bowie have engulfed themselves in both art and pop and created such riches in each vein. Incredibly, Walker swung much further in each direction than any of those other artists, singing standards (and other housewives' choices) on a TV variety show, and creating famously impenetrable, esoteric work on his most recent (a loosely used term here, to be sure) solo albums. Therefore, the first challenge of any examination of his career demands rectifying the split between his more populist and cerebral impulses. Happily, the five-disc, 93-track 5 Easy Pieces rises to the challenge, capturing the on-the-surface duality between Walker's MOR song styling and his avant-garde leanings, as well as demonstrating the common ground shared by everything he did in between. With a large number of rare and out-of-print tracks sitting alongside most of his best-known work, this is a rare collection that would appeal to both Walker devotees and novices. And with a few exceptions, each disc is arranged chronologically, demonstrating in some cases that Walker's unusual path didn't have as many sharp turns as most would think... An increasingly revered figure, Scott Walker is a singular craftsmen, one of rock's few individuals to demonstrate a willingness to both embrace elements of the unfashionable and ignore prevailing trends, yet also display an acute awareness of contemporary sounds. Forgoing many of the stylistic trappings of rock, Walker has explored a broad range of Western musical styles and displayed an intellectualism that is at times subversive, hilarious, cutting and poignant. It's a slight bit odd to attempt to delve into the heart and mind of one of pop's most anomalous and enigmatic figures by examining his work -- that's an approach more often reserved for long-departed painters, sculptors or writers who created in often self-conscious 'periods.' Therefore, as an exploration of an artist's psyche, 5 Easy Pieces is incomplete at best. More importantly, however, as an exploration of this artist's career, it's endlessly rewarding, almost wholly engrossing, and long overdue." -- Scott Plagenhoef/Pitchfork