Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Scott Walker-Joanna


SCOTT WALKER-Joanna/Always Coming Back To You US Smash S-2168 1968

Scott Walker's post Walker Brothers solo career was, for a time fairly well represented in the U.S. (his first three albums were released here).  Today's post was his first solo single after leaving the Walkers that was issued here in the States (the label had previously pressed two Walker's tracks as a solo 45 which we discussed here). 

"Joanna" was Scott's second post Walker's 45 in Britain issued as Phillips BF 1662 in April 1968. The U.S. release came in June, his American outlet probably balked at the idea of his solo debut "Jackie" with it's use of the word "ass" . "Joanna"is a curious track as Scott had not recorded anything by the hit writing machine of Tony Hatch/Jackie Trent before. I almost wish he hadn't as it is, without a doubt, my least favorite song of all of his 60's output. It's lush orchestration does nothing to save it from being one big stinking heap of M.O.R adult contemporary feces.  Mediocre is almost too good of a way of describing it. Clearly they ate it up across the pond because it wound up being his highest charting solo single (#7).

The flip, "Always Coming Back To You", is a Scott original. It's baroque harpsichord plays along with some moody organ before giving way to some lush orchestration that reminds me of something from The Moody Blues "Days Of Future Passed" (of some coincidence the A side was orchestrated by Peter Knight who was responsible for said Moody's album but this was conducted by Reg Guest). Lyrically AND musically it would not at all be out of place on either of Scott's first two solo albums and would have made a far stronger A side, to my ears anyway. 

Hear "Joanna":


Hear "Always Coming Back To You":


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