Tilt (Scott Walker album)

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Tilt
Studio album by Scott Walker
Released 8 May 1995
Recorded RAK Recording Studios, Townhouse Studios
Genre Art rock
Avant-garde
Experimental
Length 56:58
Label Fontana
Producer Scott Walker and Peter Walsh
Scott Walker chronology
Climate of Hunter
(1984)
Tilt
(1995)
Pola X soundtrack
(1999)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
City Pages (favorable)[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]

Tilt is the twelfth studio album by the American solo artist Scott Walker. It was released on 8 May 1995 and reached number 27[4] on the UK albums chart. No singles were released from the album. It was Walker's first studio album in eleven years.

Walker composed the songs for the album between 1991 and 1992 except "Manhattan", which was written in 1987, and the final song "Rosary", which was composed in 1993. The album was recorded at RAK Recording Studios and Townhouse Studios in the UK and its release had been expected as early as 1992[5] but was not completed until 1995. The album is the first installment of a "trilogy" that went on to include The Drift (2006) and Bish Bosch (2012).[6]

Details[edit]

The songs on the album have a decidedly bleak, forlorn and funereal mood; the lyrics are replete with arcane allusions and recondite wordplay and ellipses. Like Walker's previous effort, Climate of Hunter (1984), Tilt combines elements of industrial music with European avant-garde and experimental influences. The unusual literary, musical and performance qualities of Walker's songwriting and singing are reminiscent of the lieder and "art song" traditions — forms which long predate the era of recorded popular music and electronic media.

The compositions emphasize abstract atmospherics over harmonic structure, with minimalist, slightly discordant "sound blocks" and trance-like repetition rendered through carefully nuanced instrumentation and sparsely deployed sonic effects. Walker's voice resonates in a cavernous echo, taking on a haunted, distant, desolate quality, which one reviewer characterized as "Samuel Beckett at La Scala".

The opening track, "Farmer in the City", is subtitled "Remembering Pasolini". A few of the lyrics are appropriated from Norman Macafee's English translation of Pier Paolo Pasolini's poem, "Uno dei Tanti Epiloghi" ("One of the Many Epilogs"), which was written in 1969 for Pasolini's friend and protégé, the scruffy young nonprofessional actor, Ninetto Davoli. Throughout the song, Walker's chant of "Do I hear 21, 21, 21...? I'll give you 21, 21, 21...", may be a reference to Davoli's age when he was drafted into (and subsequently deserted from) the Italian army. [1]

The lyrics of "The Cockfighter" include "excerpts relocated from the trial of Queen Caroline and the trial of Adolf Eichmann". "Bolivia '95" is apparently a song about South American refugees.

In addition to a core lineup of musicians playing rock instruments, the recording also features contributions from the Strings of Sinfonia of London and the Methodist Central Hall Pipe Organ, which were arranged and conducted by frequent collaborator Brian Gascoigne. Tilt is also notable for being a now-rare[dubious ] instance of a contemporary musical recording which was actually recorded live in the studio without the enhancement of any electronic sample-based synthesis or guide tracks.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by N. S. Engel (Scott Walker). 

No. Title Length
1. "Farmer in the City (Remembering Pasolini)"   6:38
2. "The Cockfighter"   6:01
3. "Bouncer See Bouncer..."   8:50
4. "Manhattan"   6:05
5. "Face on Breast"   5:15
6. "Bolivia '95"   7:44
7. "Patriot (a single)"   8:28
8. "Tilt"   5:13
9. "Rosary"   2:41

Personnel[edit]

Players[edit]

Additional players[edit]

  • "Bouncer See Bouncer..."
    • Jonathan Snowden – Flutes
    • Andy Findon – Bass Flute
    • Jim Gregory – Bass Flute
    • Roy Jowitt – Clarinet
    • Roy Carter – Oboe
    • Brian Gascoigne – Woodwind Orchestration and Organ of the Methodist Central Hall
    • Peter Walsh – Prog Bass Drum
  • "Manhattan"
    • Alasdair Malloy – Percussion
    • Louis Jardim – Percussion
    • Brian Gascoigne – Organ of the Methodist Central Hall
    • Andrew Cronshaw – Concertina
  • "Bolivia '95"
    • Hugh Burns – Guitars
    • Alasdair Malloy – Percussion
    • Louis Jardim – Percussion
    • Andrew Cronshaw – Ba-wu flute
    • Greg Knowles – Cimbalom
  • "Patriot (a single)"
    • Strings of Sinfonia of London, orchestrated and conducted by Brian Gascoigne
    • Jonathan Snowden – Piccolo
    • John Barclay – Trumpets
    • Ian Thomas – Military Bass Drum and Cymbals
  • "Rosary"
    • Scott Walker – Guitar

Promo singles[edit]

Two promo CDs were released to promote Tilt on the radio and in record stores, containing edited versions of Tilt songs.

Scott 1 (Fontana - EEFR 1)[8]
  1. "Patriot (a single)" (Edit) – 4:40
  2. "The Cockfighter" (Edit) – 4:07
Scott 2 (Fontana - EEFR 2)[9]
  1. "Tilt" (Edit) – 4:38
  2. "Farmer in the City" (Edit) – 4:37

Release history[edit]

Receiving excellent reviews from critics the album was first released in Europe as a limited edition LP and CD in May 1995 before it was released in the US in 1997. The artwork for the album was designed by Stylorouge with photography and image manipulation of Walker's hand by David Scheinmann from a concept by Walker.

Region Date Label Format Catalogue
United Kingdom May 8, 1995 (1995-05-08)[10] Fontana CD 526 859-2
UK May 8, 1995 (1995-05-08) Fontana LP (Limited Edition) 526 859-1
United States September 2, 1997 (1997-09-02) Drag City CD DC134CD
US November 18, 2008 (2008-11-18) Drag City LP DC134

Charts[edit]

Chart Position
UK Albums Chart[4] 27

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ City Pages review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ a b "Chart Stats - Scott Walker". chartstats.com. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  5. ^ Williams, Lewis (2006). Scott Walker - The Rhymes of Goodbye (1st ed.). London: Plexus. p. 161. ISBN 0-85965-395-1. 
  6. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/nov/23/scott-walker-interview
  7. ^ Tilt by Scott Walker: A remarkable album by a serious musician
  8. ^ "Scott 1 (CD, Single, Promo) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  9. ^ "Scott 2 (CD, Single, Promo) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  10. ^ "Release: Tilt - MusicBrainz". Retrieved 2010-08-10.