The Drift

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For the EP, see The Drift (EP). For the band, see The Drift (band).
The Drift
Scott Walker - The Drift.jpg
Studio album by Scott Walker
Released 8 May 2006 (2006-05-08)
Recorded June 2004 – November 2005 at Metropolis Studios, Chiswick, London, and AIR Studios, Hampstead, London
Genre Avant-garde
Length 68:48
Label 4AD
Producer Scott Walker, Peter Walsh
Scott Walker chronology
5 Easy Pieces
The Drift
And Who Shall Go to the Ball? And What Shall Go to the Ball?

The Drift is the thirteenth studio album by the American solo artist Scott Walker. It was released on the 8 May 2006 and reached number 51[1] on the UK Albums Chart. No singles were released from the album. Apart from composing the soundtrack to the film Pola X, the album was Walker's first studio album in eleven years and only his third studio album since the final disbanding of The Walker Brothers in 1978.

Walker composed the songs for the album slowly over the decade after the release of 1995's Tilt,[2] beginning with "Cue" (the longest song to complete), up until the album's recording. An early version of "Buzzers" was premièred at the Meltdown festival on 17 June 2000 under the title "Thimble Rigging". The album was recorded over a period of 17 months at Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London, with orchestra recorded in one day at George Martin's AIR Studios in Hampstead, London. Receiving good reviews from critics, the album was released as an LP and CD in May 2006. The artwork for the album was designed by Vaughan Oliver at v23 with assistance from Chris Bigg and photography by Marc Atkins.


Walker's first album composed entirely of new material since 1995's Tilt, The Drift forms the second installment of the "trilogy" that concluded with 2012's Bish Bosch.[3] In the years between Tilt and The Drift, Walker's released output comprised a few instrumental tracks on the soundtrack to the film Pola X, a cover of Bob Dylan's "I Threw It All Away" on the To Have and to Hold soundtrack, and "Only Myself to Blame" from The World Is Not Enough soundtrack, as well as a few compilations of previously released material, including the retrospective box set 5 Easy Pieces.

The Drift has been cited by many critics and fans alike as a disturbing and complex album that departs from Scott Walker's previous albums while still remaining true to his experimental roots. French singer Vanessa Contenay-Quinones appears as the voice of Clara Petacci on "Clara".

The sound and subject matter for the album is unrelentingly dark and unsettling, often juxtaposing quiet sections with sudden loud noise to induce discomfort in the listener. Subjects include torture, disease, 9/11, Elvis Presley (and his stillborn twin brother Jesse Garon Presley), and Srebrenica.[4][5]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Brainwashed (favourable) 3 May 06
Telegraph (favourable) 6 May 06
The Guardian 5/5 stars 5 May 06
The Independent 3/5 stars 5 May 06
Mojo 4/5 stars p.102, #151
musicOMH 5/5 stars May 2006
New York (favourable) 8 May 06
The Observer 5/5 stars 23 Apr 06
Pitchfork Media (9.0/10) 9 May 06
PlayLouder 4.5/5 stars 15 May 06
PopMatters 9/10 stars 10 May 06
The Times 3/5 stars 6 May 06
Uncut (favourable) 10 May 06
Yahoo! Music 8/10 stars 15 May 06

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Scott Walker, except "Psoriatic" (Scott Walker/Bob Carleton).

No. Title Length
1. "Cossacks Are"   4:32
2. "Clara"   12:43
3. "Jesse"   6:28
4. "Jolson and Jones"   7:45
5. "Cue"   10:27
6. "Hand Me Ups"   5:49
7. "Buzzers"   6:39
8. "Psoriatic"   5:51
9. "The Escape"   5:18
10. "A Lover Loves"   3:11



  • Produced by Scott Walker & Peter Walsh
  • Engineers: Geoff Foster, Peter Walsh
  • Mixing: Peter Walsh

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalogue
United Kingdom 8 May 2006 4AD LP2×LP CAD 2603
CD CAD 2603 CD
United States 6 June 2006 4AD CD
Japan 24 June 2006 Hostess CD HSE-20015


Chart Position
Belgian Albums Chart[6] 49
German Albums Chart[7] 97
Irish Albums Chart 80
UK Albums Chart[1] 51


  1. ^ a b "Chart Stats - Scott Walker". Retrieved 2009-02-12. [dead link]
  2. ^ Williams, Lewis (2006). Scott Walker - The Rhymes of Goodbye (1st ed.). London: Plexus. p. 179. ISBN 0-85965-395-1. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2016-12-16. 
  4. ^ Elvis Dreams of 9/11 Archived September 13, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., a review from New York magazine
  5. ^ "Interview with Scott Walker". The Wire. May 2006. 
  6. ^ " - Scott Walker - The Drift". © 2006-2010 ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  7. ^ "Charts Surfer - UK, German and French charts". Retrieved 2009-02-12. 

External links[edit]