Considering this 1969 LP made the U.K. Top Ten at a time when Scott Walker's British solo stardom was at its peak, it's surprising that, as of this writing, it has yet to be reissued on CD, though a few tracks do appear on the 2005 compilation Classics & Collectibles. It remains all but unheard, in fact, in the U.S., where it wasn't issued. Considering that all of his other early solo albums have made it onto CD, one suspects that Walker himself might be reluctant to have it re-released if he has any vote in the matter. If so, it's understandable to some degree, as it's not all that representative of what he was usually recording at the time, and certainly not his best work of the period. The dozen songs on Scott Sings Songs from His TV Series are all covers of popular standards, not taken from actual performances he did on the set of his six-episode BBC television series in early 1969, but from studio recordings of some (and by no means all) of the tunes he was seen performing on those programs. Fairly heavily orchestrated and middle of the road even by the standards of 1960s MOR vocalists, the selections include interpretations of compositions by the likes of Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern, Charles Aznavour, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Kurt Weill, as well as "The Impossible Dream" and a song from the Broadway musical Mame. There isn't a hint of rock or even period pop in sight, with the arguable exception of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "The Look of Love." So it's far from Walker at his best, but that doesn't mean it's worthless. He sings extremely well throughout the album, indicating he could have been a highly successful adult pop crooner had he stuck to that path exclusively. Of course, he didn't, which is the reason most of his fans are interested in Walker in the first place. There's not a hint of the moody darkness that was so integral to his early solo work's strength, and for that matter, no material by Jacques Brel, the composer he enjoyed interpreting more than any other. For that reason alone it's a curiosity that's far less enduring than his other albums of the late '60s and early '70s, and is only recommended to completist fans of the singer, who'll have a hard time locating a copy in spite of its impressive chart performance.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger