Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

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Which?

Nyro
26
60%
Walker
17
40%
 
Total votes: 43

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kewl klive
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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby kewl klive » 28 Sep 2017, 08:25

The Write Profile wrote:
The Modernist wrote:I'm not sure I'd agree Nyro is "very natural" either. When I bought New York Tendaberry all those years ago, one of the things I was expecting was a certain natural soulfulness because I'd read about her in those terms. I was slightly nonplussed therefore to hear what appeared to be these strident and hammy show tunes. There was something histrionic about the whole thing.
I could never get into the album at all and at the time I really tried. I've not really been back to her since.
In a way I'd have preferred this thread to just be about her as I'm burned out trying to defend Walker on here these days, but I am still open to the idea of Laura Nyro. I wonder if I just started with the wrong album.


I've been getting into Laura Nyro recently, and I have to say that her first album, More than a New Discovery and her second Eli and the Thirteenth Confession hit me harder than her subsequent records. ...New Discovery occasionally suffers from what could be described as an overly precocious mindset (she was in her teens after all), but the songwriting, from the swinging "Wedding Bell Blues", the strident "Stoney End", and the smokey "Billy's Blues" manage to create a real sense of atmosphere and verve. Eli...occasionally wanders all over the place, but it probably hits higher heights, whether it's the surprisingly laidback "Stoned Soul Picnic", the nervy "Eli's Coming" and the spiky "Lucky", to name ones that just come to mind. I suppose there is something overly brassy and theatrical to her approach at times, but when it hits in the right mood, it really is quite something.


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HarryIrene
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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby HarryIrene » 28 Sep 2017, 09:18

Well this feels like being asked to choose between blood or oxygen.
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zoomboogity
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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby zoomboogity » 28 Sep 2017, 16:38

The Modernist wrote:I wonder if I just started with the wrong album.


Eli And The 13th Confession is a better place to start.


Count Machuki wrote:I was surprised at how much I enjoyed a comp of hers I found a while ago, something like The Early Songs (?).


The First Songs. That's not a comp, it's her first album, More Than A New Discovery, which came out on Verve. Columbia reissued it in the '70s, retitling it and changing the song sequence (for the better, IMO).


Nick wrote:Periodically I give it a spin to see if anything's changed, but so far every time I've got about halfway through it and taken it off in deep disappointment. To me she's like Rufus Wainwright - you read her cheerleaders going on about how great her songwriting is, and you get all excited about hearing her, and then you put the music on... and ho hum.


The doouble-edged sword of the Internet - you can find anything you want nowadays, but sometimes you get all this input from fans going on about this or that, and it clouds your initial perception. Great to find out about things, but sometimes you have to avoid hearing what other people say. The albums she made after her comeback in 1976 were less shrill, but may seem to some as being a bit bland. They all have their good moments, at least up through Mother's Spiritual.

Also, a little can go a long way with her. You have two discs crammed up with tunes, you'll just burn out. Try five songs in one sitting, like an album side, see if you like it better that way. Or just get Eli and see what you think of that.


Goat Boy wrote:Elton says some nice things about Laura here....


It's no problem when he thinks Tendaberry is her second album (not her third), but is everyone so scared of him throwing a hissy fit that they wouldn't tell him that he's pronouncing her name wrong?


neville from norwich wrote:
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Meanwhile the list of artists who have acknowledged her influence includes the likes of Elton John, Joni Mitchell (who never admits to being influenced by anyone not black and 20 years older), Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello, Rickie Lee Jones and Steely Dan.


Image


Yeah, Todd loved her. That song on his first album - "Laura, I saw you open in L.A." - is about her. He was offered a job as her musical director when Nazz broke up, but he chose to focus on his own music. A lot of his slower piano ballads (Wailing Wall, Torch Song) definitely trace back to his love for her music. I'd add Kate Bush to that list - from the first song on Eli, you can tell she was a huge fan as well.
Last edited by zoomboogity on 28 Sep 2017, 16:41, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby sloopjohnc » 28 Sep 2017, 16:39

Goat Boy wrote:Laura. More original and a better songwriter.


Ditto. My views on Walker are well documented.
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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 28 Sep 2017, 18:32

Rundgren talks at some length about Nyro in this interview. Start at 34:40:

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Joe Baxter
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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby Joe Baxter » 29 Sep 2017, 13:30

I have Nyro's original album box set, it's not easy to listen to, but very rewarding when I give them a spin every 18 months or so.
I have nothing by Scott Walker.

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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby The Modernist » 08 Oct 2017, 14:21

An early Scott classic from the third Walkers album.


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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby Rayge » 08 Oct 2017, 14:36

zoomboogity wrote:
The Modernist wrote:I wonder if I just started with the wrong album.


Eli And The 13th Confession is a better place to start.


This is correct, says he who wrote the BCB 130 on Nyro and believes her to be in the top five – hell, four (Chuck Berry, Phil Ochs, Joni Mitchell, since you asked) – songwriter/performers of my lifetime. It was the first I heard, because New Discovery either wasn't released, or slipped out unnoticed over here. There may have been a track from Eli on one of those CBS Rock Machine samplers. Anyway, first time I heard it, it blew me away, with the soulfulness of the voice(s) (all her, of course) and the arrangements (all albums are beautifully produced), and the intricacy, literacy and maturity of the songs – and the fact she was she was younger than I was (20).

And as an aside, G, if Tendaberry's songs about drugs and prostitution and VU-NY struck you as show tunes, I can only wonder at the shows you saw.
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The Modernist
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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby The Modernist » 08 Oct 2017, 16:20

Rayge wrote:
And as an aside, G, if Tendaberry's songs about drugs and prostitution and VU-NY struck you as show tunes, I can only wonder at the shows you saw.


I was thinking of the arrangements and vocal performance.

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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby Matt Wilson » 08 Oct 2017, 23:24

HarryIrene wrote:Well this feels like being asked to choose between blood or oxygen.



More like genital warts or ass cancer.

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Re: Laura Nyro vs. Scott Walker

Postby George P. Smackers » 09 Oct 2017, 00:15

Won't say anything against Nyro except that every time I hear her, I think "this is not for me."

But I love Scott Walker. Scotts I through 4 and 'Til the Band Comes In especially, but I like the later avant-gardey stuff OK too, and some of it I love.

The crazy incongruity and excess of it all, why people hate him I guess, is just what I love. That square crooner's voice belting out this Euro-pop surrealism just gets me every time. All backed with the soundtrack of some late-sixties movie (probably an "international production") that was too insane ever to be released.

"Theatricality" doesn't cover it for me, it's cinematic. His records remind me of the incomprehensible movies "for adults" I would sometime stumble onto when I was a kid. Except now I'm an adult I realize they never did make any sense, except as a big wave of emotion.