"Scott 4"'s lack of success begat this LP, "'Til The Band Comes In." This album makes it onto this page because of "Prologue" through "The War Is Over," which is the last we'll see of the Scott we know and love for many years to come...the remainder consists of covers, the first of many to come, sadly.
Not that Scott doing covers is a bad thing, but much like Alex Chilton's mediocre at best career after "Big Star's 3rd," lack of success has hardened the artistic spirit in Mr. Engel. The follow-up works were OK, but one can only wish for what might have been if "Scott 4," and then this, had gotten the warm reception they deserved (and are getting now.)
The (original portion of the) LP is a song cycle about the horrors of war and/or lonliness (this is really more of a concept album than a narrative...)"Little Things" is a bleak, bleak list of how tragedy pulls people together. The music is happy, but the tone is not. How many orchestral pop singers would sing, let alone write, a line like "It's at times like these/when your neighbor dies/'cause he put a gun to his head?"
"Joe," "Long About Now" (which is sung by...er...Scott's manager's wife) and "Time Operator" are more fine entries into the "lonely crowded apartment" vein (e.g. "Big Louise.") I can see how disenchanted fans would view this with distain ("There he goes again!",) but I could do with a whole CD of that stuff. "Thanks For Chicago, Mr. James" is possibly my favorite Scott song. It takes a "Midnight Cowboy"-esque protagonist and infuses a healthy dose of longing and genuine gratitude for a man who saved our hero, but wants more than can be given. Subtle and expansive at once.
Back Home Scott 1 Scott 2 Scott 3 Scott 4 Til The Band Comes In I Threw It All... Climate Of... Tilt
The Godlike Genius... It's Raining Today
(WB) Introducing... (WB) The Sun... (WB) No Regrets (WB) Nite Flights (?) I Only Came...