22/03/2021: “Jean The Machine” by Scott Walker

By Scott Walker’s standards, this is a fairly conventional track. There’s a hint of the 1940s about it, but otherwise, it’s catchy and more or less pop music.

This is due to Walker letting his manager/label have a bit more leeway, since his previous album hadn’t been so commercially successful. As is often the way with these things, it ended up pleasing nobody.

The album, ‘Til The Band Comes In, consists of songs written about a fictional apartment block. The lyrics, at first glance, seem to be about an Eastern European immigrant girl, who is accused of being a ‘commie spy’, but it’s implied that Jean’s actually a ‘lady of the night’, as it were.

“Jean The Machine” was released in 1970 as a single from the album above – but only in the Netherlands.

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