If folks remember Scott at all, it may be for his enormous novelty #1 smash ?Pop Music? under the monikor, M back in 1979. But a decade earlier, he was in the studio in front of Mighty Baby (fresh off their ?Egyptian Tomb? debut) recording this derivative, yet wonderful collection of singer-songwriter pop/folk and contemplative thousand yard stares (for the underground Head imprint) in the style of the leading folk singers of the day, from the Dylanesque opener ?The Sailor? to the note-perfect recreation of Leonard Cohen?s ?The Stranger Song,? ?Song For The Sun,? which Scott acknowledges in his informative liner notes ?had been crafted by my school friend John West as a piece of prose. I set it to music in the bedsit mindset of a Leonard Cohen devotee.? And although Scott confesses that ?The Sound of Rain? was influenced by Paul Simon?s early work, I detected a bit of that old bedsitter himself, Al Stewart creeping into this ever-so-loverly rainy day dreamaway. (Completists should note that Mighty Baby?s participation is more utilitarian and non-invasive and thus the album can not be fairly labeled ?the great lost Mighty Baby album? in the way that our previously-reviewed Gordon Jackson solo album wears the ?great lost Traffic album? insignia.)
Scott?s voice is a little dodgy on the epic, seven-minute ?Penelope,? but Mighty Baby wail away effectively and could easily be mistaken for Dylan?s backing band during the ?Blonde On Blonde? and ?Highway 61 Revisited? sessions. Highlights include Martin Stone?s tasty guitar licks, Gordon Huntley?s flowing steel and Ian Whiteman?s ethereal, heavily-treated piano solo. The final two minutes of studio chicanery could have been left on the cutting room floor, however.
Scott says Richie Havens inspired the title track, an aggressive strummer with free association lyrics, and ?I Am Your Suitcase Lover? almost out-Dylan?s Dylan at his snarling, drawling best, aided and abetted greatly by Huntley?s countrified steel. Imagine if Dylan had saved ?Ballad of A Thin Man? or ?One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)? for ?Nashville Skyline? or New Riders of the Purple Sage took a stab at Dylan?s songbook and you?ve got the idea. Closer ?The Purple Cadger? revisits the hard rocking side of Dylan?s mid-60?s period (?Maggie?s Farm? comes immediately to mind), with more than a few passing nods in Donovan?s direction.
Although Scott?s compositions are ultimately not as memorable as their inspiration, they are a game attempt at wearing his influences on his sleeve for all to enjoy and I will be returning frequently to wallow in this warm grass throughout the year. 7/10 -- Jeff Penczak (27 June, 2006)