Scott Walker, legendary singer dies aged 76 - News - Soundblab

Scott Walker, legendary singer dies aged 76

by Simon Heavisides Rating: Release Date:
Scott Walker, legendary singer dies aged 76
Scott Walker, legendary singer dies aged 76

4AD Records this morning announced the death of Scott Walker aged 76.

Scott’s career path was unique. Moving from teen idol status with the Walker Brothers to later becoming the creator of increasingly dark and complex solo work. He was later to return to covers and then a Walker Brothers reunion. It was that reunion that lead to astonishing work such as The Electrician, featured on the final Walker Brothers album Nite Flights, a clear hint of what was to come.

It was a career punctuated by extended periods of silence leading to mythical stories of Scott as a recluse. As a result when he did return it was all the more dramatic in terms of how far he’d travelled in the meantime. Anyone hoping for easy listening would certainly have found his 90s return with Tilt challenging and possibly perplexing. Even if he later said he was only 65% happy with it, for me it’s still a thrilling record and maybe less ‘difficult’ than its reputation suggests.

My appreciation of Scott Walker’s world, beyond the hits, began with the wonderful Boy Child compilation. For someone in their early 20s whose musical world was predominately guitar-based indie, the sheer richness of solo Scott was pretty mind-blowing and was another of those vital door opening experiences. Just one listen to the jaw-dropping beauty of Montague Terrace In Blue is enough. Even if I didn’t make it past the meat bashing experience of The Drift that didn’t matter, maybe one day I will catch up with where his vision was going and things will click into place.

Now more than ever we need to appreciate the unique nature of artists like Scott. In the current climate, the act of not taking the easy option and following the money is almost as revolutionary in itself as pursuing an uncompromising musical path. As with the late Mark Hollis, he was a person who only spoke when he had something to say, maybe the ultimate expression of integrity in the face of commercial forces.

In the end, whichever version of Scott Walker you preferred, from the heartbreaking grandeur of The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More to the sheer audaciousness of the Sunn O ))) collaboration, he created more spine-tingling moments of genius than most humans could ever dream of delivering.

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Thoughtful tribute. When I discovered his 60's stuff in the mid 90's, it was a game changer. Then Tilt came out. No words to describe that album, other than masterpiece. Stunning raid on the inarticulate. As a New Yorker, it wasn't hard to get...

Thoughtful tribute. When I discovered his 60's stuff in the mid 90's, it was a game changer. Then Tilt came out. No words to describe that album, other than masterpiece. Stunning raid on the inarticulate. As a New Yorker, it wasn't hard to get The Drift was a response to Sept 11th. An album that at one point had me leaping out of my seat when Walker broke into the most demonic and hair raising Donald Duck imitation you'll ever hear. I thought Soused was quite possibly his finest album of the 21st Century. Of course, Walker could sing the phone book and make it sound spellbinding. And for most of the 70's he pretty much did. But throughout it all, from manic depressive waltzes like Copenhagen to his later work with Sunn O))), he was The Existential Sinatra.

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Thanks Kevin, 'the existential Sinatra' is a great way of describing Scott Walker!

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