The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker

The Walker Brothers: 'Love Her' (1965)

Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers died on the third of January, 2014. He was 74 years old. An influential duo, the Everlys were also to become an important footnote in the career of The Walker Brothers when they released in 1965 as their second single ‘Love Her’, a song written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, which had originally appeared as the B-side to The Everly Brothers single ‘The Girl Sang the Blues’ in 1963.

Wikipedia: “The Walker Brothers version is notable as it is the first single the group recorded with Scott Walker as the lead singer. Previously John Walker has been the dominant vocalist. The song was produced by Nick Venet and arranged by the Phil Spector collaborator Jack Nitzsche, who gave the song a Wall of Sound treatment. ‘Love Her’ became the group’s first hit spending thirteen weeks on the UK Singles Chart and peaking at #20 in June. … Their first single, ‘Pretty Girls Everywhere,’ had little success, but radio stations picked up on the follow-up ‘Love Her’ with Engel’s baritone vocals, and it made the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1965.”

The Everly Brothers’ version of ‘Love Her’ (1963)

Sondre Lerche: ‘The Plague’ (2013)

From the compilation album Songs from Montague Terrace - A Tribute to Scott Walker (18 September 2013, All Souls Music).

fuckyeahscottwalker:

The announcement:

September 16th 1967, Scott Walker releases his first solo album ‘Scott’ beginning a musical journey that will take him from orchestral melancholy to the stark, confronting world of The Drift and Bish Bosch.  Almost half a century on, each generation is still inspired by his work - and now, some of Scott’s biggest fans are paying tribute on the new tribute album ‘Songs From Montague Terrace - A Tribute To Scott Walker’ - out September 16th 2013.  Stream the first single ‘The Plague’ by Sondre Lerche at http://bit.ly/theplague You can also share your tribute to Scott, be it artwork, music anything- just share it on the page and you could win some great Scott Walker prizes!

fuckyeahscottwalker:

The announcement:

September 16th 1967, Scott Walker releases his first solo album ‘Scott’ beginning a musical journey that will take him from orchestral melancholy to the stark, confronting world of The Drift and Bish Bosch.

Almost half a century on, each generation is still inspired by his work - and now, some of Scott’s biggest fans are paying tribute on the new tribute album ‘Songs From Montague Terrace - A Tribute To Scott Walker’ - out September 16th 2013.

Stream the first single ‘The Plague’ by Sondre Lerche at http://bit.ly/theplague

You can also share your tribute to Scott, be it artwork, music anything- just share it on the page and you could win some great Scott Walker prizes!

By John Doran, July 29th, 2013.

“The popular narrative of Scott Walker as a pig-punching maniac is designed to deny him full creative credit for his work, says John Doran.”

By Erik Morse, The Believer July/August 2013.

“I think my voice has always been a kind of alien creature, anyway. I’m not a trained singer, so I don’t know what’s going on. I kind of look at it as another person. I never know what I’m going to get when I wake up in the morning.”

“If there’s one thing I absolutely hate, it’s these records that go one way. It’s what they call a ‘heavy’ artist. The music will be dark, the singer will sound like he gargled with sulphuric acid. That’s not art. It’s art only when it’s being balanced by lots of layers.”

casperspells:

Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3 master tapes before the remaster, at Abbey Road Studios.

casperspells:

Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3 master tapes before the remaster, at Abbey Road Studios.

Bish Bosch: Ambisymphonic (2013)

“Scott Walker teams up with British mixed media artist Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard to create Bish Bosch: Ambisymphonic, a unique and immersive sonic re-imagining of his recent album.
Walker, who produced some of the most revered solo albums of the late sixties, continued to develop his sound with innovative albums Climate of Hunter (1984), Tilt (1995), The Drift (2006) and most recently Bish Bosch (2012). Watch here as the creators of Bish Bosch: Ambisymphonic explain the collaborative process behind this all-consuming sonic experience.”
[Video produced by Thea Dikeos.]

By Angus Finlayson, 30 April 2013.

“By the age of 23, Scott Walker had had a more successful pop career than most could hope for in a lifetime.

As one third of the Walker Brothers, a trio of Americans in self-imposed exile in the UK, he experienced a level of superstardom that briefly rivalled that of the Beatles. Mid-60s songs like ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’ and ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More’ made Scott, John and Gary the clean-cut pin-ups du jour. But entertainment, as they say, is a fickle business, and the success wasn’t to last.

As The Walker Brothers disintegrated, Scott – real name Noel Scott Engel, and no relation to his two bandmates – would strike off on his own, producing a string of albums in the late 60s that, while largely overlooked at the time, are now considered among the finest of the decade. Again, though, Walker would quickly lose his way, slipping into MOR obscurity for the majority of 70s. From there, many would happily have fallen into a lengthy, royalty-funded retirement. Not Scott. In the early 80s he would reinvent himself again, emerging from the ashes of a faltering light entertainment career to become one of the most brilliant and distinctive voices of the pop avant-garde.

Walker is still very much active now (last year’s Bish Bosch was of a piece with his best work), and his music continues to captivate and confuse with a force rarely attained by any musician of any generation. And while he has long had a cult following, a renewed frenzy of discourse in the past decade – the most visible products of which are a documentary and a book, both excellent – has helped cement Walker’s status as an underground hero with few equals.

In recent times Walker’s knotty, uncompromising and utterly unique body of work seems to be resonating with people more strongly than ever, with the likes of Radiohead, Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn and David Bowie singing his praises. But Walker’s is an imposing discography, and not an easy ride for the uninitiated. By way of introduction – and taking in love and loss, dead dictators and easily as much commercial failure as critical success – here are ten of Walker’s best.”

By Alex Denney, 12 April 2013.

Box set: Scott Walker - The Collection 1967-1970 
Release date: June 3rd 2013 
Label: Universal