Scott Walker dies, aged 76
Scott Walker, the singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the 1960s as one third of The Walker Brothers, has passed away at the age of 76. The news was confirmed this morning by his record label 4AD.
Born Noel Scott Engel in Hamilton, Ohio in 1943, his musical career began in his teens as a bass guitarist and session musician in Los Angeles, where he would eventually meet future bandmate John Maus, who was already using the stage name John Walker. The pair recruited Gary Leeds and all three adopted the same surname as they formed The Walker Brothers, releasing their debut album in 1965.
Although John Walker was originally considered the groups lead vocalist, as the trio began to score hits with songs such as 'Make it Easy On Yourself' and 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore', it was Scott who emerged as the group's photogenic star and by 1967 he had already released the first of four solo albums that would arrive over the following two years.
Although he continued to release albums alongside his two bandmates under the Walker Brothers banner, his solo work was early evidence of a restless musical spirit that would later see Walker shunning pop success for an altogether more experimental approach to making music. By the time of 1978's Nite Flights, his final album with The Walker Brothers, his more avant-garde tendencies were beginning to spill over into his work with the band; the album's lone single 'The Electrician' proved the be their last and was a darkly atmospheric piece of music that made clear Walker's destiny lay outside of the sphere of pop music.
By the time of his later albums such as 1995's Tilt, Walker had fully made the transition from teenage pop idol to one of the most fearless and uncompromising artists around, taking inspiration from industrial music and European avant garde trends and weaving them into a unique and foreboding tapestry which began to earn Walker cult status amongst a new generation of musicians.
In more recent years Walker collaborated with Sunn O))) and provided scores for films including Brady Corbet's The Childhood of a Leader and his most recent film Vox Lux, which also included contributions from the likes of Sia and Greg Kurstin.
Walker leaves behind an extraordinary legacy as one of the most unique and singular artists to emerge from the 20th century, and one that will continue to serve as inspiration for any musical artists looking to push the boundaries.
Since the announcement of his death, tributes to Walker have been pouring onto social media, some of which you can find below...
So very sad to hear that Scott Walker has passed away, he was a huge influence on Radiohead and myself, showing me how i could use my voice and words. Met him once at Meltdown, such a kind gentle outsider. He will be very missed. https://t.co/v33Ey91hbn— Thom Yorke (@thomyorke) 25 March 2019
Absolutely saddened shocked by the death of Scott Walker . He gave me so much inspiration so much I owe to him and modelled on him even down to my early S C hair cut and dark glasses .… https://t.co/ux5f9B1rjh— Marc Almond (@MarcAlmond) 25 March 2019
A painter in sound has gone. Travel on well and thankyou, SCOTT WALKER.— Mike Scott (@MickPuck) 25 March 2019
Scott Walker..... there’s another one of the greats gone.... the word genius gets overused for people, but I reckon this fella deserves to wear that accolade definitely !.— Garymounfield (@Garymounfield1) 25 March 2019
Scott Walker, who has died aged 76, was one of the most original and stylish music makers of his generation. His legacy stretches from The Walker Brothers to a formidable solo career at the very edge of creative genius. My condolences to his family.https://t.co/6fxzRVc9ZP— Tom Watson (@tom_watson) 25 March 2019
A sad loss, Scott Walker. Every one of his songs sounds like a deathbed lament, so soused in sorrow and mourning. #RIPScottWalker— Shaun Keaveny (@shaunwkeaveny) 25 March 2019
Scott 3 is one of my favourite albums. RIP, Scott Walker ❤️— Martin Carr (@martin_carr) 25 March 2019