Photo: Michael Putland/Getty Images
Art-Rock Singer/Composer Scott Walker Of The Walker Brothers Dies At 76
'60s pop-rock idol Scott Walker has died. Born Noel Scott Engel in Ohio, Walker was 76 years old. The news was confirmed by his label, 4AD Records.
After relocating to the U.K. in the 60s, the Walker Brothers' fame was comparable to the Beatles. Later, Scott found solo success with albums titled Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3, Scott 4, which culminated with his 1969 Scott Sings Songs from His TV Series album.
On March 25, David Bowie's official website blogged their Farewell to Scott Walker, noting Bowie's past remark, "I think he's probably been my idol since I was a kid." (In 1993, Bowie covered the Walker Brothers' song "Nite Flights" on his album Black Tie White Noise.)
The 2006 documentary Scott Walker: 30 Century Man tried to do justice to the man's hard-to-categorize and wide-ranging talent. Walker's musical gifts were so strong, he got session work as a bassist in his teens. His singing made the Walker Brothers teen idols. His final solo album was 2012's Bish Bosch, but Walker also kept busy with collaborations and composing for film.
In 2017, Walker's lyrics were published by Faber & Faber, while the Los Angeles Philharmonic commissioned and performed a special work of his. Also, the BBC threw him a tribute concert. In 2018, the music movie Vox Lux featured songs by Sia alongside Walker's original score.
Few musicians of such stature have managed to be obscure cult figures at the same time. Convention-breaking contradictions were part of Scott Walker's signature style, but this appears to have been artistically organic rather than a result of trying to be unconventional. Even Britain's own BBC, knowing Walker's history intimately and having honored him in 2017, described him as an "enigma" in their obituary headline on March 25.