Artist News

Scott Walker dies

By | Published on Monday 25 March 2019

Scott Walker

Scott Walker has died, aged 76, his record label 4AD announced this morning.

Born Noel Scott Engel in 1943, Walker first came to prominence in the 1960s as a member of pop trio The Walker Brothers. Although from the US, the band enjoyed particular success in the UK. When they split in 1968, Walker then released a quick succession of solo albums – ‘Scott 1’, ‘Scott 2’, ‘Scott 3’ and ‘Scott 4’ – considered by many to be the high point of his career.

The Walker Brothers reformed in the mid-70s for a trio of records, including the highly regarded ‘Nite Flights”, which deviated from their usual sound. The album was more a collection of solo tracks by each member than a cohesive Walker Brothers release. It was also their last, the band splitting again in 1978.

Walker was relatively inactive in the 80s, although he did release one solo album, ‘Climate Of The Hunter’. It was in 1995 that he made his proper return to music with the LP ‘Tilt’, a wildly avant-garde album, mixing rock and classical music, it showcased the dark, foreboding sound that typified the latter part of his career.

However, although he continued to work, it was more than a decade before he recorded another solo album, ‘The Drift’, in 2006 – his first for 4AD. In recent years, he composed various pieces for dance and film, releasing his final solo album, ‘Bish Bosch’, in 2012. He also released a collaborative album with Sunn o))) in 2014.

Walker’s music was reappraised numerous times during his lifetime, becoming hugely influential for many artists, including David Bowie, Radiohead and more. In 2017, the BBC Proms included a performance of Scott Walker songs by Jarvis Cocker – who had worked with Walker when he produced Pulp’s ‘We Love Life’ album – John Grant, Richard Hawley and Susanne Sundfør with the Heritage Orchestra.

In a statement, 4AD said: “For half a century, the genius of the man born Noel Scott Engel has enriched the lives of thousands, first as one third of The Walker Brothers, and later as a solo artist, producer and composer of uncompromising originality … We are honoured to have worked with Scott for the last fifteen years of his life”.