Scott Walker, the 1960s pop icon, has died. 4AD (Walker’s label) official confirmed his passing in a statement on Monday morning. He was 76. His cause of death has not been revealed.
Walker was an American-born British singer-songwriter, composer and record producer. He was known for his distinctive baritone voice and an unorthodox career path. Walker’s success was largely in the United Kingdom.
Noel Scott Engel was born on January 9, 1943, in Ohio. Engel was interested in both music and performance and spent time as a child actor and singer in the late 1950s. He earned a reputation for his distinctive baritone as a teen with his single “When Is a Boy a Man.” In 1965, he moved to England and began recording with the Walker Brothers, whose song “Make It Easy on Yourself” went No. 1 in the UK and Canada. After they released “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore,” reports surfaced of crazed fans crowding the group.
In 1967, Walker released the first of four solo albums, all titled Scott. All sold in large numbers. This allowed him greater creative autonomy, he composed more original songs than covers. The Walker Brothers reunited in 1975 to produce three albums which included ‘Nite Flights’ and ‘The Electrician’. Sales figures for Nite Flights were poor. The group drifted apart again and Scott Walker entered a six-year period of no releases.
In 1981, interest in Scott Walker’s work risen by the compilation ‘Fire Escape in the Sky’,
containing tracks selected by Julian Cope, which reached number 14 on the UK Charts. Walker made a comeback in 1984 with the album, Climate of Hunter. His next record ‘Tilt’ released in 1995. Walker established himself in a leading position. He did several interim works like guest appearances and songs for others.
In 2006, Scott Walker released ‘The Drift’, his first new album in 11 years. It was the most successfully reviewed albums of 2006. Walker’s last solo album was ‘Bish Bosch’ which released on December 3, 2012, and was received with wide critical acclaim.
Many artists have shown their respect for Walker or have mentioned him as an influence. Walker is survived by his daughter, Lee, his granddaughter Emmi-Lee, and his partner Beverly.