Here are videos from each of the stages of Scott Walker’s career — enough to get you started in any cocktail conversation — from his early days as teen idol with the Walker Brothers to his early solo career (notable for his covers of Jacques Brel tunes but also his wonderfully orchestral original material), then on to the darker solo material which is really indescribable. He hasn’t performed live for several decades, but did do a few television appearances, which is the fourth vid here. The final one is from “The Drift,” his release from 2006 — a beautiful video in itself.

Walker (his real name is Noel Scott Engel) has become my big music obsession over the past year, and I highly recommend nearly everything he’s done, even the early pop stuff, since his baritone is so distinctive for being at once affectless (he trained himself to erase any vibrato from his singing) and yet rich and fluid. He was a big influence on David Bowie (who covered the Walker Brothers’ “Nite Flights”) and Bryan Ferry when he decided go all new Romantic on our ass (don’t blame Walker for that).

Walker, notable for being a recluse and walking away (puns!) from fame and money in the sixties, is now putting out one album every, oh, ten years or so, partly because he couldn’t get a contract, which is too bad but it seems like he’ll be recording more with all of the attention he’s been getting — a couple of recent books about his life and music, a feature length documentary called 30 Century Man, and now mention on Free Space Comix: the blog! If you don’t believe me when I say he’s genuinely strange and brilliant, watch “Rosary” first!

(BTW, for all you trivia buffs, the background singer on “Track 3” — which doesn’t seem to be loading properly, but maybe will straighten out later — is Billy Ocean!)

“The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”


“Track 3” (preceded by “The Sun” live recording and an interview)