Scott Walker has died, aged 76

Music world pays tribute to "one of the greats"

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Scott Walker has died, aged 76. The news was announced this morning (March 25) by his record label 4AD.

“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,” read a post on the 4AD website. “Scott Walker has been a unique and challenging titan at the forefront of British music: audacious and questioning, he has produced works that dare to explore human vulnerability and the godless darkness encircling it… We are honoured to have worked with Scott for the last 15 years of his life.”

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Starting out as a session musician in LA, Walker shot to fame after he formed pop trio The Walker Brothers in 1964 and relocated to London. Commercially successful but artistically frustrated, he split the group in 1967 and recorded a quartet of extraordinary self-titled solo albums that matched existential concerns with glorious orchestration from the likes of Angela Morley and Peter Knight.

Although he drifted back towards MOR in the early 70s, albums such as The Walker Brothers’ Nite Flights (1978) and solo effort Climate Of Hunter (1984) signalled his experimental intentions. When he re-emerged from a long period of inactivity with 1995’s Tilt, it was with a completely new and challenging avant-garde direction.

Signing to 4AD for 2006’s The Drift, Walker’s later years were comparatively productive, including soundtracks for The Childhood Of A Leader and last year’s Vox Lux. Finally achieving a level of satisfaction with his own music, he called his last album, 2014’s Sunn O))) collaboration Soused, “pretty perfect”.

Thom Yorke paid tribute on Twitter, writing that Walker “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 gave me so much inspiration,” added Marc Almond. “So much I owe to him and modelled on him even down to my early SC haircut and dark glasses. An absolute musical genius.”

Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley hailed his “uniquely magical music”.

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Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich called him “truly one of the greats… so unique and a real artist”.

The May 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from March 21, and available to order online now – with Neil Young on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Mark Hollis, Jimi Hendrix, Al Green, Oh Sees, Damo Suzuki, Mott The Hoople, Big Thief, Love, Kristin Hersh, Shaun Ryder and much more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Weyes Blood, Kevin Morby, Richard Dawson, Fat White Family, Shana Cleveland, Drugdealer and Mekons.

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