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Episode Guide: Scott Walker

Episode Guide: Scott Walker

Posted: Thursday, 3rd May 2007

"Is he still cute?" Lulu asks of one of the music world’s most enigmatic figures. At 63, Scott Walker has recently released “The Drift”, his first album in ten years. And although for a time in the 60s his classic pop, and teen idol good looks made him as iconic as The Beatles, after a “20-year hiatus” he’s now a creative enigma, admired by David Bowie, Johnny Marr, Marc Almond, Brian Eno, Damon Albarn, and Radiohead amongst others. His music today is both haunted and haunting, there’s nobody out there doing anything quite like him.

As a lead singer of the Walker Brothers he found fame, but it was as a solo singer songwriter that he achieved greatness. And it is these solo albums that succeeding generations have discovered for themselves. After the comparative commercial failure of his fourth solo album, Scott 4, in 1969, he seemed to disappear from view, distancing himself from the pop world, drinking too much and avoiding public performances wherever possible.

Scott Walker, the star who shunned the limelight has become a 60s icon as potent as the rampant self publicists Andy Warhol and Nico. And despite everything, at his own pace, (with new solo albums in 1984, 1995 and 2006), and on his own terms, he has continued to write. Once an album is completed, he claims, he never listens to it again.

Through interviews with those who worked with him and those who simply love his work, and have fallen under his spell, Imagine gains a unique insight into how a consistent innovator such as Walker could become so influential among his creative peers, whilst remaining almost unheard of in his American homeland. From his enthusiasm for the Flemish singer-songwriter, Jacques Brel, to songs which seem to be about Elvis’s twin brother and the fall of the twin towers, “ He’s like an intrepid explorer” says Jarvis Cocker, who worked with him on Pulp’s “ We Love Life”.

Watch exclusive footage of rehearsals for “The Drift” (2006), (where percussion features punching slabs of pork), as well as a rare interview with the pensive and intense man himself, illustrating the story of his fragmentary career and personal transformation.

From the episode Scott Walker, 22nd May 2007

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