One of music’s most innovative, iconic and downright brilliant performers celebrated his birthday this week, and nope it isn’t that guy who decided to come out of retirement yesterday, it is the man who was a massive influence on him – Scott Walker.
Brandish already boasts one frothing at the mouth acclamation of the man’s genius here so in order to mark his birthday, which is actually today, here are ten tunes from other artists that bear the influence of the man. They may not all be direct steals from the fella’s late 60s quintet of astonishing albums, but you know I can half imagine him singing each one.
Cue strings, passionate vocals, dramatic finales and songs about ‘authentic queers and phoney virgins.’
1 White and Torch – Parade
Parade is simply magnificent. A slow building 80s orchestrated ballad that’s beautifully arranged and sung and really has very little in common with much else from that decade. It has probably more in common with Scott’s Walker Brothers records than his solo career. The duo made a few other enjoyable singles in the mid 80s but nothing came close to Parade.
2 Jack – Three ‘O Clock In The Morning
Jack’s Anthony Reynolds loves Scott so much he even wrote a book about him. This is the wonderful opener to the band’s superb second album The Jazz Age and has more than a whiff of Scott 2.
3 My Life Story – November 5th
I could have chosen any one of about 20 tracks by the mid 90s pop orchestra, but this track, from the band’s second Golden Mile, album deserves to be heard a lot more often.
4 Simon Warner – Waiting Rooms
Another 90s obscurity, Warner’s Waiting Rooms album ranged from the Brel like stomp of Wake Up The Streets through to this gorgeous Scott 3 style floating ballad
5 Lloyd Cole – Butterfly
From Cole’s fabulous Don’t Get Weird On Me Babe album, Butterfly is maybe as much in debt to early 80s pop like ABC as it is to Scott, but it is stunning nevertheless
6 Suede – Still Life
All the key Brit poppers loved Scott. Blur did The Universal, Jarvis even got him producing Pulp albums. But Brett’s Scott meets Andrew LLoyd Weber finale from Dog Man Star is the big one for me.
7 St Christopher – All Of A Tremble
C86 does Scott. This is my favourite ever Sarah Records tune
8 Jens Lekman – And I Remember Every Kiss
In which the genius Swedish popstrel lives out his Scott 2 fantasy.
9 The Teardrop Explodes – The Great Dominions
Cope was largely responsible for the rediscovery of Scott in the 80s with his Godlike Genius compilation. He then penned his own tribute to the man in this track from the band’s masterpiece album Wilder.
10 The Divine Comedy – Tonight We Fly
And who else could we finish with? Neil Hannon’s best song? Maybe? This is his very own ‘We Came Through’ from Scott 3 and hails from his third albums Promenade. This is still the only way to finish a Divine Comedy gig.
They are all here, plus a few more choice cuts on this Spotify playlist