Scott Walker, the resonant voice of mystery and loss, is 71 today. More than anyone, he’s proved that the passage of time and creative potency need not be mutually exclusive; his oeuvre is as 1995’s Farmer In The City reflected, “the journey of a life”.
To mark the occasion, here are 13 classics to show how he’s changed, yet stayed the same. Included are early, epic chart smashes with the Walker Brothers, accompanied on albums and b-sides by the first stirrings of Scott’s writing. As a solo singer, he maintained the hit rate with high gothic drama and seamy covers of Jacques Brel. The hits would dry up in the ‘70s, but as his disciples know, that voice was always worth listening to. Later in the decade came the dramatic songwriting rebirth of the reunited Walker Brothers’ Nite Flights album, and the ongoing if unhurried transmissions of his mature period.
And beware – if these songs whet your appetite, a world of stunning and transformative music awaits.