Scott 2 – Scott Walker

Scott Walker - Scott 2
– Scott 2

Born Noel Scott Engel on January 9, 1943, this American artist, who chose to build his career far from his homeland, in the United Kingdom, has left an indelible mark on music history, transcending the boundaries of pop.

The journey begins with The Walker Brothers, a group that, despite its name, shared no blood ties, only vocal harmony. With hits like “Make It Easy on Yourself” and “The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore”, they captured the hearts of the British. However, Scott Walker quickly veered off this path to explore uncharted musical territories.

Walker's solo odyssey started with the album “Scott”, a series that would reach its zenith with “Scott 4”. Singing Brel in English, he established himself as a unique artist, an existentialist crooner. “I don't sing love songs; I sing about the feeling itself,” he said. It's this quest for authenticity, this desire to break conventions that led him to increasingly experimental works, like “Tilt” or “The Drift”.

I'm not an outsider, but a dissident

Scott Walker

As for the origin of his stage name, Scott Walker, he chose it in reference to a character from “The Big Country”, thus embodying his love for cinema and his quest for a unique artistic identity. Walker is more than a name; it's a symbol of uniqueness and boldness.

Walker never stopped experimenting, reinventing himself, until his last breath in 2019. His work, both dark and luminous, continues to inspire. “I'm not an outsider, but a dissident,” he liked to say. Scott Walker remains an iconic figure, a musical dissident whose resonance transcends time and trends.

The album : Scott 2

Released in 1968, “Scott 2” is a bold exploration of eclectic sounds, marking a pivotal turn in the artist's career.

“Scott 2” stands out for its blend of orchestral pop, French chanson, and sophisticated arrangements, a chemistry made possible by the collaboration between Walker and the talented arranger and conductor, Peter Knight. The album serves as a canvas for Walker's deep, melancholic voice, effortlessly moving between covers and original compositions.

The recording sessions for “Scott 2” are filled with anecdotes that reveal Walker's artistic rigor. He notably shared that he recorded the vocals for “Plastic Palace People” in darkness, seeking to capture a raw emotional essence. Upon its release, the album was praised for its ambition and sophistication, though its eclecticism divided some critics.

“Jackie”, an English adaptation of a Brel song, quickly became a standout track, controversial for its daring lyrics and orchestral exuberance. Walker described this song as a “cathartic outlet”, showcasing his ability to blend dark humor with emotional depth.

Over time, “Scott 2” has cemented itself as a cult classic, its influence enduring among generations of artists looking to break musical conventions. “This album is a journey through time, not just an era, but the multiple emotional lives that music can embody,” Walker stated in a rare interview.

The song : Jacky

This daring adaptation of a Jacques Brel song (originally “La chanson de Jacky”) captures the essence of the album with its unique blend of dark humor, melancholy, and grandiose orchestrations.

“Jackie” narrates the fantasies of an ordinary character yearning for an extraordinary, debauched, and glamorous life. The lyrics sway between dream and reality, ironically evoking the highs and lows of fame. Walker infuses “Jackie” with a dose of social satire, poking fun at aspirations and illusions of grandeur.

Where to listen to Scott 2?