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The Early Years

Scott Walker

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Album Review

Latter-day fans of Scott Walker, the enigmatic pop auteur, are unlikely to take great interest in his early recordings as Scott Engel, the paint-by-numbers teen idol. Comparable to the mild pop/rock of Ricky Nelson, Walker's early efforts produced no hits and are remembered mainly because of his later fame as a solo artist and a member of the Walker Brothers. His best-known cuts from this era come from his debut Orbit single, "The Livin' End" b/w "Good for Nothin'," which have appeared on a few anthologies of early rock & roll. Exhibiting a tougher approach than most of his subsequent Orbit singles, "The Livin' End" also boasts a curious composer credit: Rod McKuen and Henry Mancini. Collectors of '50s rock & roll will be much more interested in Walker's Scott Engel sides since he recorded a few Johnny Burnette songs and performed ably in the teen idol vein. The Early Years compiles 18 of Walker/Engel's Orbit recordings, encompassing a few rockers, some ballads, and some straight pop music. A few months after Acrobat released The Early Years in England, Empire Musicwerks issued an identical collection in the United States under the title Humble Beginnings: The Scott Engel Sessions, although the import is slightly less expensive from most retailers. Also in existence are a pair of bootleg anthologies, Hits and Rarities, Vols. 1-2, that collect a total of 64 recordings Walker/Engel made in the '50s and '60s, dubbed from vinyl rather than original master tapes.

Biography

Born: 09 January 1943 in Hamilton, OH

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most enigmatic figures in rock history, Scott Walker was known as Scotty Engel when he cut obscure flop records in the late '50s and early '60s in the teen idol vein. He then hooked up with John Maus and Gary Leeds to form the Walker Brothers. They weren't named Walker, they weren't brothers, and they weren't English, but they nevertheless became a part of the British Invasion after moving to the U.K. in 1965. They enjoyed a couple of years of massive success there (and a couple of hits...
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