After the Lights Go Out - The Best of 1965 - 1967 by The Walker Brothers on Apple Music

22 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Walker Brothers were a British hit sensation, though the group was neither brothers or British. Scott Engel, John Maus and Gary Leeds met in California and went to England to be a part of the British Invasion. Their sound is a mix of ornate orchestrations and Scott Walker’s intense take on showbiz singers of the pre-rock era, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra, that when pushed together with the other members sounds like a bizarre spinoff of the Righteous Brothers. Their cult has grown over the years as their records are reissued and a new generation submerges themselves into the band’s stunning melodicism. These twenty tracks are a comprehensive overview of the band’s short but prolific early career. (They reunited several times for the credible comebacks of No Regrets and Nite Flights). “Saddest Night In the World,” “Make It Easy On Yourself,” “First Love Never Dies” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” are first-rate pop songs that range from romantic to doomed. Scott Walker would continue with a fascinating solo career.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Walker Brothers were a British hit sensation, though the group was neither brothers or British. Scott Engel, John Maus and Gary Leeds met in California and went to England to be a part of the British Invasion. Their sound is a mix of ornate orchestrations and Scott Walker’s intense take on showbiz singers of the pre-rock era, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra, that when pushed together with the other members sounds like a bizarre spinoff of the Righteous Brothers. Their cult has grown over the years as their records are reissued and a new generation submerges themselves into the band’s stunning melodicism. These twenty tracks are a comprehensive overview of the band’s short but prolific early career. (They reunited several times for the credible comebacks of No Regrets and Nite Flights). “Saddest Night In the World,” “Make It Easy On Yourself,” “First Love Never Dies” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” are first-rate pop songs that range from romantic to doomed. Scott Walker would continue with a fascinating solo career.

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About The Walker Brothers

They weren't British, they weren't brothers, and their real names weren't Walker, but Californians Scott Engel, John Maus, and Gary Leeds were briefly huge stars in England (and small ones in their native land) at the peak of the British Invasion. Engel and Maus were playing together in Hollywood when drummer Leeds suggested they form a trio and try to make it in England. And they did -- with surprising swiftness, they hit the top of the British charts with "Make It Easy on Yourself" in 1965. "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" repeated the feat the following year, and the group also had U.K. hits with "My Ship Is Coming In," "(Baby) You Don't Have to Tell Me," "Another Tear Falls," and others. For a few months they experienced frenzied adulation almost on the level of the Beatles and the Stones, though in the U.S. (where they rarely performed) only "Make It Easy on Yourself" and "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" entered the Top 20.

While the Walkers looked the part of British Invaders with their shaggy mop-top hairstyles, they were far more pop than rock. Nor did they play on most of their records. With producer Johnny Franz and veteran British arrangers like Ivor Raymonde (who also worked with Dusty Springfield) and Reg Guest, they favored orchestrated ballads that were a studied attempt to emulate the success of another brother act who weren't really brothers: the Righteous Brothers. Not as soulful as the Righteous Brothers, lead singer Scott Walker's deep croon betrayed strong debts to non-rock vocalists like Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. While their biggest hits were covers of songs by American pop songwriting teams like Bacharach-David and Mann-Weil, Scott (and occasionally John Walker) could write brooding originals in a more personal, less overblown style when given the chance.

In the intensely competitive days of 1967, the Walkers' brand of pop suddenly become passé, and the group disbanded in the face of diminishing success and Scott's increasingly fruitful solo career. Scott ran off a series of Top Ten British solo albums in the late '60s, which have attracted a sizable cult with their idiosyncratic marriage of Scott's brooding, insular songs and ornate orchestral arrangements. Gary Walker released a few singles and an album with his group the Rain in a much harder-rocking guitar-oriented format. The Walkers reunited for a while in the mid-'70s, which produced a final British hit ("No Regrets"). Much of the Walkers' story is retold in the biography Scott Walker: A Deep Shade of Blue, published only in Britain. ~ Richie Unterberger

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles, CA
  • FORMED
    1964

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