- 19 Dec 19
We're revisiting the Best Of Hot Press 2019! Back in March, the world lost one of the greatest and most influential artists in rock history. Paul Nolan looked back at Scott Walker's remarkable story, encompassing personal demons, spectacular success, controversy, decline – and eventual triumph with a series of extraordinary, groundbreaking albums.
It has been a fearful few years in the landscape of rock and pop. The passing of the immortal triumvirate of Bowie, Prince and Cohen in 2016 seems to have presaged an era of sad deaths, with many going well before their time – including Chris Cornell, who left us the followng year, in 2017.
In the past 18 months alone, we have lost Dolores O’Riordan, The Fall’s Mark E. Smith and Keith Flint. And March 22 of this year saw the death of one of the most brilliant and influential figures in rock history, Scott Walker. Fittingly, my first encounter with him gave some indication of his seismic impact on the world of music.
Reading the music press in the summer of 2000, I had my head turned by the fact that two of my favourite bands, Blur and Radiohead, were set to headline the Walker-curated Meltdown Festival, taking place at the Southbank Centre in London. The basic biographical info made the singer an immediately irresistible figure.