With Found Footage, we dig through the depths of archival video online. From live clips to interviews and music videos, we uncover the best visual documents floating around the web.
In honor of this week’s release of Scott Walker‘s Bish Bosch, we take a look at five clips spanning his sprawling career, from the mid-60s to the mid-00s. (Recommended for further viewing: Any retrospective of Scott Walker would be remiss without mentioning 30 Century Man, the comprehensive 2006 documentary featuring interviews with Walker, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Radiohead, Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn, Sting, and several others.) Also read David Toop’s new interview with Walker here.
1. BBC interview, 2006. Scott Walker isn’t an easy artist to explore for the first time. Do you start with his 60s pop hits with the Walker Brothers? How about Scott 4, his 1969 album entirely comprised of his own songwriting for the first time? This career-spanning interview is a pretty good primer for Walker’s career, and it’s a nice way to listen to snippets of all of his stuff and decide where you’d like to begin. (Though, again, for a more comprehensive education on Walker, 30 Century Man is the way to go.)
2. The Walker Brothers, “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” on “Ready Steady Go”, 1966. Walker’s new work can be abrasive and complex. Listening to the terrifying, unruly soundscapes of Bish Bosch or The Drift, it’s hard to imagine the avant garde genius on the receiving end of a Beatlemania-esque fanbase in the mid-60s. But the songs were certifiable hits in the vein of Phil Spector, and Walker was a handsome, charming showman.
3. “Jackie”, on “Howerd’s Hour”, 1968. After awhile, Walker got tired of the enormous crowds and wanted some time to find his own way as an artist. In the late 60s, he began covering songs by the Belgian singer-songwriter Jaques Brel. Here, he performs Brel’s “Jackie”, which he released on his 1968 album Scott 2. “Howerd’s Hour” was a variety and comedy special hosted by English comedian Frankie Howard. Walker also acted in it. (For another good sample of his Brel work, check out his performance of “Mathilde” on Dusty Springfield’s TV show.)
4. The Walker Brothers, “No Regrets”, 1975. After Scott 4 and its follow-up ‘Til the Band Comes In were commercial flops, Walker reunited with the Walker Brothers. Albums from that period were only made because of contractual obligations to his label– he prevents them from be reissued. But even if the strings on their version of Tom Rush’s “No Regrets” (from the Walker Brothers’ 1975 album of the same name) are corny, the song’s an undeniable showcase for Scott’s voice.
5. “Rosary”, on “Later…With Jools Holland”, 1995. There’s a great audio clip from a 1997 radio interview with David Bowie on his 50th birthday. As a special surprise, they played Bowie a recorded message from Scott Walker, who wishes Bowie a happy birthday. The message plays, and then it’s completely quiet for a few seconds. Bowie is shocked to hear this personal message from his reclusive idol, and his awed silence is a good barometer for how rarely Walker surfaces. In the past three decades, any appearance from him has been a pretty big deal, especially this rare performance of “Rosary” from the dark 1995 album Tilt.