Pro-tip: If you’re unfamiliar, the Netflix on demand feature, with the Roku player, is pretty ace (not to mention economical). Through it, I finally got around to viewing the Scott Walker documentary 30 Century Man. As a fan, it is a fascinating, not to mention informative, watch tying up some loose ends in terms of the reclusive crooner’s journey from the early Walker Brothers pop-idol years, through the first four Scott solo LPs, on to his eventual role in the world of avant garde. Fan or not, the cast of characters who pop up throughout the doc’s interview series should pique the interest of those with even a passing interest in Walker’s body of work — see: David Bowie, Brian Eno, Radiohead, Jarvis Cocker, Johnny Marr and Damon Albarn, among others
One of the documentaries highlights is when the fimmakers delve into Walker’s sixties work covering Parisian singer/songwriter/showman Jacques Brel both live, on his television show, and on record via the Scott Walker Sings Jacques Brel collection (comprised of nine tracks culled from Scott’s first three solo albums). If you’ve heard Walker cover Brel then you know his versions are nothing short of grandiose and bombastic, and done up in a way that retains both the original’s spirit and intensity. Listen to Walker cover Brel’s “La Chanson De Jacky” below.
As an aside, as much as I love the Walker Brothers and Scott’s early solo records I still can’t get on board with his latter career experimental works (most recently The Drift), which is interesting as I have friends with the exact opposite take on Walker’s career. Different strokes, etc. Love to hear your thoughts on Tilt, The Drift, etc, in the comments.