Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

WALKER BROTHERS

Vocal and instrumental trio formed on West Coast '64: bassist Scott Engel (b 9 Jan '44, Hamilton OH), John Maus (b 12 Nov. '43, NYC) on guitar, drummer Gary Leeds (b 3 Sep. '44, Glendale CA) Leeds had toured UK with P.J. Proby and suggested they try their luck there; they had two top 20 singles in USA '65--6, but were seen as a British import and had greater UK success, with nine top 30 singles '65--7 incl. 'My Ship Is Coming In' at no. 3, 'Make It Easy On Yourself' and 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore' both no. 1; four top ten LPs incl. Take It Easy, Portrait and Images plus a compilation. Dramatic ballads had epic prod. style borrowed from Phil Spector; their brooding good looks were a hit with Engel singled out as a teen idol, but his withdrawn nature and nervous disposition ill-fitted him for it. Pressure split them '67; all three pursued solo careers, but only Engel (as Scott Walker) had any success: three eponymous solo LPs '65--7 were top three albums UK, bringing Jacques Brel songs to a wider audience; three hit singles incl. top ten UK with 'Joanna'. 'Brothers' reunited for No Regrets '75 (a last UK top ten with Tom Rush's title song), Lines '76, Nite Flights '78. Engel's enigmatic, withdrawn image and doomed romantic ballad mould had infl. on Julian Cope, Marc Almond and young David Bowie. He returned with The Climate Of Hunter '84, then Looking Back '96.