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SW024b (2)

Scott Walker was without parallel as an artist, acclaimed as an influence by David Bowie, Julian Cope, Marc Almond, Nick Cave and Jarvis Cocker. As lead vocalist of the Walker Brothers, his soulful baritone made him a major interpreter of heartbroken ballads. As a solo artist, the influence of balladeer Jacques Brel and existentialist literature took him to new depths of emotional expression on the albums Scott 1 - 4.


Then came years of obscurity as a covers artist, before his career took off on a unique trajectory – witnessed by his extreme contributions to the Walkers’ 1978 reunion album, Nite Flights, the opaque tone poems of the 1984’s Climate of Hunter, the bewilderingly brilliant 1995 Tilt, and the unrelenting psychic assault of 2006’s The Drift.


In this comprehensive illustrated volume, lifelong fan Lewis Williams charts this unique and enigmatic career song by song. From his 1960s heyday to his final release in 2018, every classic, every rarity and every obscurity ever recorded by Scott Walker is detailed with an obsessive enthusiasm that only he was able to inspire.

The new, revised and updated 2019 edition of Scott Walker: The Rhymes of Goodbye is OUT NOW.

Published June 2019 by Plexus

Publishing Ltd, London


About the book

SW NEW COVER v2019.5 (small)


Lewis Williams is a writer, editor and publisher. His writing has covered areas as diverse as social policy, horror fiction and humour. He studied philosophy at York and Oxford universities, and worked as a researcher, writer and coordinator at Oxford University for a number of years before leaving to set up his own publishing business.


He has his own webiste at


The new edition of The Rhymes of Goodbye has been expanded not only to cover a detailed analysis of Scott Walker's recent output, including his critically-acclaimed 2012 album Bish Bosch and 2014's Soused, but also Walker Brothers material that at the time of the book's original edition still languished in the vaults.

About the author

© Lewis Williams 2006, 2019-2024

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