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The Impossible Dream: The story of Scott Walker and the Walker Brothers
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The book thoroughly covers the career of The Walker Brothers. Scott's career is also given a full treatment as well. This book includes everything you will ever need to know about their career including their comeback in the 1970's. This book clarifies as few myths about Scott, i.e., his short spell in a monastery, suicide attempt. Scott was not a self-absorbed star wallowing in his own despair. In fact, he was (and is) a highly intelligent and creative individual who quickly tired of the machinations of pop stardom. Gary did not play or sing on their records but provided intangibles that helped them become successful. In fact, he bankrolled their trip to England in early 1965, and hobnobbed with important music connections. He also provided comic relief and genuine friendship for John and Scott. John comes across as merely talented but not as gifted as Scott. All three seemed like down-to-earth types who didn't take themselves too seriously. A few typos notwithstanding, this is a fine book and should satisfy fans of this unique pop group.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
The history of the Walkers is all here for sure but this telling is an absolute MUST for the music analysis and critque of each song as it relates to the ongoing story of a godlike genius ...and his two "brothers." It's nearly shocking that the Walker Brothers and Scott have been booked so often in the past and now even John and Gary have a book out and about the era. But supported by his own music experiences and talent and his extensive ability to "write" about the creation and impression of songs, singing and playing author Anthony Reynolds delivers a powerful and hugely readable stroll on the Walker phenom.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was quite amazed reading this very absorbing, gripping, and informative book, which gave me a very intimate insight into the Walker Brothers from their beginnings! Lovers of their music must read this to understand why and how their music came about, how it was developed, the challenges they faced, successes, and their bitter end!! As a long time devoted fan of their music, I also had great opportunity to be the opening act of their Far East Tour in January 1967, bought all their records, and now have all their CDs. If you really like them, you will surely enjoy reading this book! Go get it quick!!!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Just to share how important the influence of the Walker Brothers was on my own work, I listened to Make It Easy On Yourself for over 300 times just to understand, capture, and retain the artistic standard. I read the Chapter on the original recording session three times, then went back and listened to the recording, and focused on the powerful crescendo of Scott, John, and Gary, with the exceptional orchestral background, in the Burt Bacharach/Hal David masterpiece, under the directorship of the late Johnny Franz; and (then) I worked diligently as an artist to achieve a similar level of perfection.

A most inspiring, exceptionally written book about a superb band, and the gifted lead singer Scott Walker. I learned from this carefully-crafted book how to invest oneself in a major artistic project, and how to stay with the "aesthetic perfection" of Scott and Dusty Springfield. It lifted me up as an artist. I am so grateful that Anthony Reynolds took the time and expertise to meet with these three superb artists, and capture their humility, professionalism, exquisite teamwork, and diligence to create works of this magnitude. Make It Easy On Yourself, in my mind, is one of the finest love songs ever composed, written, orchestrated, sung, and produced. That Chapter alone was worth the price of the book.

Perfection or near perfection is possible. Impossible Dream: The Story of Scott Walker and The Walker Brothers has earned my profound respect. Salute!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I find it fulfils all my expectations of a biography.Easy read text and good illustrations.Recommended for fans of Scott Walker.
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Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Like others have stated here, there is, as a whole, so little on the Walker Brothers available, that even as I write this I am quibbling with myself over adding the fifth star. There is a whole lot to like here - I'm just not quite able to love. Anti-kudos first:

Though it settles down over the course of the book, Reynold's writing style over the first few chapters borders on annoying at times, with what occasionally feel like pretentious flights of verbal fancy that fall short of their presumed target. As Nigel Tufnel once said, "There's a fine line between clever and stupid". Reynolds come close to that line a time or two too often in the early going.

The other annoyance in the early going is the excessive quotation of Kim Fowley, a dubious source at best and once with no real connection to the band that I could discern beyond "he was around." His quotes are wise-ass, dismissive, and seemingly beside any point that I could see.

Okay - now, then. This is also a very interesting and fairly deep look into the career and work of the Walkers, together and apart, up through the recording and release of Nite Flights, their final work together. While their solo work in this period is covered with equal depth, it ends there and makes only very passing references to Scott's pretty significant work thereafter. That's okay. That's not in scope, but for readers interested in his later solo work, we will want to look elsewhere.

Not really a biography (the members' personal lives are treated very superficially), this is a very good dive into the songs, records, performances and recording. It sheds a great deal of light into the circumstances around the records and how, when and why they got made. For those of us who are Yanks, it is eye-opening to see just how massive their success in England really was. Here in the US, they were a British group that had a couple of big hits. In the UK they were major stars with a popularity that rivaled, and for a brief time, surpassed that of the Beatles.

In all, this is a valuable book to have on the Walkers and I am certainly glad to have it. I do certainly recommend it. I just don't quite love it.

Side note, for those so inclined: This is a beautifully put together book. The soft covers are high quality stock, brushed and handsome. The pages themselves are heavy stock and, though it doesn't say, I suspect they are acid-free as well. The saddle-stitching is first rate, using actual cloth thread. Compared to US mass market trade paperbacks, this is like a cathedral. I wish there were more photos (especially since several are referenced in the text, but do not appear in the book), but those here are quality reproduction with solid printing. Maybe I love this after all...
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on May 5, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a interesting book if you are a fan of walker bros and scott, which I am. The backstory and everyone's take on their time together was fascinating. I always felt sorry for John and Gary being in Scott's shadow. RIP John.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
One of the biggest acts of popular music in the 60s, The Walker Brothers star has greatly faded. "The Impossible Dream: The Story of Scott Walker and the Walker Brothers" tells the story of this trio of brothers who took America by storm throughout the 1960s and became one of the earliest teen idols. A complete and comprehensive biography of the group, all of their work is covered in much depth, as author Anthony Reynolds offers the history behind each song and album with much detail. "The Impossible Dream" is an absolute must for anyone nostalgic for the heyday of the Walker Trio or any who simply want to understand one of the obsessions of the 60s.
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on July 11, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
My son and I are big Scott Walker fans...love the book!
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