Nancy Sinatra

1978

Regular price £43.99
Format
Double LP housed in a gatefold jacket with 24-page book. Special Edition Yellow Wax.In 1965, 25-year-old Nancy Sinatra scored her first No.1 hit with “These Boots...

Double LP housed in a gatefold jacket with 24-page book. Special Edition Yellow Wax.

In 1965, 25-year-old Nancy Sinatra scored her first No.1 hit with “These Boots are
Made for Walkin’,” a bold anthem for female empowerment. Brazen, sassy, and
utterly infectious, it was a reintroduction of sorts for the eldest daughter of Frank
Sinatra, who had been struggling to find a spotlight of her own amid a changing
musical landscape. Suddenly, audiences who had initially brushed off Sinatra as too
demure or out-of-touch were paying attention. Written and produced by Oklahoma-
born songsmith Lee Hazlewood (with swaggering instrumentals, courtesy of Billy
Strange and The Wrecking Crew), the song launched the singer’s career, as well as
one of music’s most unlikely, yet compelling, creative partnerships.

Over the next decade, Sinatra continued to notch multiple hits on both sides of the
Atlantic, including “Sugar Town,” “How Does That Grab You, Darlin?,” and a
haunting rendition of the Sonny Bono-penned “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me
Down).” The singer also paired up with Hazlewood for a series of popular duets
(“Summer Wine,” “Jackson,” and “Some Velvet Morning”) and collaborative
albums. In between best-selling LPs like Boots (1966), How Does That Grab You
(1966), and Nancy & Lee (1968), Sinatra performed the theme song to the 1967
James Bond film, You Only Live Twice, and collaborated with her father on the
global chart-topper, “Somethin’ Stupid.”

While these career landmarks are well-documented in the annals of pop culture
history, however, much of Sinatra’s catalog remains sorely overlooked. As Keep
Walkin’ co-producer Hunter Lea explains, “With the changing taste of the record-
buying public in the late 1960s and the counterculture taking over, artists like Nancy
Sinatra weren’t in the mainstream as they once were.” Despite that fact, “[Sinatra]
kept working, recording, and performing at a voracious pace.”

Lea continues, “This compilation is a celebration of some of the many glorious
recordings that may have been overlooked, forgotten, or never even released at the
time. The obscurity of some of these recordings doesn’t mask the genius, brilliance,
and effort that went into them; on the contrary, it’s incredible to learn that some of
the lost gems are just as rich as the national treasures.”

Among the highlights is the spritely opener “The City Never Sleeps at Night,” which
served as the B-Side to “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’.” Overshadowed by
the colossal success of its A-side, it’s no surprise that the cinematic tune never had
its proper due. Yet, Lea reveals, Hazlewood initially intended to make it the focus
single. Another long-lost B-side is “The Last of the Secret Agents?,” which was
paired with the Top 10 hit, “How Does That Grab You, Darlin’?” The playful song,
written by Hazlewood, served as the theme to the 1966 comedy of the same name, in
which Sinatra co-starred alongside Marty Allen and Steve Rossi.

Keep Walkin’ also features several choice A-sides that were never included on
albums and were overlooked for one reason or another. Among them is 1966’s “In

Our Time,” a rebellious anthem for ‘60s youth, which references drug culture and
women’s liberation, among other topics. Speaking to the Hazlewood-penned track,
Sinatra recalls, “That was a fun song. Lee was starting to do his ‘anti’ stuff. He was
cynical and it showed in his writing at some point.” But, despite the themes of the
song, Nancy laments that she was never embraced by the counterculture. “[drugs]
knocked me out of the picture completely. I was so far removed from the hip people
in those days. I think they probably made fun of my stuff.” Another stylistic
departure for both artists is “Love Eyes,” a bluesy, soulful single from 1966. The
song, Nancy shares, is “one of my favorites. I think what helped Lee’s writing at that
point was the bigger sound.… I really love it. I think it holds up to this day.” She
adds that her dreamy vocal performance was inspired by early female R&B stars
like Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker.

The collection also features several outstanding covers, including a previously-
unreleased rendition of the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil classic, “I Just Can’t Help
Believing” (a hit for both B.J. Thomas and Elvis Presley). This 1978 recording,
reimagined as a duet, marked one of Sinatra’s brief reunions with Hazlewood,
following his abrupt move to Sweden not long after 1972’s Nancy & Lee Again.
Another choice track finds Nancy interpreting Neil Diamond’s “Glory
Road.”Released as a single in 1971, it features one of the singer’s most cherished
vocal performances. “After I worked on my voice and improved as a performer and
as a singer, I embraced Neil Diamond. Anything I did by Neil Diamond, to me, is my
best work.”

Nancy also looks back fondly on her moving rendition of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No
Sunshine,” released in 1973 as the B-side to “Sugar Me.” The recording (which
features particularly lush orchestral arrangements by Billy Strange) reunited Nancy
with another close collaborator, Jimmy Bowen, who produced the singer in the early
‘60s and later introduced her to Hazlewood. “I love Jimmy,” she declares. “The
records we did early on…had a depth to them that I appreciated. He heard me and
saw me in a different light; he saw me as a much more serious performer, which I
appreciated.”

Listeners will also be delighted to hear a pair of previously-unreleased demos:
“Something Pretty” (the 1968 country hit, made famous by Wynn Stewart) and the
theme to the 1965 Richard Rogers/Stephen Sondheim musical, Do I Hear a Waltz?,
both of which were intended for a self-described “disco” record. Despite the two
catchy takes featured on Keep Walkin’, Sinatra calls the shelved album “A disaster. I
called it the disco fiasco!”

Offering additional insight into Sinatra’s career is music director, songwriter, and
keyboardist, Don Randi. A member of the hallowed Wrecking Crew collective, Randi
was one of the most prolific session musicians of the ‘60s and ‘70s with hundreds
of credits to his name, including The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” Linda
Ronstadt’s “Different Drum,” and “These Boots are Made For Walkin’” – his first
recording with Sinatra. For the next fifty years, he would be a fixture at her sessions
and live shows. He also appears on nearly every track in this collection.

Speaking to Lea, Randi delves deep into his time with Sinatra, with a palpable
admiration for the singer. “She was easy to work with,” he shares. “She was always
wonderful to musicians; nobody even comes close.” The keyboardist, who met
Sinatra through Hazlewood, also recalls the magic of that partnership. “I always
liked working with Nancy & Lee. They had something very special that they could
get out of each other. It was a good team.”

He continues, “Sinatra stood up for herself [around Lee]…He could be so
cantankerous…but that’s Lee…. [Nancy] saw through it. She was so lovely and
helpful to him a number of times when he really needed someone to talk to.” That
said, Randi also appreciates the power of Sinatra’s solo performances. “I never
thought she really needed [Hazlewood},” he reveals. “I thought her shows were just
as well with everybody else; they were excellent.”

After stepping back from the industry in the ‘70s to focus on her young family,
Sinatra returned to the spotlight in the mid-90s, releasing a string of new albums,
including the star-studded Nancy Sinatra, which paired the artist with some of her
biggest fans, including Morrissey, U2, Calexico, and Sonic Youth. Since then,
Nancy’s legacy has only continued to grow. In more recent years, her impact has
been recognized by the likes of Pitchfork, NPR, and Rolling Stone, while in 2020,
“Boots” was inducted into the GRAMMY® Hall of Fame. Today, Sinatra remains a
force in the industry, as new generations discover her influential catalog, which
boasts nearly 20 studio albums and dozens of charting singles.

The City Never Sleeps At Night, The Last Of The Secret Agents, My Baby Cried All Night
Long, Shades, In Our Time, Love Eyes, Rockin' Rock and Roll (1st TIME ON VINYL), This
Town, Tony Rome, 100 Years, See The Little Children, Something Pretty (PREVIOUSLY
UNRELEASED), Do I Hear A Waltz (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED), Drummer Man, Zodiac
Blues (1st TIME ON VINYL), Highway Song, Are You Growing Tired Of My Love, Flowers In
The Rain, Glory Road, Ain't No Sunshine, Easy Evil (1st TIME ON VINYL), Sugar Me, Kinky
Love, Dolly and Hawkeye, I Just Can''t Help Believing (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED)

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