This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood March 18, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Always liked Nancy Sinatra’s voice – and like many I suspect, the first time I heard it was with her contribution to the Bond canon and You Only Live Twice. There was a clarity to the vocals, and a swooping melancholy that established her as a perfect choice for the song. That she’d already had a number of hits, most notably ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin’’ was perhaps testament to the fact that Sinatra was privileged simply by dint of having Frank as her father. But I always admired the way she seemed determined to chart out a tangent, to at times take something a little less easy than the obvious.
Sure, she was pop, but there were some quirks about her take on pop which were refreshing and entertaining. Granted some were outright kitsch. I’m fond of ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’’ but I can imagine some may differ. Likewise with Sugartown. And while these are great great pop songs – perhaps inevitably, I particularly like the albums she released with Lee Hazlewood. There’s a genuine oddness to them, most obviously on 1968’s Nancy & Lee. One may not want to examine the lyrics too closely but the combination of her vocals and his none more deep vocals is compelling, as is the cowboy shtick.
I’ve heard it described as psychedelia as much as folk and country and I think there’s a certain element of truth in that. Tracks like Sand, Summer Wine, Sundown Sundown and of course Some Velvet Morning are fantastic in and of themselves, but the arrangements are occasionally curious, sometimes very much so… take Summer Wine which sounds almost spliced between the female/male vocals. And Sinatra sounds self-possessed and assured at all times. For all the machismo of Hazlewoods vocals this is a partnership.
Sinatra has released music fairly solidly since the 1980s with a break in the 1970s. I’m not surprised that as recently as 2004 she released an album which had contributors from a range of groups, including Sonic Youth and Calexico.
These Boots Are Made for Walkin’
Some Velvet Morning