Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nancy Sinatra and her Boots

Nancy Sinatra was one of the outstanding female singers of the late 1960s in the US, Frank's daughter of course. She's still going.
She had six Billboard US top 40 hits and more above that, plus duets with Lee Hazlewood and Frank.
These days she may sometimes be called a one-hit wonder because only Boots is remembered, but that's a typical today's error. That term is thrown around when people don't know enough, at singers who had more that one top 40. Besides, I say why does one national hit make a person a queer "wonder". It's a big accomplishment.

Here are some musical questions and comparisons. Press a selection to hear it.

These Boots Are Made For Walking - #1 1966
Arranged by Billy Strange, like all her other hits, and written by Lee Hazlewood. The descending bass intro has made it famous. Lee used to be a radio dj and had experience at mastering and processing songs to sound best on radio. I'm not saying he did this, but here's an example of what analog AM radio did for this song. The album version sounds lame in comparison. Who can comment on what radio did? Digital versions today are even more lame. It shows that mastering method is more important than bitrate. Stereo sources here have been merged to mono.

Boots - radio recording
Boots - album recording

Friday's Child - #36 1966
One of those frank anguished songs of that era like "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian. By Hazlewood again. Too depressed for me, but well arranged. However, her hits album had a version which was not the hit single version. Can Warner Brothers/ Reprise explain why? That's a strange ripoff. Was there originally a different recording on an album? The hit version is the impressive one.

Friday's Child - Greatest Hits version
Friday's Child - hit single version

You Only Live Twice - #44 1967
The James Bond movie theme. The movie music was on the United Artists label. They rerecorded it for their own Reprise label and had it on the flip of Jackson, and it charted. I think the soundtrack song turns out more impressive.

movie version
Reprise version


Louis said...

You have a great ear for music. I really agree with you all the way:

The radio recording of "Boots" is far richer than the album version.

The hit single version of "Friday's Child" has superior background vocals missing in the greatest hits version.

The movie version of "You Only Live Twice" has a mysterious music sound that they did not capture on the Reprise version in which the vocals themselves sound much different too.

I'd love to hear more of your comentaries and thoughts about Nancy's songs.

GeorgeS said...

I see you're in West Hollywood Louis. Can you get a hold of the Warner people and shake a confession out of them?
The single of Boots sounds a bit better but nothing like the radio. When I hear it played these days it's the lame sound. I've posted the radio version at imeem.com using the name George Silver. Also in my blog there I wrote about digital sound.

tracy002 said...
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