Nancy Sinatra – Keep Walkin’ – Singles, Demos & Rarities 1965-1978
The daughters of Elvis, Judy Garland & Nat King Cole all did it wonderfully. And in the 60s Frank Sinatra’s daughter Nancy may have been one of the best. With the hit “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” with that classic descending upright bass guitar — the acorn didn’t fall too far from the tree.
This new 25-song collection from that era plus unreleased nuggets shows Nancy’s engaging diversification with pop & country songs, B-sides & soundtracks. Powered primarily by studio musicians on some tracks & partnered with an excellent singer-songwriter in Lee Hazelwood.
No matter, the lost gems are here like “The City Never Sleeps.” A more serious accounting, not as pop-oriented & novelty-inspired as “Boots,” which in itself was aggressive for its time. Nancy dabbled in some secret agent bombastic film tunes such as “Last of the Secret Agents” & a theme from her father’s film “Tony Rome.” But that was the era’s style & done with an indomitable Sinatra style.
As the hits dwindled, she took stabs at more serious songs. “See the Little Children,” the bluesy-soulful “Love Eyes,” “Drummer Man, “ (featuring studio drummer Hal Blaine) & “100 Years.” All surprisingly good. I often wondered what Nancy could’ve done if she turned to more serious material. Newer LPs late in her career rocked harder but lacked some viable ingredients.
This rich assortment is a continuation of 2021’s Start Walkin’ 1965-1976. The new collection Keep Walkin’ – Singles, Demos & Rarities 1965-1978 (Drops Oct 20– Light In the Attic) adds to that bounty & apparently rights any wrongs or omissions. Some arrangements may sound dated today, but the songs stand up. Nancy’s voice is pristine & confident.
“Baby Cried All Night Long,” has a sultry bluesy intro with sweet booming trombones. If a blues has to have a pop edge this is the way to go. It seems that even the weaker tunes have Nancy’s vigor & enthusiasm. She never undersells her performances. The demo “Something Pretty,” — never released before is fine but has an overabundance of orchestration.
There’s plenty to like here. Pure nostalgia & much that surprises. I like Nancy personally since we were both born in the same Jersey City, NJ (Margaret Hague) hospital. Yeah, she’s still better-looking than me.
Highlights – “The City Never Sleeps,” “Baby Cried All Night Long,” the classic “Love Eyes,” “This Town,” “100 Years,” “See the Little Children,” “Drummer Man,” “Highway Song,” “Flowers In the Rain,” “Glory Road” & “Sugar Me.”
Musicians – The Wrecking Crew with contributions by Lee Hazelwood & Billy Strange.
Stitched booklet included. Color image by Ron Joy/Boots Enterprises. CD @ Light at the Attic Records @ https://lightintheattic.net/products/keep-walkin-singles-demos-rarities-1965-1978 & https://bootique.nancysinatra.com/products/keep-walkin-singles-demos-rarities-1965-1978-cd