Nancy Sinatra: Start Walkin’: 1965-1976 (Light in the Attic)

Nancy Sinatra

Start Walkin ‘: 1965-1976

Light in the attic

March 25, 2021
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While Light in the Attic celebrates one of music’s most famous daughters, this compilation of Nancy Sinatra’s hits from the early part of her career is meant to provide an overview of her work. It is wonderfully successful in that regard. Combining solo hits with those made with longtime collaborator Lee Hazlewood, Start Walkin ‘is a good example of how Sinatra’s unique vocal styling remained her main asset, maintaining foreground and center positioning throughout all of her strongest work. Regardless of whether it’s her best songs (“These Boots Are Made For Walkin ‘” is still one of the best singles by a singer of all time) or the less important offers (“Hook and Ladder” and “So. Long Babe “doesn’t quite talk about how brilliant she is), there is a constant theme. Nancy Sinatra is a real singer.

It seems odd to have to address this point, but – and this is something the attic light is trying to fix – when you think about a discussion about the greatest singers of the day, how often does Nancy’s name come up? Not very often. And yet there is a strong argument in favor of their inclusion simply because of this compilation. Your alto cuts through any composition here – including a damn Bond theme, for God’s sake – like a jagged piece of glass through a stiff sheet of cellophane. And that’s before we even start talking about their influence. Throw it forward about 50 years, and the roots of all modern greats, from Fiona Apple to Lana Del Rey, Tori Amos, Amy Winehouse, Sharon Van Etten and beyond, can be traced back to Sinatra’s findings, as documented here.
It cannot – in fact certainly not – be presented as the unanimously flawless collection of forgotten gems you are likely to find here, and the Hazlewood duets certainly oscillate far too much between hot and cold, but as a document and testament for that Given the scope and appeal of Nancy Sinatra, it’s fair to say this compilation nails it and a few more. Remind those who forgot and enlighten those who are learning of the unique gifts of the singer, actress, activist who was all too easily overlooked in her most productive and rewarding era. (www.lightintheattic.net)

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