The 100 Greatest UK Number 1 Singles – #92

This is the series where I feature The Guardian’s idea of the 100 best UK #1s ever, and we see what I have to say about them (which usually isn’t much, to be honest).

We’re staying in the 60s for this week’s entry. Here’s what The Guardian had to say about it:

Had These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ been sung by a man, as its author, Lee Hazlewood, had intended, it would just have been nasty. Sung with insouciant cool by the recently divorced Nancy Sinatra, however, it became something else entirely: camp but tough, funny but fierce, completely irresistible.

Nancy Sinatra – These Boots Are Made for Walkin’

I love a bit of Nancy, but have always thought it a shame that this remains her best known, most loved and most iconic songs. For my money, her recorded collaborations with Lee Hazlewood – who, as The Guardian point out, wrote “…Boots…” – are much more interesting, and way better than this, great though it is.

Hazlewood doesn’t appear on Nancy’s version – not singing, anyway, though he is credited as being the “supervisor” of the sessions during which it was recorded – but he did record a version of it himself. Let’s see how on the money The Guardian were when they said it would sound “nasty”:

Lee Hazlewood – These Boots Are Made for Walkin’

I’m not sure that “nasty” is quite the way to describe it. Oddly paced and full of weird spoken asides, sure – but nasty? Nah. Although I see how it could have been, if sung by someone with a seedier reputation. Frank Bough, for example. (Young people: look him up, but remember to clear your browsing history immediately afterwards.)

Anyway, Nancy’s version happened to come up on her Twitter feed the other day when she retweeted an invitation to recreate her video for the song as it had “taken over TikTok“. You know TikTok, right? With all the young people, filming themselves?

I had a look on TikTok to see what the fuss is about; I found 132 very short videos, none of which are worthy of your time (admittedly, I didn’t check all 132).

I did track down (by which I mean: typed the words “Nancy” and “boots” into YouTube) the original video in question, which pretty much just shows Nancy strutting her stuff in a pair of boots (not wellingtons) whilst a group of sub-Pan’s People dancers who appear to have forgotten to put their trousers on flail about around her.

See for yourself:

That’s iconic, alrighty.

More soon.

How Not To Do a Cover Version

Writing yesterday’s post, it occurred to me that I used to write a counter-weight series, where I featured bloody awful versions of great records. Checking back, it transpires that I haven’t posted one since December 2017, which at least shows that I’ve been faithful to my mother’s advice that if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.

Time to rectify that.

In 1972, Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood released their Did You Ever? album, and this was the title track:

A bona fide classic, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Which leads me here, and may the Good Lord have mercy on my soul for what I am about to post.

Linda Martin, says Wiki, is “…a singer and television presenter from Northern Ireland…best known in Europe as the winner of the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Why Me?”, and in Ireland as a member of the 1970s/1980s band Chips.”

Mick McCarthy, on the other hand, is an ex-footballer who played for Barnsley, Manchester City, Celtic, Lyon and finally Millwall between the late 70s and the early 90s. He went on to manage Millwall and then, as is the natural progression for men born in Yorkshire, the Republic of Ireland.

He’s probably best known for having a spat with RoI captain Roy Keane on the eve of the 2002 World Cup finals which ended up with Keane and McCarthy squaring up to each other, Keane allegedly shouting (apologies in advance for the effing and jeffing): “You’re a fucking wanker. I didn’t rate you as a player, I don’t rate you as a manager and I don’t rate you as a person. You’re a fucking wanker and you can stick your World Cup up your arse. I’ve got no respect for you. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country! You can stick it up your bollocks.” before either walking out of, or being expelled from, the squad, depending on whose account of events you wish to believe. Classic Keano.

That, and for being startled by, as Young Disciples sang (though I expect it wasn’t about Big Mick), apparently nothin’:

Anyway, in 1991, the stars aligned and Mick & Linda joined forces to cover Did You Ever? and, just like Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, when they met, it was murder:

My ears! My ears!!!

Sorry (I’m not sorry).

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

It was Nancy Sinatra’s 78th birthday on Friday, which makes this morning’s choice a remarkably simple one.

There’ve been many different versions of this over the years, but if I had to pick a favourite, it’d be Nancy & Lee’s version I’d have to plump for.

Yes, even above Johnny & June’s.


Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood – Jackson

More soon.