Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Nancy & Lee
Dec 22, 2021
84
The History of The Albums – n°381

[Hey AOTY, I'm taking the time to write these words, I will celebrate my 2nd anniversary in the community tomorrow, so I want to thank @everyone for all the support I receive. Since there are a lot of people to thank, please be patient, I'm planning to pay personal tribute to you in my future list of the best reviews of the site. There is still a lot of work to do but it's coming along! In the meantime, here is probably one of my last review of the year 2021, wishing you all happy holidays and health above all. Can't wait to start 2022. Love ]

The album Nancy & Lee is so quiet and delicate that it is perfect while waiting for Santa Claus to arrive, with your feet under the fire by the fireplace. Although we are focusing on this delightful album today, it is im-portant to say that Nancy & Lee is not only the story of a collaboration, it is the magic of an alchemy that extends beyond this famous project. One might also think that Nancy is a daddy's girl, since her father is none other than Frank Sinatra, the legendary crooner, but that's not quite true. Nancy Sinatra is more than that, she's probably one of the first Pop icons as we know them today. She is the ancestral mother of Ma-donna, Britney Spears and many more. In an exceptional career that spans over 40 years, Nancy has created her legend on screen but also in music with the cult classic "These Boots Are Made for Walkin" (1966), an absolutely irresistible standard. It was necessary to have guts and courage to succeed in proving that she was not in the shadow of her father and it is by crossing the road of Lee Hazlewood, singer/producer/songwriter who will become her close collaborator that Nancy will confirm all the promises of her success. At the same time, Lee Hazlewood will also take advantage of this collaboration by leaving the shadow to pursue a very remarkable career thereafter. Focus on one of the most unlikely duet in the history of music, on one side a young singer who had everything for her and on the other the one nicknamed the "cowboy psychedelia".

Honor to the lady, like a perfect gentleman, Nancy Sinatra was born 1940 in New Jersey. She was interested in art and culture at a very young age, following the example of her father Frank Sinatra. Obviously the trajectory of the Sinatra family is mainly directed by the career of the father who was in the 50s one of the most popular artists in the world. After a few years of difficulty, Frank Sinatra's career will reach its peak when he signs with Capitol in California, where he will release his best years, singles and also make his place in the world of cinema and television. Until then, Nancy lived with her mother because Frank Sinatra married a Hollywood actress and then had various relationships like the stereotypical life of a celebrity in Los Angeles. When Nancy turned 20, she had few degrees, few qualifications, but she wanted to become an actress. So, with the help of her father's TV show, The Frank Sinatra Timex Show, she participated in a show reserved for the great comeback of Elvis Presley in 1960. Now that's what we call networking, Linkedin fans take it as an example. In short, yes it is easier thanks to dad, and Nancy also takes advantage of it to launch herself in music from the following year. However the lack of success despite several attempts will end up discouraging the label little by little, until narrowly avoiding the total rupture. It was then that Nancy met Lee Hazlewood, born in 1929, a lyricist/composer from the shadows who had made his debut in the mid-1950s. Until then Hazlewood was best known for the hit songs he wrote for pioneer Duane Eddy (including Rebel Rouser - 1958), but his solo career was struggling to take off. On Nancy Sinatra's first solo album, mainly composed of covers, the duo Nancy and Lee will be born with the arrival of These Boots Are Made for Walkin (1966) which will definitely launch their career.

As life is so complex, it is sometimes easier to understand the moral. Yes, it is easier when we are favored by our knowledge. But is that all? Nancy Sinatra is the perfect example of an artist who is not extraordinary, who certainly has talent, but that it is necessary to know how to frame it in order to draw the best from it. To sum up, Nancy Sinatra has never been as strong as when she collaborates with Lee Hazlewood. In a way, it's reciprocal in the other direction. The alchemy Nancy & Lee, for which we can add a 3rd actor the arranger and conductor Billy Strange, will know its apogee the time of a common album in 1968. The album includes 11 songs in a typically traditional pop format, with original songs combined with a handful of covers. The cover is sober but elegant, nothing eccentric, a pop album in its splendor for the time. In short, Nancy had understood for some time that the Country scene could allow her to blossom. She will thus completely rely on Hazlewood who mastered perfectly this field by letting herself be guided. Hazlewood's eccentricity and singularity will push this record to become one of the first Country crossover albums in the sense that we find several different musical genres/styles such as Baroque Pop, Psychedelic or Folk. It is important to remember that Country was a rather conservative genre, which explains why the album Nancy & Lee already sounds like an anomaly. However, this album is a real delight, mastered from beginning to end, with a set of ballads as warm as particularly touching.

We obviously find the hit singles. First of all Jackson, an endearing Country Pop cover that Johnny Cash had tackled first. Lady Bird, a Psychedelic Pop / Baroque Pop demonstration which highlights the alchemy of the 2 authors, the delightful voice of Nancy and the charming Lee, with his baritone voice. Nothing like the ex-traordinary Some Velvet Morning, where the duo touches the sky through this wonderful ballad. As I said before, the album doesn't stop with the single, there are other treasures here. Summer Wine is such a dreadful time capsule, painting the whole landscape of the late 60's like a Hollywood movie. Sand is a kind of Brian Wilson song, Pets Sound period, that is a very melodic ballad built on a hypnotic orchestration. Finally the introduction You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', an almost lo-fi folk consecration absolutely pastoral that shows all the delicacy of a duo that completes each other so well. Nancy & Lee is a joy that keeps a special flavor. It is not a perfect record, because I think that its direction and its format are detrimental to push the 2 artists to come out of their cocoon. In any case, there is a great set of pop vignettes, not necessarily counting the ones that are now in the pantheon of music, that deserve to be revived from time to time, when one needs a little comfort.

Doublez's Tags
5 Comments
Dec 22, 2021
thanks for being one of the best reviewers on the site. we always appreciate your contributions.
Dec 22, 2021
Thank you for these kind words, I will not fail to mention a fine connoisseur and enthusiast like you! @JohnLouisHoward
Dec 22, 2021
why life is so complex?
Jan 6, 2022
Sorry for the late reply, happy new year @Yea
what I meant to say is that life is established so much on various unknowns and convergences that we must understand what we are really capable of
For example a person can be ultra gifted for some things but too unpredictable to last on the length, or a person is gifted for one thing but not for another, so we have to understand how to succeed in filling that
Jan 7, 2022
Happy New Yearr tooo
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