This is the first Nancy Sinatra song I heard, or it’s the first Nancy Sinatra song I remember hearing? ‘Boots’ must have been around when I was a kid but this is the one that I remember loving and not just being amused by. Composed by John Barry (again) and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse (again) it’s one of the most memorable of the Bond songs with its stirring strings and its 60 piece orchestra. The two versions posted here are the single and the film version (quite different mixes), the song made it to No.11 in the UK charts.
Being Frank Sinatra’s daughter was of course a gift and a curse and it was actually Frank that was initially asked to sing this song and it was him that suggested her as an option when he turned it down. You Only Live Twice is a non-album track, showcased her talent as a singer (she was apparently extremely nervous at the recording session). But she was already famous as the ‘it girl’ of her day reaching the top of charts with Boots in 1965, No.5 with Sugar Town and No.7 with How Does That Grab You Darlin’? in 1966 and No.14 with Jackson (a duet with Lee Hazlewood) in 1967 and the No.1 single Something Stupid a duet with her father in the same year. She was successfully starring in films The Wild Angels with Peter Fonda (1966) and Speedway with Elvis Presley (1968) although by her own admission she couldn’t act very well. Nancy was beautiful, sexy, trendy, talented, photogenic and a go go booted icon of the Swinging Sixties (with great make-up).
I only saw her live twice (that’s live not live) – once at New York at The Bottom Line and once in LA at The House Of Blues with Lee Hazlewood and yes I have her autograph from a signing she did at Tower Records (Thanks Todd) when she was promoting her comeback album with a nude modelling shoot for Playboy at the age of 54.
Later in 1967 she recorded one of the greatest songs of the era, Some Velvet Morning, another duet with Lee Hazlewood reaching No.26 in the UK chart – you have to love her for that performance alone…and as for Lee, well that’s another story.