Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2023 November 24 • Friday

Light in the Attic has just put out this great Nancy Sinatra collection, Keep Walkin': Singles, Demos & Rarities 1965–1978. The head of the Gutbrain Records Acquisitions Department procured the CD version, now out of stock at the label, instead of one of the three different colored vinyl releases.

There was also, apparently, an 8-Track option, now also out of stock at the label. This did throw the Acquisitions Department people for a loop at first.

There was some talk about purchasing an 8-track player just to get it, and this led to the reminder that the Gutbrain Cape Cod annex already has a probably broken 8-track player and several 8-track cassettes and nobody has ever bothered to do anything about it.

The rebuttal to this admittedly negative line of thought was that surely a Nancy Sinatra 8-track, newly pressed in freakin' 2023, should be the incentive to do something about it.

The president of the record label personally had to go down to the Acquisitions Department and demand to know, "What about videotapes? Are we going to get back into VCRs?"

8-tracks aren't in the budget. For now.

But this is an excellent collection and almost all the songs were new to me. Even if I'd heard them before ("Tony Rome", "Ain't No Sunshine"), I hadn't heard these recordings of them. The one exception is probably "The Last of the Secret Agents".

In the Like Father, Like Daughter department it's worth noting that Frank Sinatra was not pleased by "My Way", specifically it's valedictorian lyrics, and as a result you can hear some aggrieved snarling in his vocal performance, not realizing, reasonably enough, how huge the song would be and how famous for him specifically.

Nancy Sinatra has a similarly pissed off moment in "100 Years", although instead of resentment it's more of an assertion of agency and determination and resistance: "I'm not giving in / To a smile or a grin / On a face (ha) / I might never see again".

Almost every song has some rewarding gift for the listener.

The liner notes are also great, featuring an insightful and delightful interview with Ms.Sinatra herself, as well as with indispensable musical collaborator Don Randi.

The vinyl is still available here.