Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood comprised one of the most inimitable duos in pop music history. Nancy’s wise-beyond-her-years little girl voice serves as a perfect foil to Lee’s grizzled-but-tender cowboy delivery in a perfectly balanced duet of sweetness and spice. Hazlewood’s still-relevatory electro-tweaked countrified pop constructions take the entire production to the next level in this slice of coed harmonic bliss, hot and fresh after four decades.
Their second release, Nancy & Lee Again, may not contain the iconic Some Velvet Morning (expertly covered by Slowdive) or their superb take on The Righteous Brothers‘ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, but it’s the superior record to my ears. Here’s that cover:
The near epic Arkansas Coal (Suite) kicks off the set in dusky mysterious tones and quickly builds through an emotionally swerving narrative toward an anthemic horn blasted finale.
Mid-album highlight Down From Dover (prominently sampled by The Go! Team) is possibly the best showcase for Sinatra’s voice, a raggedly heartfelt turn which may surprise those who know her as a too-cool chanteuse from These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ or Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). Capped off by the deliciously playful conversation of Got It Together Again, we’re privy to these final words:
Nancy: “I wish everybody would be quiet, and nice.”
Lee: “Yeah, and don’t throw rocks.”
“And don’t shoot guns.”
“And come home safe.”
“Because we miss ya.”
This intimate exchange gives me a chill right down my spine. It’s exemplary of the whole album, an experience not unlike listening in on two sweetly adoring old friends as they sing like they’re the only ones who can hear, only for each other. We’re just lucky it was caught on tape.
[pick this right up on original vinyl at amazon (!!! yes!!!) or get it digitally via 7digital, as it’s not issued on CD. or you can get the excellent Fairy Tales & Fantasies collection, compiling almost every good track they recorded]