It’s time for another Battle of the Bands. Today I’m featuring Nancy Sinatra’s song “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’”. Give a listen to the two different cover versions and vote for your favorite. I’ll post the results in 6 days!
“These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” is a pop song written by Lee Hazlewood and recorded by Nancy Sinatra. It was released on February 22, 1966, and hit No. 1 in the United States Billboard Hot 100 and in the UK Singles Chart.
The second single taken from her debut album Boots, and follow-up to the minor hit “So Long, Babe,” the song became an instant success. In late February 1966, the song topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart moved to replicate that position in similar charts across the world.
When the single was first released, some thought it had to do with the subway strike in New York. In 2006, Pitchfork Media selected it as the 114th best song of the 1960s. Critic Tom Breihan described the song as “maybe the finest bitchy kiss-off in pop history.”
The song was used in a number of ways related to the Vietnam War:
- During television news coverage in 1966/67, the song was aired as a soundtrack as the cameras focused on US Infantrymen on patrol during the Vietnam War.
- In 1966 and 1967 Sinatra traveled to Vietnam to perform for the troops. Many US soldiers adopted the song as their anthem, as shown in Pierre Schoendoerffer’s Academy Award winning documentary The Anderson Platoon (1967).
- The song’s popularity with US Infantrymen in Vietnam was reprised in a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987).
- Sinatra played herself, re-enacting her 1960s performance of the song in Vietnam, in episode 6 (June 1988) of the television show China Beach.
- In 2005, Paul Revere & the Raiders recorded a revamped version of the song using Sinatra’s original vocal track. It appeared on the CD Ride to the Wall, Vol. 2, with proceeds going to help Vietnam veterans.
Here’s Nancy Sinatra performing the song. Great music video from the 60s!
Now for the battle: Give a listen to these two contenders and tell me which one you like best. Remember, I’ll post the results in 6 days.
CONTENDER #1: Geri Halliwell:
Geraldine Estelle “Geri” Horner (Halliwell; born 6 August 1972) is an English pop singer-songwriter, clothes designer, author and actress. Halliwell came to international prominence in the 1990s as Ginger Spice, a member of the successful girl group the Spice Girls; together they sold over 80 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. In 1998 Halliwell left the Spice Girls, however she rejoined the group when they reunited in 2007. Halliwell has reportedly amassed a $30 million fortune during her last two years in the group.
Geri Halliwell recorded her own version of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” for the soundtrack to the film Rugrats in Paris: The Movie. The song was released on February 1, 2000 to promote the film. It was also included as a B-Side in her single Bag It Up, ranking number one in the UK charts.
CONTENDER #2: Nicki Gillis:
Nicki Gillis is a female vocalist and entertainer from Australia who was born in Western Australia and grew up a child of entertainer parents from Croatian and Italian backgrounds.
Gillis covered the song on her 2011 album Woman of Substance. The song has featured in Nicki’s live shows across the globe since she was 19 years old. Current performances retain the faithfulness of Nancy’s original vocals but with a contemporary heavier rock sound played by Nicki’s band. The version on her Woman of Substance album is a touch softer and more like the original Nancy Sinatra version from 1966.
TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why? And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles: