Nancy & Lee is among the quintessential artifacts of the Nineteen Sixties, a doc of how counterculture collided with the pop mainstream on the top of the psychedelic period. Neither Nancy Sinatra nor Lee Hazlewood may precisely be characterised as a part of the counterculture. Because the daughter of Frank Sinatra, Nancy was showbiz royalty, whereas Hazlewood was a Phoenix-based producer who made his status with a collection of cinematic instrumentals he recorded with the rumbling guitarist Duane Eddy. Like a number of different hustlers of his time, Hazlewood had a present for recognizing and exploiting fads, a expertise that discovered its full fruition in his collaborations with Sinatra.
Nancy & Lee is now being commemorated with a deluxe package deal from Mild within the Attic that includes two bonus tracks and a good-looking guide, marking its first official reissue since its launch in 1968. If that looks like an extended wait, that’s as a result of Rhino’s 1989 compilation Fairy Tales & Fantasies: The Better of Nancy & Lee has served as a placeholder for Nancy & Lee, containing each one of many album’s songs so as, together with a number of highlights from 1972’s Nancy & Lee Once more. Such document firm machinations go well with Nancy & Lee, because it was a correct LP of its time, amassing beforehand launched singles, covers, and album cuts designed to spice up a songwriter’s publishing—on this case, Hazlewood himself.
Nancy & Lee picks up the Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood story at its midpoint. Nancy had been a recording artist on her father’s Reprise label since 1961, placing out single after single of effervescent, sticky-sweet pop that made no impression on the pop charts in anyway. By 1965, Frank received fed up, so he tapped Hazlewood to kickstart Nancy’s profession, which he did with “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” an attractive strut designed to sound correct at house within the go-go golf equipment cluttering the Sundown Strip.
“These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” climbed to No. 1 early in 1966, so Nancy and Lee started churning out speedy sequels to their hit, reaching the High 10 twice with “How Does That Seize You, Darlin’?” and “Sugar Time.” Someplace in the course of the course of 1966, the pair started duetting collectively within the studio. By that time, Hazlewood had a number of albums to his credit score—together with a pair of LPs launched on Reprise—and had tried to forge a duet partnership with Suzi Jane Hokom, a vocalist who in the end determined she didn’t desire a half within the highlight. Nancy Sinatra already was snug on the middle stage, and moreover, she had a peculiar alchemy with Hazlewood. A singer so candy she may appear curiously placid, she contrasted sharply with Hazlewood’s oily baritone, which recalled Johnny Money retooled as a lounge lizard. Collectively, the chemistry was palpable: Nancy provided a hopeful tonic to Lee’s booming dread, Hazelwood pulling Sinatra again into the muck and dirt each time she threatened to float away.