Wednesday, October 21, 2009
1960's Cover Project: Song 3 - Walk On By
"Walk On By"
"Walk on By" is a song composed by Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David for Dionne Warwick. It was recorded at the same December 1963 session that yielded "Anyone Who Had a Heart", which, in 1964, became Warwick's second Top Ten hit. Released in April of that year, "Walk on By" became a landmark single, reaching number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
I don't talk about it much, but I am a huge Burt Bacharach fan. From the first time I heard The Beatles version of "Baby It's You", to the time I heard "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by The Wondermints, I knew that Bacharach was a writer I needed to study. His use of major 7ths & add 9's is unique and used to perfection. Brian Wilson was a student of Bacharach, even going as far as recording "Walk On By" during The Beach Boys "Friends" album sessions.
This leads me to my cover of "Walk On By". The Dionne Warwick version is in my opinion just ok. I much prefer Helen Shapiro's version released the same year as Dionne's. (Helen Shapiro toured with the Beatles in 1963 by the way) Though I enjoy both ladies versions, the one that always blew me away was The Beach Boys from the above mentioned "Friends" sessions. Brian Wilson never got around to finishing his "Walk On By", but what is done is a moody piano and voice demo that is otherworldly. Brother Dennis sings the verse while Brian adds the high harmony. Simply amazing. I recommend hunting down the mp3 for your listening pleasure.
My recording is more along the lines of The Beach Boys rather than Dionne or Helen, though I do keep some of the vocal lines that Helen sang. The track features stand up bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, snare, tambourine, & backing vocals.