These Boots Are Made for Walkin'
|"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"|
|Single by Nancy Sinatra|
|from the album Boots|
|B-side||"The City Never Sleeps at Night"|
|Released||February 22, 1966|
|Recorded||November 19, 1965
Hollywood, California, United States
|Genre||Pop rock, baroque pop|
|Nancy Sinatra singles chronology|
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" is a hit 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.
Subsequently, many cover versions of the song have been released in a range of styles: metal, pop, rock, punk rock, country, dance, and industrial. Loretta Lynn, Jessica Simpson, Kon Kan, Geri Halliwell, The Residents, Megadeth, Cold Snap, Jewel, Operation Ivy, Parquet Courts, and KMFDM also released covers of the song. Leningrad Cowboys titled their version "These Boots", and released a video of the song, directed by Aki Kaurismäki.
- 1 Nancy Sinatra version
- 2 Geri Halliwell version
- 3 Jessica Simpson version
- 4 Other versions
- 5 Selected list of other recorded versions
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Nancy Sinatra version
Nancy Sinatra was encouraged by Lee Hazlewood to sing the song as if she were "a sixteen-year-old girl who fucks truck drivers." Sinatra's recording of the song was made with the help of Los Angeles session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew. This session included Hal Blaine on drums, Al Casey, Tommy Tedesco, and Billy Strange on guitars, Ollie Mitchell, Roy Caton and Lew McCreary on horns, Carol Kaye on electric bass, and Chuck Berghofer on double bass, providing the notable bass line.
According to Carol Kaye, "Arranger Billy Strange believed in using the two basses together. Producer Lee Hazlewood asked Chuck to put a sliding run on the front of the tune. Chuck complied by playing notes about three tones apart (4-6 frets apart), but Lee stopped the take. 'No Chuck, make your sliding notes closer together', and that is what you hear."
According to Al Casey, "Well, Lee and I had been friends forever, and he said, 'I've got this song I'm working on, and I want the guitar to play this.' And he showed me, because there's a little bit more than banging on an 'E-chord', which is what most people do. There's more to it than that. He said, 'I want you to do this on the song,' and he sang the song and played the rhythm guitar lick, and I went 'Oh, that's cute!', little suspecting it was gonna be huge."
- Billy Strange - arranger, conductor and guitar
- William Miller - (unknown)
- Don Lanier - guitar
- Lou Norell - guitar
- Jerry Cole - guitar
- William Pitman - guitar
- Don Randi - keyboard
- Richard Perissi - French horn
- Oliver Mitchell - trumpet
- Plas Johnson - tenor sax
- Nick Bonney - guitar
- Donald Frost - (unknown)
- Charles Berghofer - bass
- Eddie Brackett Jr. - engineer
- Emil Richards - percussion
- Jim Gordon - drums
- Roy V. Caton - (contractor) trumpet
- Lee Hazlewood - supervisor
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 topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a move it replicated in similar charts across the world.
In the same year, Sinatra recorded a promotional film, which would later be known as the music video, for the song. It was produced by Color-Sonics, and played on Scopitone video jukeboxes. In 1986, for the song's twentieth anniversary, cable station VH1 played the video.
The videos featured Sinatra wearing an iconic pair of boots.
In popular culture
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.
- Variation of title used in dialog for 4 for Texas, Frank Sinatra's character says "They tell me those boots ain't built for walking" when Dean Martin's character is walking back towards him after trying to get away. At the end of the scene when Dean's character gets the drop on Frank's, he says "And you're right about those boots. They sure ain't made for walking."
Goodyear Tire and Rubber used portions of the song for its 1960s ad campaign promoting its "wide boots" tires. Nancy Sinatra unsuccessfully sued Goodyear for using the song, claiming that it had violated her publicity rights.
The song is featured in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode #9.24 "All In", air date May 14, 2009.
The song also is featured in Are You There, Chelsea? episode 11 ("Boots", March 21, 2012).
The song was parodied in Pizza Hut ads starring Jessica Simpson and Miss Piggy ("These bites are made for poppin', and that's just what they'll do; once of these days these bites are gonna pop right into you.")
The song's lyrics were varied in the computer game Spy Fox 2: "Some Assembly Required", in a scene where villain Napoleon LeRoach has ordered spit-roasted boot bernaise (an entree in the shape of the boot). ("This boot was made for eating." "And that's just what I'll do!" "Pretty soon that boot is going to be inside of you.")
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||1|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||1|
|Italian Singles Chart||3|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||1|
|UK Singles Chart (OCC)||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100 (Billboard)||1|
Geri Halliwell version
|"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"|
|Promotional single by Geri Halliwell from the album Rugrats in Paris: The Movie|
|Released||February 1, 2000|
|Rugrats in Paris: The Movie track listing|
British singer-songwriter 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 previously the film. It was also included as a B-Side in her single Bag It Up, ranking number one in the UK charts.
- UK promotional single
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" – 3:03
- "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" – 2:19
|United Kingdom||February 1, 2000||Promotional single — digital download||EMI, Maverick|
Jessica Simpson version
|"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"|
|Single by Jessica Simpson|
|from the album The Dukes of Hazzard Original Soundtrack|
|Released||May 26, 2005 (US)
August 29, 2005 (UK)
|Format||Digital download, digital maxi single|
|Genre||Country pop, dance-pop|
|Length||4:10 (radio edit)|
|Writer(s)||Lee Hazlewood; Jessica Simpson (additional; uncredited)|
|Producer(s)||Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis|
|Jessica Simpson singles chronology|
Jessica Simpson recorded her own version of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (and added her own lyrics) for the soundtrack to the film The Dukes of Hazzard (2005). Simpson's cover was co-produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and was released as the soundtrack's first single in 2005. It became Simpson's fifth top-twenty single in the United States, and its music video drew some controversy because of its sexual imagery.
Recording and release
Simpson's version of the song is performed from the point of view of her character in The Dukes of Hazzard, Daisy Duke, and it has several major differences from Sinatra's version. The song's lyrics were changed almost completely as Simpson felt that they did not accurately convey the feelings needed for the film; in the original Sinatra dealt with a cheating boyfriend, while in the new version Simpson explored Daisy Duke's personality and experiences. She rewrote the majority of the lyrics herself, although some elements were retained such as the opening line "You keep saying you got something for me..." and the spoken "Are you ready, boots? Start walkin'".
Simpson also added some new music to her version of the song. Whereas the original version did not have a bridge, she created one for the cover. A risqué rap-like/spoken breakdown was added after the bridge. Because of the legalities of songwriting, Simpson has not been credited for the new music or lyrics that she wrote. The production of the song was altered as well. Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis gave the cover a country-inspired production because of its relationship to the film The Dukes of Hazzard, but they also added a more hip hop-like beat.
In an interview with GAC Nights, Jessica stated that her record label did not want to promote the song because of its country feel, even though the song is more pop than country. She said that she told the label "It's a great song and Willie Nelson's on it with me" and she said the label told her pop radio wouldn't understand that importance.
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Radio edit) - 4:10
- "With You (Live from Universal Amphitheater)
- "Take My Breath Away" (Live from Universal Amphitheater)
- "I Think I'm in Love with You" (Live from Universal Amphitheater)
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Video clip)
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" peaked at fourteen on the US Billboard Hot 100, and in late 2005 the RIAA certified the single Gold for 500,000 legal downloads or more. Its digital downloads were high, but radio airplay was low. Due to this, it's the song that reached the lowest chart position on the Billboard Hot 100 for a song topping the Hot Digital Songs chart. It reached the top ten on Billboard's Pop 100 chart, and was Simpson's first single to appear on the chart. On 11 December 2006 the single was certified Gold by the RIAA again, this time by Epic Records. In total, the single has received 1 million digital downloads.
Internationally it was a success, reaching top 5 in several European countries. It became her biggest hit in Australia, where it reached number two and remained in the top forty for twenty-four weeks. In Ireland, the single also reached number 2. The song also cracked the top five in the United Kingdom, where it reached number four and is to date, her highest peaking single in Britain. It reached the top ten in the chart European Hot 100 Singles, Belgium, and New Zealand and the top twenty in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. As the end of the year 2005, the single had sold 69,500 copies in UK.
The video, directed by Brett Ratner, has caused some controversy because of its sexual imagery. Mostly having to do with Jessica shaking her rear to numerous men and rubbing her rear against a man's crotch. The scene was well-publicized, with Simpson admitting to the public and the media that she went on the South Beach Diet to achieve her well-toned look in the video. Because of its sexual imagery, the music video is banned in all Middle Eastern and North African nations except Algeria, Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, and Turkey. In Malaysia, it was eventually edited with some of the scenes removed.
Charts and certifications
Year end charts
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Soundtrack version) – 4:10
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Original version) – 3:35
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Radio edit) – 4:10
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Instrumental) – 3:35
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Scott Storch Mix) – 4:43
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (E-Smoove Vocal Mix) – 6:59
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Bimbo Jones Vocal Club Mix) – 6:00
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Bimbo Jones Radio Edit) – 3:14
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Bimbo Jones Dub) – 6:03
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Ed n' Richie Club Mix) – 5:16
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Gomi & Escape's Club Mix) – 9:05
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Gomi & Escape Mix) – 9:03
- "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" (Gomi & Escape's Dub) – 6:13
Megadeth covered the song on their 1985 debut album Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!, which is track four on the original release and eight on the 2002 re-release. Their version (entitled "These Boots") featured altered lyrics, and produced more as a parody than a true cover.
When the album started selling well, the writer of the song, Lee Hazlewood, began demanding that the song be omitted, due to its being a "perversion of the original". Megadeth guitarist and frontman Dave Mustaine made the point that Hazlewood had been paid royalties for years before he made the complaint, although Mustaine eventually omitted the song anyway from newer pressings of the album. When the album was remixed in 2002, a censored version of the song was included as a bonus track. In 2011, an uncensored live version recorded in 1987 was released as part of the 25th anniversary edition of the album Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?.
Dika Newlin version
In the 1995 documentary film Dika: Murder City, the 74-year-old Dika Newlin, dressed in leather and backed by the band Apocowlypso, performed a punk rock version of the song in a concert sequence.
Nicki Gillis Version
Nicki 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.
Selected list of other recorded versions
- Four Jacks and a Jill on their 1965 album, Jimmy Come Lately.
- 1966 Nancy Sinatra, US #1, UK #1
- 1966 Lee Hazlewood, the songwriter's own version, a humorous take on Sinatra's original recording sessions ("this is the part of the song where Billy Strange raised his hand and asked if he could please leave the room", "this is the part of the record where the engineer Eddy Brackett said if we don't fade this thing out, we're all gonna be arrested...") and the song's worldwide success ("and this is the part of the record where everybody said, 'Aw, that can't be no.1...!'", "You'll put on yer boots an' I'll put on mine, we'll sell a million ol' records any ol' time, yeah!")
- 1966 Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington with his Orchestra, as a single (CBS 2446).
- 1966 The Artwoods, on the EP Jazz in Jeans
- 1966 The Ventures, on the album "Go with The Ventures"
- 1966 The Beau Brummels, on the album Beau Brummels '66
- 1966 The New Christy Minstrels, on the album New Kick!
- 1966 Mrs. Miller, on the album Mrs. Miller's Greatest Hits
- 1966 Jane Morgan, on the album Fresh Flavor
- 1966 The Supremes, on the album Supremes A' Go-Go
- 1966 Eileen Goldsen, a French version titled "Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher". It is featured on the Gossip Girl Season 4 promo. She also recorded the Italian and German version of the hit.
- 1966 Martha Duhalt, a Spanish version: "Las botas que uso pueden caminar", as a CBS single (5872).
- 1966 Yvonne Přenosilová made a version in Czechoslovakia as "Boty proti lásce" (meaning 'Boots Against Love').
- 1966 Loretta Lynn, a country version on the album "You Ain't Woman Enough"
- 1967 Annet Hesterman, a Dutch version: Draag Schoenen Om Te Lopen (meaning 'Wearing Shoes To Walk').
- 1969 Symarip, on the album Skinhead Moonstomp
- 1974 The Residents, on the album Meet the Residents
- 1977 Amanda Lear, on the album I Am a Photograph
- 1978 Nick Cave's first band The Boys Next Door, a noise rock version
- 1978 Pure Hell, early punk rock band
- 1980 The Fast, early punk rock band, on the album The Fast For Sale
- 1981 The Swedish Chef on an episode of The Muppet Show.
- 1982 Sleepy LaBeef, on the album Electricity.
- 1982 Paula Yates on the B.E.F. album Music of Quality and Distinction Volume One
- 1984 Adriano Celentano on the album I Miei Americani (as "Bisogna Far Qualcosa")
- 1984 Government Issue on the Joy Ride EP
- 1984 Shillelagh Sisters on the B-side of their 2nd single Passion Fruit
- 1985 Kelly Moore, on the album Precious Little Diamond
- 1985 Megadeth features in the soundtrack for the punk movie "Dudes"
- 1985 Julie Goodyear on the album Coronation Street - The Album which accompanied the TV show Coronation Street
- 1986 Man 2 Man featuring Jessica Williams, a Hi-NRG dance version
- 1989 Operation Ivy, a version titled "One of These Days" from the album Energy
- 1989 Kon Kan, a dance music remix/remake
- 1989 Crispin Glover, on the album The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be
- 1991 Zeena Schreck/Radio Werewolf, on the 12” vinyl single “Boots/Witchcraft – A Tribune To The Sin-atras”
- 1991 Georgie Parker and the Channel 7 Australia ensemble Farmhouse. Reached #58 on the Australian ARIA Chart.
- 1991 7 Seconds, on the album Old School (Album originally released in 1983 titled "United We Stand")
- 1991 Anita Lane and Barry Adamson
- 1991 Jewel on the album Revolution in Heaven
- 1992 Billy Ray Cyrus, on the album Some Gave All. Reached #27 in Denmark.
- 1993 Lisa Germano, on the album Happiness (released by Capitol)
- 1993 Shillelagh Sisters on the album Tyrannical Mex
- 1994 La Toya Jackson, on the album From Nashville to You
- 1994 Sam Phillips, on the soundtrack album "Robert Altman's Pret-A-Porter (Ready To Wear): Music From The Motion Picture"
- 1995 Boy George, on the single "Il Adore" and on the Culture Club Box Set
- 1997 Candye Kane, on the album Diva la Grande
- 1998 Geri Halliwell, on the single CD Bag It Up; also used in the movie Rugrats in Paris: The Movie and on its soundtrack
- 1999 Trish Murphy, on the album Rubies on the Lawn
- 1999 Amanda Lear, on the album Amanda '98 - Follow Me Back in My Arms (Bang! mix)
- 1999 Bad Manners, on the album Rare & Fatty (as "Boots")
- 1999 Delbert McClinton, on the album The Crazy Cajun Recordings
- 1999 Velvet 99, on the album These Boots Are Made for Walkin'
- 2000 Sarge, on the album Distant
- 2000 Geri Halliwell, on the album Rugrats in Paris
- 2001 Eläkeläiset, on the album Humppa! (as "Astuva Humppa")
- 2001 French Affair, on the album Desire
- 2001 La Grande Sophie, on the album Le porte-Bonheur
- 2001 Popa Chubby (feat. Galea), on the album Flashed Back
- 2002 KMFDM, on the Boots EP
- 2002 The Fixx, on the album When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You'd Hear
- 2002 Shillelagh Sisters on the album Sham’Rock & Roll
- 2003 Bree Sharp, for the 11:14 soundtrack
- 2004 Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots, for a bonus feature on the Shrek 2 DVD
- 2004 David Hasselhoff, on the album David Hasselhoff Sings America
- 2004 The Fog Band as part of their live sets.
- 2005 Lil' Kim, the theme for the TV show Growing Up Gotti
- 2005 Little Birdy, on their single "Excited"
- 2005 Jessica Simpson, for The Dukes of Hazzard soundtrack, US #14.
- 2006 Faster Pussycat, on the album The Power and the Glory Hole
- 2006 Claire Johnston from South African group Mango Groove on her album Africa Blue.
- 2006 F.P.G. (ru:F.P.G.) features a translation of the song into Russian on the album "Гонщики" (track is called "Ботинки")
- 2007 Ira Losco, included in the CD single "Something to Talk About"
- 2008 The Coconutz, translated into Hawaiian and included on the soundtrack to the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall
- 2009 Siouxsie, on the DVD Finale: The Last Mantaray and More Show
- 2009 The Humans, a project featuring Toyah Willcox, Bill Rieflin, Chris Wong and guest collaborator Robert Fripp, released as a download single.
- 2009 Maria de Medeiros and The Legendary Tigerman on his CD Femina.
- 2011 Planet Funk covered it for the Italian comedy movie La kryptonite nella borsa's soundtrack. This version of the song peaked at number ten on the Italian Singles Chart and it was certified gold by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry.
- 2012 Zeena Schreck/Radio Werewolf, on the compilation CD The Vinyl Solution-Analog Artifacts: Ritual Instrumentals And Undercover Versions
- 2013 Olivia Holt released it for the Shake It Up: I Love Dance soundtrack.
- 2014 Parquet Courts released it on their 2014 album Content Nausea.
- 2016 Cold Snap released it as a single in 2016.
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|Nancy Sinatra version|
"Lightnin' Strikes" by Lou Christie
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 26, 1966
"Ballad of the Green Berets" by SSgt Barry Sadler
"Michelle" by The Overlanders
|UK Singles Chart number-one single
February 17, 1966 – March 16, 1966(four weeks)
"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" by The Walker Brothers
"Michelle" by David and Jonathan
|Canada RPM number-one single
March 7, 1966 (one week)
"At the Scene" by The Dave Clark Five
"A Must to Avoid" by Herman's Hermits
|New Zealand Singles Chart number-one single
April 8, 1966, – April 21, 1966 (two weeks)
"Michelle" by The Beatles