Walk On By (song)

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For the song by Leroy Van Dyke, see Walk On By (Leroy Van Dyke song).
"Walk On By"
Single by Dionne Warwick
from the album Make Way for Dionne Warwick
B-side Any Old Time of Day (Bacharach & David)
Released April 26, 1964
Format 7" single
Recorded 1964 at Bell Sound Studios, November 1963
Genre Soul, pop
Length 2:55
Label Scepter 1274
Writer(s) Burt Bacharach
Hal David
Producer(s) Burt Bacharach
Hal David
Dionne Warwick singles chronology
"Anyone Who Had a Heart"
"Walk on By"
"You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)"

"Walk On By" is a song composed by Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David. The song was originally recorded by Dionne Warwick.

Charting versions[edit]

"Walk On By" has charted numerous times in various countries, with wildly different arrangements. The following entries discuss the chart versions of the song, in the order in which they appeared:

Dionne Warwick version (1964)[edit]

The original version of "Walk On By" was recorded at the same December 1963 session that yielded her hit "Anyone Who Had a Heart". "Walk On By" was the follow-up to that single, released in April 1964 and reaching #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Cashbox's R&B chart.[1] (Billboard did not print rhythm and blues charts during 1964, the year of the song's peak performance.) The song also reached the top 10 in a brief run on Billboard's easy listening survey. The song was ranked #70 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[2]

Session drummer Gary Chester played on this recording.[3] Other musicians included Artie Butler and Paul Griffin on piano, George Duvivier on bass, Irwin Markowitz and Ernie Royal on trumpet, Bill Suyker and Allen Hanlon on guitar, Max Pollikoff, Charles McCracken, Eugene Orloff and Julius Held and George Ockner on violin, Harold Coletta on viola, Lucien Schmit on cello, Paul Winter on sax, and George Devens on percussion.

Warwick also recorded a German version of the song, entitled "Geh Vorbei".[4]

Chart (1964) Peak
US Hot 100 6
US R&B 1
US A/C 7
UK Singles Chart 9

Bobby Kris & The Imperials version (1965)[edit]

Toronto folk-rock group Bobby Kris & The Imperials released a fairly straight-ahead cover version late 1965. The track became a major hit in Canada, reaching #8 in early 1966, but "Walk On By" was to be the band's only hit.

Chart (1966) Peak
Canada RPM 100 8

Isaac Hayes version (1969)[edit]

"Walk On By"
Single by Isaac Hayes
from the album Hot Buttered Soul
B-side "By the Time I Get to Phoenix"
Released 1969 (1969)
Genre Funk, soul
Length 12:30
Writer(s) Burt Bacharach
Hal David
Isaac Hayes singles chronology
"Precious, Precious"
"Walk On By"
"The Mistletoe and Me"

Funk/soul musician Isaac Hayes released a cover version in 1969 on his album Hot Buttered Soul and transformed the song into a twelve-and-a-half minute funk vamp. Edited for single release down to under 5 minutes, this single reached #30 on the U.S. charts.

Chart (1969) Peak
US Hot 100 30

The Stranglers version (1978)[edit]

In 1978, The Stranglers recorded a punk rock sounding version (with an extended organ solo) that hit No. 21 on the UK Singles Chart.[5] The video for the Stranglers' version was based on the 1966 movie "Blowup" and was filmed in the same location as the movie, Maryon Park in London.[6]

Chart (1978) Peak
UK Singles Chart[5] 21

Average White Band version (1979)[edit]

The Average White Band cut a lightly disco-tinged version of "Walk On By" (featuring reggae and funk underpinnings) that charted in 1979. Though AWB is primarily remembered as an instrumental band[dubious ], their version of "Walk On By" was a vocal track—as were many of their other songs.

Chart (1979) Peak
UK Singles Chart 46
US Hot 100 92

D-Train version (1982)[edit]

In 1982, funk duo D-Train recorded a UK and U.S. R&B/dance hit with the song in a boogie/funk cover.

Chart (1982) Peak
UK Singles Chart 44
US R&B 42
US Dance 45

Jo Jo Zep version (1983)[edit]

In 1983, Australian act Jo Jo Zep covered the song in a slow, moody version that featured electronics and synthesizers. The track was a minor hit in Australia, peaking at #55, but was a major hit in New Zealand, hitting #6.

Chart (1983) Peak
Australia 55
New Zealand 6

Melissa Manchester version (1989)[edit]

In 1989, sInger Melissa Manchester hit #6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts with her version of the song.

Chart (1989) Peak
US A/C 6

Sybil version (1990)[edit]

In 1990, singer Sybil, who had scored her biggest hit a year prior with a cover of Warwick's "Don't Make Me Over," also scored a U.S. and UK hit with "Walk On By."

Chart (1990) Peak
UK Singles Chart 6
US Hot 100 74
US R&B 3
US Dance 3

Gabrielle version (1997)[edit]

In 1997, UK singer Gabrielle released her version of "Walk on By" as the fifth and final single from her album, Gabrielle. It reached #7 in the UK.

Chart (1997) Peak
UK Singles Chart 7
Dutch Singles Chart 96

Cyndi Lauper version (2003)[edit]

"Walk on By" was the first single from Cyndi Lauper's 2003 covers album, At Last. It was also included on Lauper's 2004 DVD Live at Last. It was released as a promo only. Remixes of the song reached #10 on the U.S. dance chart.

Chart (2004) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 10

Seal version (2005)[edit]

Seal released a version of "Walk On By" as a single in January 2005. Though the song did not chart in his native UK, it made the lower reaches of the charts in several European countries.

Chart (2005) Peak
Austria 57
Germany 49
Switzerland 46

Other versions (not definitive)[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 609. 
  2. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  3. ^ "The Official Gary Chester Website - Discography". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  4. ^ "Geh Vorbei (Walk On By)". You Tube. Retrieved 2015-08-03. 
  5. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 535. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "Vampire Diaries!". Strangled.co.uk. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Cool Breeze overview". *Allmusic.com. 
  8. ^ "CD Review of Bob Baldwin - Cool Breeze". JazzReview.com. 
  9. ^ The Outcasts from Manhasset, New York discography at Discogs
  10. ^ "Tracks on Helen Hits Out! - Helen Shapiro (November 1964) - SecondHandSongs". Secondhandsongs.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Reflections overview". Allmusic.com. 
  12. ^ "Reflections CD Sequel Is Next For Peter White". Allmusic.com. 
  13. ^ JazzTimes
  14. ^ We Five, There Stands the Door: The Best of We Five Retrieved March 7, 2012.

External links[edit]