Walk On By (song)

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"Walk On By"
Walk On By Dionne Warwick.jpg
Single by Dionne Warwick
from the album Make Way for Dionne Warwick
B-side"Any Old Time of Day"
ReleasedApril 26, 1964
RecordedNovember 22, 1963
StudioA&R Recording Studios, New York City
Songwriter(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, for singer Dionne Warwick in 1963.[1] The song peaked at number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the Cash Box Rhythm and Blues Chart In June 1964 and was nominated for a 1965 Grammy Award for the Best Rhythm and Blues Recording. Isaac Hayes recorded the song five years later, in 1969, and reached number 30 on the Hot 100 chart and number 13 in the R&B charts[2] with his version. "Walk On By" has since charted numerous times in various countries, with wildly different arrangements.

Charted versions of the song, in order of their release:

Dionne Warwick original version (1964)[edit]

The original version of "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick 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 number 6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the Cashbox's R&B chart.[3] (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 run on Billboard's easy listening survey. The song was ranked number 70 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, the second highest song by a solo female on the list after "Respect" by Aretha Franklin.[4] "Walk On By" became Warwick's second international million seller following "Anyone Who Had A Heart" in January 1964.

Session drummer Gary Chester played on this recording.[5] 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 saxophone, and George Devens on percussion.

Warwick also recorded a German version of the song, titled "Geh Vorbei".[6]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1964) Peak
Australia 28
Canada 14
France (IFOP)[7] 49
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[8] 4
UK Singles Chart 9
US Billboard Hot 100 6
US Cashbox R&B 1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 7

Bobby Kris and the Imperials version (1965)[edit]

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

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1966) Peak
Canada Singles (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"
ReleasedJuly 1969 (1969-07)
Length12:00, 4:34 (single)
Songwriter(s)Burt Bacharach
Hal David
Producer(s)Al Bell, Marvell Thomas, Allen Jones
Isaac Hayes singles chronology
"Precious, Precious"
"Walk On By"
"The Mistletoe and Me"

Funk/soul musician Isaac Hayes released a cover version of "Walk on By" in 1969 for his studio album Hot Buttered Soul and transformed the song into a twelve-minute funk vamp. Edited for single release down to under 5 minutes, this single reached number 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. This version was also featured in the film Dead Presidents and is sampled in 1992 by Compton's Most Wanted in "Hood Took Me Under", in 1994 by The Notorious B.I.G. in Warning, in 1995 by Tupac Shakur in "Me Against The World", in 1999 by MF DOOM in "Dead Bent", in 2000 by Wu-Tang Clan in "I Can't Go to Sleep", in 1996 by Hooverphonic in "2 Wicky" and in R&B singer Beyoncé's 2016 song "6 Inch".


Thi song is sampled by the late South African artist Hip Hop Pantsula in "Let Me Be" off his 2005 album YBA 2 NW. In this song Hip Hop Pantsula features Mo'Molemi.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1969) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 30
US Billboard Hot R&B Songs 13

Gloria Gaynor version (1975)[edit]

"Walk On By"
Walk On By - Gloria Gaynor.jpg
Single by Gloria Gaynor
from the album Experience Gloria Gaynor
B-side"Real Good People"
ReleasedOctober 1975
Songwriter(s)Burt Bacharach
Hal David
Producer(s)Meco Monardo

Gloria Gaynor released her disco version on her 1975 album, Experience Gloria Gaynor. It became a hit in South Africa during the fall of the year, reaching #12, and #17 in Germany.

Chart (1975) Peak
Canada 90
Germany 17
Netherlands 19
South Africa (Springbok)[9] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 98

The Stranglers version (1978)[edit]

In 1978, the Stranglers recorded a punk rock-sounding version of "Walk on By" (with extended organ and guitar solos) that hit No. 21 on the UK Singles Chart.[11] 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.[12] Chart performance may have been impaired by the fact that an E.P. featuring the song had been given away with the first 75,000 copies of their album Black and White.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
UK Singles Chart[11] 21

Average White Band version (1979)[edit]

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

Chart performance[edit]

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

D-Train version (1982)[edit]

In 1982, "Walk on By" was covered by the funk duo D-Train who had a UK and U.S. R&B/dance hit with the song in a boogie/funk version.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
UK Singles Chart 44
US Billboard Hot R&B Songs 42
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 45

Jo Jo Zep version (1983)[edit]

In 1983, Australian group Jo Jo Zep covered "Walk on By" in a slow, moody version that featured electronics and synthesisers. The song was lifted from the band's seventh studio album, Cha. The track was a minor hit in Australia, peaking at number 55, but was a major hit in New Zealand, hitting number 6.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
Australia Singles Chart 55
New Zealand Singles Chart 6

Melissa Manchester version (1989)[edit]

In 1989, "Walk On By" was covered by singer Melissa Manchester. Her version of the song hit number 6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 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 performance[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
UK Singles Chart 6
US Billboard Hot 100 74
US Billboard Hot R&B Songs 3
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 3
Year-end charts
Chart (1990) Position
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 48

Gabrielle version (1997)[edit]

"Walk On By"
Gabrielle - Walk CD.jpg
Single by Gabrielle
from the album Gabrielle
Released20 January 1997
Producer(s)The Boilerhouse Boys
Gabrielle singles chronology
"If You Ever"
"Walk On By"

In 1997, UK singer Gabrielle released her version of "Walk on By" as the fifth and final single from her studio album, Gabrielle. It reached number 7 in the UK Singles Chart. Despite being one of her bigger hits, it was not included on her Greatest Hits compilation in 2001, being the only Top 10 hit in her career not to appear on it.

Track listings[edit]

UK CD: 1 (GODCD 159)
1."Walk On By"3:21
2."Walk On By" (45% Novocaine Remix)3:41
3."Walk On By" (Live from TFI Friday)3:32
4."Something to Talk About"4:13

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100) [14] 41
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40) [15] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 96
Scotland (Official Charts Company) [16] 12
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 7
UK R&B (Official Charts Company) [17] 2

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 number 10 on the U.S. dance chart.

Formats and track listings[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

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 performance[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
Austria Singles Chart 57
Germany Singles Chart 49
Switzerland Singles Chart 46

Other versions[edit]


  1. ^ "Walk on By - Dionne Warwick - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel, The Billboard Book of TOP 40 R&B and Hip Hop Hits, Billboard Books, New York 2006
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 609.
  4. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  5. ^ "The Official Gary Chester Website – Discography". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  6. ^ "Geh Vorbei (Walk On By)". You Tube. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  7. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Tubes de chaque Artiste commençant par W". Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  8. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 23 July 1964
  9. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  10. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  11. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 535. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  12. ^ "Vampire Diaries!". Strangled.co.uk. Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  13. ^ "End of Year Charts 1990". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  14. ^ "Music & Media: Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (NR. 212 Vikuna 13.3. '97 - 19.3. '97)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved July 12, 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  16. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  17. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". officialcharts.com.
  18. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Cyndi-Lauper-Walk-On-By/release/559542
  19. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Cyndi-Lauper-Walk-On-By-The-Remixes/release/559545
  20. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Cyndi-Lauper-Walk-On-By/release/4459491
  21. ^ Peter Nero - Impressions (The Great Songs of Burt Bacharach & Hal David) (1968) album releases & credits at Discogs
  22. ^ We Five, There Stands the Door: The Best of We Five Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  23. ^ Alan Price - "Walk On By" (1969) video at YouTube
  24. ^ The Outcasts - Meet the Outcasts! (1985) album review by Richie Unterberger, credits & releases at AllMusic
  25. ^ "Kevin Coyne - Walk On By". 45cat.com. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Peter White - Reflections (1994) review by Jonathan Widran, credits & releases". AllMusic.com.
  27. ^ "Reflections CD Sequel Is Next for Peter White (March 7, 2005)". www.SmoothVibes.com.
  28. ^ "Cool Breeze overview". *Allmusic.com.
  29. ^ "CD Review of Bob Baldwin – Cool Breeze". JazzReview.com. Archived from the original on 2003-11-06. Retrieved 2010-06-20.

External links[edit]