Walk On By (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"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
StudioBell Sound, New York City
  • 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)"
Official audio
"Walk on By" on YouTube

"Walk On By" is a song composed by Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David, for singer Dionne Warwick in 1963.[2] 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[3] with his version. "Walk On By" has since charted numerous times in various countries, with wildly different arrangements.

Dionne Warwick original version (1964)[edit]

The original version of "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick was recorded at Bell Sound Studios in New York City,[4] 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.[5] (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 51 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.[6] "Walk On By" became Warwick's second international million seller following "Anyone Who Had A Heart" in January 1964.

Session drummer Gary Chester[citation needed] played on this recording as did session bassist Russ Savakus.[7] Other musicians included Artie Butler on organ, Paul Griffin on piano, Irwin Markowitz and Ernie Royal on trumpet, Bill Suyker and Allen Hanlon on guitar, Max Pollikoff, Charles McCracken, Eugene Orloff, 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".[8]


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1964) Peak
Australia 28
Canada 14
France (IFOP)[9] 49
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[10] 4
UK Singles (OCC) 9
US Billboard Hot 100 6
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 7
US Cashbox R&B 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1964) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 37


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[12]
Sales since November 14, 2004
Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

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 the band's only hit.


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)
GenreProgressive soul[13]
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. His version was ranked No. 312 in the 2021 edition of "Top 500 Songs of All Time" by Rolling Stone Magazine.[14]


Hayes's version was 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 2Pac in "Me Against The World", in 1998 by McGruff in "Harlem Kidz Get Biz", 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", in 2005 by Hip Hop Pantsula in "Let Me Be", from his album YBA 2 NW, and in R&B singer Beyoncé's 2016 song "6 Inch".


Chart (1969) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 30
US Hot R&B Songs (Billboard) 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
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 12
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders) 14
Belgium (Ultratop Wallonia) 29
Canada 90
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 22
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 19
South Africa (Springbok)[15] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 98
West Germany (Official German Charts) 17

The Stranglers version (1978)[edit]

"Walk On By"
Single by The Stranglers
B-side"Old Codger", "Tank"
Released1978 (UK)
GenrePost-punk, new wave, psychedelic rock
LabelUnited Artists
Songwriter(s)Burt Bacharach
Hal David
Producer(s)Martin Rushent
The Stranglers singles chronology
"Nice 'n' Sleazy"
"Walk On By"
Official audio
"Walk on By" on YouTube

In 1978, the Stranglers recorded a six minute version of "Walk on By" (with extended organ and guitar solos) that hit No. 21 on the UK Singles Chart.[17] 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.[18] 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 (1978) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[17] 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.[19]


Chart (1979) Peak
UK Singles (OCC) 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 (1982) Peak
UK Singles (OCC) 44
US Hot R&B Songs (Billboard) 42
US Hot Dance Club Play (Billboard) 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 (1983) Peak
Australia 55
New Zealand 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 (1989) Peak
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 6

Sybil version (1990)[edit]

"Walk On By"
Sybil-Walk On By.jpg
Single by Sybil
from the album Sybil
LabelPWL Records
Producer(s)Eddie O'Loughlin
Sybil singles chronology
"Don't Make Me Over"
"Walk On By"
"Make It Easy on Me"
Music video
"Walk On By" on YouTube

In 1990, American 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".

Track listing[edit]

  • US, 7" Vinyl single[20]
A1: "Walk On By" (Club Mix) – 7:15
A2: "Walk On By" (Radio) – 4:04
B1: "Here Comes My Love" (Vocal Mix) – 3:48
B2: "Here Comes My Love" (Instrumental) – 3:58
  • UK, CD Maxi single[21]
  1. "Walk On By" (Club Mix) – 7:15
  2. "Bad Beats Suite" (Radio) – 3:12
  3. "Walk On By" (Dub Version) – 3:21


Gabrielle version (1997)[edit]

"Walk On By"
Gabrielle - Walk CD.jpg
Single by Gabrielle
from the album Gabrielle
B-side"Something to Talk About"
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 on the UK Singles Chart.

A reviewer from Music Week rated the track five out of five, adding that the song "is given a fine treatment by Gabrielle, whose voice fits perfectly. A guaranteed radio biggie, too."[26]

Track listings[edit]

UK CD (GODCD 159)[27]
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
UK 12-inch vinyl (GODX 159)[28]
1."Walk On By"3:21
2."Give Me A Little More Time" (Def Mix)7:57
3."Walk On By" (45% Novocaine Remix)3:41
4."Forget About The World" (Daft Punk 'Don't Forget The World' Mix)5:44
UK cassette single (GODMC 159)[29]
1."Walk On By"3:21
2."Something To Talk About"4:13


Chart (1997) Peak
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[30] 41
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[31] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[32] 96
Scotland (OCC)[33] 12
UK Singles (OCC)[34] 7
UK R&B (OCC)[35] 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 (2004) Peak
US Hot Dance Club Play (Billboard) 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 for "Walk On By" by Seal
Chart (2004–2005) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[39] 94
Australian Urban (ARIA)[40] 22
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[41] 57
Belgium (Ultratip Bubbling Under Flanders)[42] 8
Belgium (Ultratip Bubbling Under Wallonia)[43] 2
Germany (Official German Charts)[44] 49
Italy (FIMI)[45] 27
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[46] 46

Spitting Image version (1990)[edit]

After the resignation of Margaret Thatcher in 1990, the British satirical television programme Spitting Image adapted the lyrics of the song to highlight the large number of homeless people living on the street during her premiership.[47]


  1. ^ Pitchfork Staff (August 18, 2006). "The 200 Best Songs of the 1960s". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 12, 2022. "Walk on By" is perfect pop...
  2. ^ "Walk on By - Dionne Warwick - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel, The Billboard Book of TOP 40 R&B and Hip Hop Hits, Billboard Books, New York 2006
  4. ^ Davies, Bren (September 2005). "Jim Czak: NOLA studios: From Steinways to Streisand..." tapeop.com. Tape Op. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 609.
  6. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  7. ^ Myers, Marc (2021-01-05). "Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach on the Drama of 'Walk On By'". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  8. ^ "Geh Vorbei (Walk On By)". You Tube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  9. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Tubes de chaque Artiste commençant par W". Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  10. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 23 July 1964
  11. ^ "Top Records of 1964" (PDF). Billboard. 77 (1): 6. January 2, 1965. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  12. ^ "British single certifications – Dionne Warwick – Walk On By". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  13. ^ Boller, Jay (November 30, 2016). "The week's 29 best concerts: Nov. 30-Dec. 6". City Pages. Archived from the original on January 23, 2021.
  14. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2021-09-15. Retrieved 2022-07-02.
  15. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  16. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  17. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 535. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  18. ^ "Vampire Diaries!". Strangled.co.uk. Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  19. ^ Walk on By on YouTube
  20. ^ "Sybil - Walk On By (1989, US Vinyl)". discogs.com.
  21. ^ "Sybil - Walk On By (1990, UK single)". discogs.com.
  22. ^ "SYBIL - WALK ON BY (SONG)". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  23. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 24 February 1990. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  24. ^ "Sybil – Walk On By". Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  25. ^ "End of Year Charts 1990". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  26. ^ "Reviews: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. December 28, 1996. p. 17. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  27. ^ Walk On By (UK CD liner notes). Gabrielle. Go! Beat. 1997. GODCD 159, 850 799-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  28. ^ Walk On By (UK 12-inch vinyl disc). Gabrielle. Go! Beat. 1997. GODX 159, 850 799-1.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  29. ^ Walk On By (UK cassette single sleeve). Gabrielle. Go! Beat. 1997. GODMC 159, 850 798-4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  30. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. February 8, 1997. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  31. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (NR. 212 Vikuna 13.3. '97 - 19.3. '97)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved July 12, 2018. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  32. ^ "GABRIELLE - WALK ON BY". Single Top 100 (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  34. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  35. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". officialcharts.com.
  36. ^ "Cyndi Lauper – Walk on by (2004, Vinyl)". Discogs.
  37. ^ "Cyndi Lauper – Walk on by (The Remixes) (2004, Vinyl)". Discogs.
  38. ^ "Cyndi Lauper – Walk on by (2003, CD)". Discogs.
  39. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 246.
  40. ^ "Issue 801" ARIA Top 40 Urban Singles. National Library of Australia. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  41. ^ "Seal – Walk On By" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  42. ^ "Seal – Walk On By" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  43. ^ "Seal – Walk On By" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  44. ^ "Seal – Walk On By" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  45. ^ "Seal – Walk On By". Top Digital Download. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  46. ^ "Seal – Walk On By". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved October 7, 2022.
  47. ^ "Episode #9.3". IMDb. 25 November 1990.

External links[edit]