Walk On By

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"Walk On By"
Single by Dionne Warwick
from the album Make Way for Dionne Warwick
B-side"Any Old Time of Day"
ReleasedApril 26, 1964
RecordedNovember/December 1963 [1]
StudioBell Sound, New York City
Composer(s)Burt Bacharach
Lyricist(s)Hal David
  • 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 written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for singer Dionne Warwick in 1963.[4] Warwick's recording of 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[5] with his version. "Walk On By" has since charted numerous times in various countries, with wildly different arrangements, as noted below.

In 1998, the 1964 release by Dionne Warwick on Scepter Records was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[6]

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,[7] the same late November/early 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.[8] (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.[9] "Walk On By" became Warwick's second international million seller, following "Anyone Who Had A Heart" in January 1964. Warwick also recorded a German version of the song, titled "Geh vorbei".[10]

Session drummer Gary Chester[citation needed] played on this recording as did session bassist Russ Savakus.[11] 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.

In 2023, Warwick's recording was sampled by Doja Cat for her single "Paint the Town Red". It reached number one on the Hot 100 on the issue dated September 16, 2023, marking the first time Warwick's voice appeared at number one since 1986's Year-end chart performance of "That's What Friends Are For".[12]


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1964) Peak
Australia 28
Canada 14
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[13] 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[14] 37


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[15]
Sales since November 14, 2004
Silver 200,000

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)
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"

Isaac Hayes released a cover version of "Walk on By" in 1969 on the album Hot Buttered Soul, transforming the song into a twelve-minute funk vamp. A single edit reached number 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Hayes' version was ranked No. 312 in the 2021 edition of Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Songs of All Time".[18]


Hayes' 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 Faith Evans in "No Other Love", from the album Faith; 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 2016 in Beyoncé's "6 Inch".


Gloria Gaynor version (1975)[edit]

"Walk On By"
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)[19] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[20] 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)
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 version of "Walk on By" which reached No. 21 on the UK Singles Chart.[21] This six-minute version of the song features extended organ and guitar solos which Gene Becker of AllMusic likened to the Doors' "Light My Fire".[22] A music video was produced for the single, parodying Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film Blowup. As with key sequences of the film, the Stranglers video was filmed largely in London's Maryon Park.[23] The single's chart performance may have been impaired by the fact that an EP featuring the song had been given away with the first 75,000 copies of the band's album Black and White.


Chart (1978) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[21] 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.[24]


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"
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[25]
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[26]
  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"
Single by Gabrielle
from the album Gabrielle
B-side"Something to Talk About"
ReleasedJanuary 20, 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."[31]

Track listings[edit]

UK CD (GODCD 159)[32]
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)[33]
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)[34]
1."Walk On By"3:21
2."Something To Talk About"4:13


Chart (1997) Peak
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[35] 41
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[36] 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[37] 96
Scotland (OCC)[38] 12
UK Singles (OCC)[39] 7
UK R&B (OCC)[40] 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)[44] 94
Australian Urban (ARIA)[45] 22
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[46] 57
Belgium (Ultratip Bubbling Under Flanders)[47] 8
Belgium (Ultratip Bubbling Under Wallonia)[48] 2
Germany (Official German Charts)[49] 49
Italy (FIMI)[50] 27
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[51] 46


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External links[edit]