These Boots Are Made for Walkin': Wikis

  
  
  

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"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"
Single by Nancy Sinatra
from the album Boots
Released February 1966
Format 7" single
Genre Pop
Length 2:42
Label Reprise Records
Writer(s) Lee Hazlewood
Producer Lee Hazlewood
Nancy Sinatra singles chronology
"So Long, Babe"
(1965)
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"
(1966)
"How Does That Grab You, Darlin'?"
(1966)

"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" is a pop song composed by Lee Hazlewood and first recorded by Nancy Sinatra. It was released in February 1966 and hit #1 in the United States and United Kingdom Pop charts. Subsequently, many cover versions of the song have been released in a range of styles: pop, rock, punk rock, country, dance, and industrial (see selected list below). Jessica Simpson made #14 in the United States in 2005 with her version based on the movie: The Dukes of Hazzard. Geri Halliwell and Jewel also released remakes of the song.

The song is often incorrectly listed as "These Boots", "These Boots Were Made for Walkin'" and "These Boots Are Made for Walking."

Contents

Nancy Sinatra version

Nancy Sinatra was encouraged by Lee Hazlewood to sing the song as if she were a sixteen-year-old girl giving the brush-off to a forty-year-old man. Sinatra's recording of the song was made with the help of notable 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."

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.

When the single was first released, some thought it had to do with the subway strike in New York. That same year, Sinatra recorded an early 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 this music video.

The song was adopted by troops in the Vietnam War when they marched, and Sinatra traveled there in the mid- to late-1960s to perform for the U.S. soldiers. It was used on the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket (1987). Sinatra also sang it on an episode of China Beach in the late-1980s. 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.

In addition, the Fembots were introduced to the strains of the opening and closing notes of the song in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

In 2006, Pitchfork Media selected it as the 114th best song of the 1960s. Critic Tom Breihan described the song as "maybe the finest bitchy kiss-off in pop history".[1]

Charts

Chart (1966) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
UK Singles Chart 1
Australia Kent Music Report 1

Megadeth version

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 was more of a parody than a cover, featuring alternate lyrics and titled "These Boots" on the release. 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". Dave Mustaine made the point that Hazlewood had been paid royalties for years before his complaint, but eventually omitted the song anyway. A censored version of the track can be found on the album's 'deluxe edition' released in 2002.

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.[2]

Jessica Simpson version

"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"
Single by Jessica Simpson
from the album The Dukes of Hazzard Original Soundtrack
Released US May 26, 2005
UK August 29, 2005
Format Digital download, digital maxi single
Genre Country pop, dance pop
Length 3:58 (Album Version)
3:35 (Radio Version)
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Lee Hazlewood; Jessica Simpson (additional; uncredited)
Producer Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Certification Gold (RIAA
Platinum ARIA)
Jessica Simpson singles chronology
"What Christmas Means to Me"
(2004)
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"
(2005)
"A Public Affair"
(2006)
Music video
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" at YouTube (requires Adobe Flash)

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.[3][4]

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 version explore 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. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" is the production duo's second song to contain elements of country music, after Janet Jackson's "Someone to Call My Lover."

In a current 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.

Chart Performance

"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" peaked at fourteen on the U.S. 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. 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, 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 was another biggest hit peaking the number 2. The song also cracked the top five in the UK, where it reached number four and is to date, her highest peaking single in that territory. 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.

Music video

The video, directed by Brett Ratner, has caused some controversy because of its sexual imagery. 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 occasionally edited with some of the scenes removed.

The video begins with Simpson (as Daisy Duke) climbing out of the General Lee (the famous car owned by the Duke family) into a bar. Simpson, a waitress at the bar, flirts with customers as she grinds, dances on the bar stand and shakes her buttocks to a customer. After another customer slaps her butt with his hand, Simpson smiles and turns to the customer acting as if she likes it. She then says the verse "You believe you’ve stopped me for a reason"..."Now I’m pretending my bending's(bends over and rubs her butt against his crotch) just for fun"..."These double DDs breasts". She then punches him and the man's fall causes a fight to break out between the bar patrons. Unfazed, Simpson sings the song with the assistance of Willie Nelson on guitar and backup vocals, and several female dancers join her during the song's "Can I get a handclap..." spoken/rapped breakdown. After recovering from their injuries, the men join Simpson and the dancers in a line dance. This scene is intercut with shots of a figure entering a barn, and at the video's end it is revealed the figure is Simpson wearing nothing but a skin-tight, revealing pink bikini. She washes the General Lee. The music video also features Jessica Simpson belly dancing. It was parodied as "The Dukes Are Not Worth Watching" by MADtv, with Nicole Parker portraying Simpson.

Charts

Chart Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Digital Songs 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 14
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 12
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 34
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play 35
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 2
Ireland Singles Chart[5] 2
UK Singles Chart 4
European Hot 100 Singles[6] 7
Belgian Ultratop 50 Singles (Flanders)[7] 10
New Zealand Singles Chart 10
Austria Singles Chart 12
Belgian Ultratop 40 Singles (Wallonia) 14
Swiss Singles Chart (Switzerland) 16
German Singles Chart 17
Dutch Singles Chart 27
Netherlands Singles Chart 35

Annual Charts

Country Position
Australia[8] 16

Certifications

Country Certification Sales
U.S.[9]
  • Gold (Columbia)
  • Gold (Epic)
1,000,000
Australia[10] Platinum 70,000

Alternate versions and remixes

  1. Album Version / Original Version—3:58. This version appeared on the soundtrack and was used for the music video.
  2. Single Version / Original Radio Edit—3:35. This is the version included on the single with re-recorded vocals and contains more pop influences than the Original Version.
  3. Radio Edit—3:28. This is the short -edited- version of the single version, and was released to radio stations only, for promotional use.
  4. Instrumental—3:38. Available only on the 12'' Vinyl Single.
  5. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Scott Storch Mix] - 4:09
  6. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [E-Smoove Vocal Mix] - 6:59
  7. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Bimbo Jones Remix Vocal]
  8. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Bimbo Jones Radio Edit] - 3:14
  9. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Bimbo Jones Club Mix] - 6:02
  10. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Bimbo Jones Dub] - 6:03
  11. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Ed n' Richie Club Mix] - 5:16
  12. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Gomi & Escape's Club Mix]
  13. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Gomi & Escape Mix] - 9:03
  14. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Gomi & Escape's Dub]
  15. These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Joe Bermudez Club Mix] (Unreleased)

Selected list of recorded versions

Parodies

  • In an episode of Pinky and the Brain, Pinky sang a spoof titled "These Fins Are Made For Swimmin'".
  • In 2006 Miss Piggy sang a parody called "These Bites Are Made For Poppin" for a Pizza Hut commercial.
  • Jessica Simpson's music video was parodied in Pink's 2006 song Stupid Girls.
  • An American metal rock group, Stars and Stripes (1986), sang that their heads were "Shaved for Battle", adding that their "Docs were made for kickin', and they will kick the shit out of you."
  • In an episode of Two and a Half Men, When Evelyn discusses her past, she recalls singing the song "These boots are made for walking". At the end of the Episode, Charlie is seen playing a piano tune of the song, and Evelyn is spotted walking down the stairs, singing the song.

Notes

Preceded by
"Lightnin' Strikes" by Lou Christie
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Nancy Sinatra version)
February 26, 1966
(one week)
Succeeded by
"Ballad of the Green Berets" by SSgt Barry Sadler
Preceded by
"Michelle" by The Overlanders
UK number one single (Nancy Sinatra version)
February 17, 1966 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" by The Walker Brothers
Preceded by
"Michelle" by David and Jonathan
Canada RPM number-one single (Nancy Sinatra version)
March 7, 1966 (one week)
Succeeded by
"At the Scene" by The Dave Clark Five







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