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Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Nancy & Lee Again LP
Light in the Attic Records
The incongruous, yet glorious, creative partnership between Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood was well underway when the two singular artists reunited to record 1972’s Nancy & Lee Again, a follow-up to their bestselling duet debut, Nancy & Lee. Nancy, the eldest daughter of Frank Sinatra, had been working with the Oklahoma-born songwriter since 1965, when she topped the pop charts with “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.” Over the next five years, the two artists forged a prolific relationship in the studio, with Hazlewood writing and producing many of Nancy’s solo hits. Soon, the duo found success with a series of duets, including “Sand,” “Summer Wine,” and “Some Velvet Morning” – all of which appeared on their highly-influential 1968 debut.
Not long after the critical acclaim and chart success of Nancy & Lee died down, however, Hazlewood unexpectedly relocated to Sweden, leaving his musical partner in the proverbial dust. America, meanwhile, was in the midst of a cultural shift, as the Vietnam War waged on. By the turn of the decade, the musical landscape had changed significantly. “Trivial music and not profound music became unimportant,” recalls Nancy, speaking to Hunter Lea. “It was a tough time.” And yet, despite the circumstances, the stars somehow aligned for the duo to record some of their most magnificent music together.
Returning to Los Angeles for the project, Hazlewood – who reprised his role as producer – chose to take a new direction with the duo’s sophomore album. Nancy recalls, “It was more dramatic; it was more fun to do, more challenging to do…. It was more grandiose.” For the lush, orchestral arrangements, they collaborated with Larry Muhoberac (an original member of Elvis Presley’s TCB band, whose early ‘70s credits also included Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, and Lalo Schifrin) and Clark Gassman, who had worked on Hazlewood’s 1970 LP, Cowboy in Sweden. Backing vocals from brothers John and Tom Bahler, who remain two of the most recorded singers in history, added additional texture to several songs.
The big sound that Nancy describes above is exemplified in the album’s cinematic opener, “Arkansas Coal (Suite).” Clocking in at nearly six minutes long, the dynamic overture tells the tale of an ill-fated coal miner (sung by Hazlewood), while Nancy adjusts her vocals to sing as both the miner’s daughter and his wife. Hazlewood’s knack for vivid, nuanced storytelling shines throughout Nancy & Lee Again, particularly in “Paris Summer,” which details the conflict that a married woman faces, as she engages in a passionate affair. Another highlight is the country-inspired hit, “Did You Ever,” which was released as the album’s lead single. After it landed at No.2 on the U.K. pop charts, the song served as an alternate title track in several countries, including LP pressings in the U.K., Germany, and Canada.
- Arkansas Coal (Suite)
- Big Red Balloon
- Friendship Train
- Paris Summer
- Down From Dover
- Did You Ever?
- Tippy Toes
- Back On The Road
- Got It Together
- Machine Gun Kelly (bonus track, first time on vinyl)
- Think I'm Coming Down (bonus track, previously unreleased)