Lee Hazlewood is most famous – and rightly so – for having written and produced Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 breakthrough hit ‘These Boots Were Made for Walking’. His infamous studio instructions to Sinatra – “sing like a 14-year-old girl who fucks truck-drivers” – is the stuff of legend, but he had many more strings to his bow; honing Duane Eddy’s signature guitar sound, developing a huge, wide-screen sound that Phil Spector would later “borrow” and take to new heights, and his own, lush baritone voice that narrated many a tale.
Over thirty-one albums and forty-three years, Hazlewood sang, wrote, and produced, leaving behind a body of work that is almost unparalleled in terms of its scope and depth; one that ardent fans believe deserves to be considered alongside those great American names of Cash or Dylan. But as with any great artist, dig beneath the hits and the worldwide successes and you find hidden gems and under-appreciated masterpieces; Hazlewood in particular seems to have more than most. Who better then than Wyndham Wallace, long-time fan-turned-friend, confidante and, for the last eight years of Hazlewood’s life, business manager, to compile his finest moments in a 21 Song Salute. Enjoy.
Love And Other Crimes: The Songs of Lee Hazlewood, a tribute concert to Lee featuring the likes of Ed Harcourt, Matthew E. White, Caitlin Rose and more, is on Sunday the 25th October 2015 at the Barbican, London. Tickets can be bought here
Wyndham Wallace's Favourite Lee Hazlewood Tracks
1) The Girl On Death Row
Lee enjoys the early fruits of his success by combining with Duane Eddy, helping to invent the twang, and shining a spotlight on the injustice of the death penalty. No holds barred!
2) Some Velvet Morning
This, in which Lee and Nancy Sinatra combine forces, is surely the greatest duet of all time.
3) Leather And Lace
The irresistible Lee, along with Swedish singer Nina Lizell – “with a face like the red lace I wore” - confesses dark secrets of a fiery romance.
4) Lightning's Girl
Back off! Nancy Sinatra warns folks to step away from her before her man, Lightning, gets pugnacious
5) Come On Home To Me
Lee, shattered by a devastating breakup, tries to lure back his beloved with the candid confession that “Where there's sky there must be rain/ Where there's you there's me”.
6) The Fool
A bittersweet tale about drowning his sorrow with his buddies after recognising his foolishness at waving goodbye to his baby.
7) Califia (Stone Rider)
Lee and former partner Suzi Jane Hokum explore the psychedelic possibilities of what some might otherwise have considered easy listening.
8) Souls Island
Against a suitably grandiose orchestral setting, Lee celebrates the magic of his beloved Swedish island, Gotland, where he spent his early 1970s summers.
9) No Train To Stockholm
Lee earns his spurs as an anti-war protester.
10) Tippy Toes
Lee and Nancy get all sentimental about “being a big people” and “discovering you can make little people” without even a hint of smut.
11) For A Very Good Year
Here Lee proves he can take on other people’s songs and croon with as much sophistication as the very best of them.
12) Lady Bird
Lee and Nancy soar like eagles before one, inevitably, lets the other down.
13) Sleep In The Grass
Lee heads off into the California sunshine with actress and performer Ann Margret for a bucolic bacchanal.
14) Love & Other Crimes
In little over just one minute, Lee confides the truth of his romantic accomplishments.
15) First Street Blues
Lee tells the touching story of an alcoholic dragon and defends his own love of a little tipple.
16) Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On
With a conspicuously leery grin, Lee rouses his inner Barry White and rewrites rock & roll history.
17) Sugar Town
Lee somehow persuades Nancy to sing a song so sweet that the world never realised it was about people taking acid.
18) I’m Glad I Never
Lee takes just sixty seconds to reveal the darkest secrets of a post-relationship conflict of nostalgic regret and twisted bitterness.
19) We All Make The Flowers Grow
A lesson in how to sweetly accept the inevitability of death with characteristic eccentricity and charm
20) T.O.M. (The Old Man)
Lee signs off from both his final album - and life itself - with a song so unashamedly drenched in sentiment that there won't be a dry eye in the house
21) These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (Solo version)
Lee takes time out to revel in the absurdity of having scored a global hit with “a darling named Nancy” and recalls the moment when people round the world said “Why, that can’t be No 1!” But it was, and nothing would ever be the same…