Garage Sale Vinyl
Garage Sale Vinyl: Nancy Sinatra

Garage Sale Vinyl: Nancy Sinatra

Nancy’s Greatest Hits / Reprise / 1970

As a near 50-year resident, I’ve learned that I don’t need one of those schmancy metal-detecting gadgets to locate “buried treasure” on Florida’s sunny Space Coast — at least not when I’m searching for vinyl treasure. I just gotta be aware, and be in the right place at the right time. While I consider thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales to typically be the “right” places, occasionally, some treasures “find” me — in more traditional retail settings.

Recently, I ordered a bunch of shiny new Lillie Mae 12-inchers and 7-inchers from my preferred traditional indie outlet down in Melbourne. My principal “dealer” at the shop is a turbocharged redhead who sports a rather fashionable black pair of Clark Kents. Known to her faithful flock simply as “Snap,” the former Roller Derby queen also knows me. Perhaps too well.

Given that Snap’s shop is located a good 30 miles south of my cozy Cocoa Beach abode, I usually call ahead of time to apprise her of my impending tumultuous arrival and to ensure that she hasn’t sold my stuff off to some other 60-year-old creeper.

Simply put, Snap is a crafty one. Possessing the savvy of a skilled dealer endeavoring to tempt Steven Tyler with a tray of fine Peruvian blow, she often “accidentally” leaves certain other newly-arrived records out in the open where she knows darn well I’m gonna see ‘em. “Oh, goodness! I ‘forgot,’ you have a ‘thing’ for Jenny Lewis. What a coincidence, I just happened to be pricing this acrylic ‘green Jell-O’ vinyl edition of Joy’All, with the semi-nude, pullout rubber poster. What are the odds?” Ugh! Save it for the Feds, Snap. I’m on to you!

When I arrived to pick up the aforementioned Lillie Mae LPs, I noticed that a “random” record was lying next to my stash on the front counter — a just-arrived, original vinyl pressing of Nancy’s Greatest Hits, the 1970 compilation LP from Nancy Sinatra.

Nancy’s Greatest Hits, Reprise, 1970
photo by Christopher Long
Nancy’s Greatest Hits, Reprise, 1970

The album checked all the initial boxes necessary to grab my attention: an iconic name, a bright pink cover, and a funky, retro-style font. The 50 years worth of cover wear only added to the allure. As for Sinatra herself, she got EVERYTHING right: big blond hair, painted pouty lips, thick black lashes, AND a tight, tasty-looking tummy. YUM! But most importantly, Nancy’s Greatest Hits oozed exactly that — great HITS.

Produced by Sinatra’s longtime musical partner, songwriter Lee Hazlewood, the catchy 11-track cavalcade owns a slew of biggies from Sinatra’s red-hot ‘66-‘68 Reprise Records run — packing all the appeal of a Tarantino movie soundtrack, decades before that even was a thing.

“These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” remains one of Sinatra’s Top Two signature staples. Performed by the legendary Wrecking Crew session collective, the 1966 chart-topper serves as something of an audio Polaroid depicting a beautiful bygone era that birthed great songs, groovy riffs, and go-go girls galore. Written by Hazlewood, it also owns some pretty splendid lyrics: “You keep lyin’ when you ought to be truthin’.” Doggonit, that’s STILL great stuff!

Another Hazlewood-penned track, “Some Velvet Morning,” reached a measurably lower Top 40 altitude. A duet between Sinatra and Hazlewood, the production and arrangement reflect the times. However, the lyrics were kinda “awkward,” even by 1967 standards. Today, they feel downright creepy — “Some velvet morning when I’m straight, I’m gonna open up your gate.” Wait! What?

As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Hence, Hazlewood’s “Boots” soundalike “How Does That Grab You, Darlin’?” also was a mighty Top Ten smash for Sinatra in ‘66. Another massive ‘66 Sinatra chart-buster, Hazlewood’s “Sugar Town” is bona fide, bouncy delight.

A Hulk-like non-album single, “Something Stupid,” is Sinatra’s other staple. A lovely, heartfelt duet with her famous father, it powered to #1 in 1967. While “Things” wasn’t a charting single, the 1968 duet between Sinatra and her pop’s Rat Pack compadre, Dean Martin was another super-tall standout.

Magical music, gobs of mascara, exposed midriffs and Aqua Net for days — Nancy’s Greatest Hits still scratches all of my personal (and private) itches. BTW, Snap hooked me up with this timeless tissue tosser for just six bucks. Bring on the go-go girls!

(5/5) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nancy’s Greatest Hits Track List

SIDE ONE

  1. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (Hazlewood) – 2:43

  1. Some Velvet Morning, w/ Lee Hazlewood (Hazlewood) – 3:42

  1. How Does That Grab You, Darlin’? (Hazlewood) – 2:31

  1. Something Stupid, w/ Frank Sinatra (Parks) – 2:40

  1. Friday’s Child (Hazlewood) – 2:25

  1. Jackson, w/ Lee Hazlewood (Wheeler, Rogers) – 2:46

SIDE TWO

  1. Sugar Town (Hazlewood) – 2:24

  1. Summer Wine, w/ Lee Hazlewood (Hazlewood) – 3:40

  1. You Only Live Twice (Barry, Bricusse) – 2:57

  1. Things, w/ Dean Martin (Darin) – 2:46

  1. Lightning’s Girl (Hazlewood) – 2:59

Nancy Sinatra


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