“There are at least four hundred
and maybe five hundred recorded songs,
a few of which made the Top Ten
and several of which made the Top Forty.
Many of my recordings were album cuts
that were rarely played on the radio
– many from the Great American Songbook,
and also some unreleased tracks
that very few people have heard.”
Spanning six decades and encompassing innumerable releases, Nancy’s catalog of recordings is vast and complex. Organization is the key to constructing a comprehensive presentation. With that objective, we are excited to introduce the first two installments in Nancy’s Discography: Album Covers and Album List.
Representing nearly every released NS track, the cover pages provide an overview in five thematic galleries.
“If you line up my cover pictures,
you can see they have things in common:
The “Originals” page displays Nancy’s iconic albums consisting of tracks that were expressly and contemporaneously recorded for each release. From chart blockbuster Boots (1966), her first U.S. LP, to the acclaimed Nancy Sinatra (2004), a collection conceived and produced by her daughter AJ, these albums embody some of Nancy’s best-known and most beloved work. The 2004 album is one of Nancy’s personal favorites.
“AJ gathered performers and songwriters
who believe they were influenced by
or are fans of my music.
“I think you will like this collection.
It’s interesting personally speaking,
to see – through their music –
how these people feel about me.
The “Concepts” page features albums that were built around unifying ideas by combining, in varying degrees, unreleased and previously released tracks. These collections range from Cherry Smiles: The Rare Singles, with two heretofore unheard songs from the vault, to California Girl, which is almost entirely composed of unreleased tracks from three decades.
“When Disney California Adventure Theme Park opened,
my daughter Amanda went there
for her bachelorette night.
She came home saying,
‘Mom, you’ve got to finish that California album
and get it out
because it really belongs down there at the Park.’
“The biggest challenge with this collection is
the fact that it spans three decades of recordings,
the earliest from 1967
and the most recent were recorded in 2001.”
The “Hits” page contains domestic and international Best Of/Greatest Hits albums which aggregate singles tracks from the first Nancy-Lee Hazlewood-Billy Strange era, 1965-68.
“Production manager Keith Barrows
is the reason I like
The Essential Nancy Sinatra.
He worked himself ragged
getting the sound to work.
With songs from
so many different years and technologies,
it was tough to make them seem like
a cohesive collection.
I think he did a terrific job.
“The label only wanted the hits
and I was lucky to be able to convince them
to use ‘Machine Gun Kelly.’
I really LOVE that track.
The “Compilations” page primarily presents unique international albums, the majority of which were issued in Japan. These albums are typically an amalgam of Reprise singles and album cuts.
Years before the Boots LP, various editions of Japanese album Nancy collected her early “bubblegum” era singles, both A and B sides.
“I wasn’t really interested in a career.
I was a happily married young woman,
who wanted to be
a good wife and raise a family.
But when I told my father
that I thought I could make a hit record,
he said, ‘Try it.’
In those days, it didn’t cost a fortune.
“I went to Tutti Camarata,
who was Disney’s musical director
and produced Annette Funicello’s records,
and told him that I wanted to do
what she was doing,
only with a couple of changes.
One of my first singles for Reprise, ‘Like I Do,’
was successful in Japan, Italy…
all over the world,
except the United States.
And my dad said,
you do know how to make a hit record.’
Also, I repaid
his recording company’s investment,
which was very important to me.”
The “Appearances” page gathers a diverse array of NS recordings that were not previously issued on Nancy’s own albums. They include movie soundtrack songs, collaborations with other artists, alternate mixes, the authorized sampling of Nancy’s vocal and instrumental tracks, as well as musical TV performances that have had home video releases.
“Recording ‘You Only Live Twice’
was a scary experience.
That was about 80 symphony musicians,
and John Barry (composer/conductor)
and Leslie Bricusse,
one of the world’s finest lyricists,
and Cubby Broccoli and his wife
and all of the big execs
from the Bond movies sitting in the booth.
I was just terrified.
You could’ve peeled me up off of the floor.
I was just a mess.
“Now, when I listen to it
I amaze myself, actually,
that I got through it.”
Complementing the five galleries, the extensive Album List, which is still a work-in-progress, incorporates the contents of the cover pages along with related releases (alternate formats, international editions and reissues), assorted artists’ collections, numerous film and TV soundtracks that have tapped Nancy’s catalog, and soundtrack albums without any NS recordings from Nancy’s own motion pictures (e.g., songs from Get Yourself A College Girl, Pete King’s music from the score of The Last Of The Secret Agents?, Mike Curb’s Wild Angels soundtracks).
“I remember sending Stanley Kubrick
a telegram saying,
‘I’ve heard a rumor you may use a song of mine
in your film.
I hope you do.’
It was an honor to be even a small part
of one of his projects.”
In appreciation of Nancy’s transcendent body of work as a recording artist, great care has been invested in documenting the many aspects of each album. Clicking on gallery images or list entries accesses music; artwork and labels; promotional posters; music industry ads; reviews from Billboard, Cash Box and Record World; tracklists; chart information; credits; liner notes; and links to NancySinatra.com blog posts, Sinatra Family Forum threads and related releases. Hopefully, the NS Discography will be informative, revelatory and ultimately enjoyable.