Walk On By (2:56)

Cover of The Bacharach & David Songbook

From The Bacharach & David Songbook and 206 other releases

“Walk on By” is a song composed by Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David for Dionne Warwick. It was recorded at the same December 1963 session that yielded “Anyone Who Had a Heart”, which, in 1964, became Warwick’s second Top Ten hit. Released in April of that year, “Walk on By” became a landmark single, reaching #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song also reached the top 10 in a brief run on Billboard’s easy listening survey, and was a Number One hit on Cashbox’s chart (Billboard did not print charts during 1964, the year of the song’s peak performance.)

Like many of Warwick’s 1960s Bacharach-composed singles, “Walk on By” was heavily covered in different ways, some of which gained significant chart success. One notable version was by / musician Isaac Hayes, whose 1969 cover on his groundbreaking album Hot Buttered Soul was transformed into a twelve-and-a-half minute funk vamp, breaking ground for singers to release songs surpassing five minutes. In 1978, The Stranglers recorded a gritty punk-inspired version that hit #21 on the UK charts. In 1982, singer D-Train recorded a US-only R&B hit with the song mixing up Warwick and Hayes’ versions. In 1990, singer Sybil, who had scored her biggest hit a year prior with a cover of Warwick’s “Don’t Make Me Over”, also scored a US R&B hit with this song.

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