Moldering in the attic somewhere, there's an old book on the first 20 or 25 years of "rock". I remember one entry very clearly, from the authors' magisterial survey of 1966. Under a picture of a kittenish blonde in mini-skirt and kinky boots was an entry for Nancy Sinatra, which I quote in full:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I suppose, rock'n'roll-wise, boredom is in the ear of the behearer. But nobody gets it wrong like a rock critic. Pick up any tome from the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, and you'll find the cutting-edge-of-the-zeitgeist-du-jour platters they're raving about are all but unlistened to today, whereas a lot of the things they were snottiest about have managed to stand the test of time. Nancy Sinatra turns eighty tomorrow, Monday June 8th, and many of her hits still sound great: Her Number One with her dad, "Somethin' Stupid", is a lovely record, and her insightful re-imagining of "Bang Bang" transformed the song, as Quentin Tarantino among others rightly discerned. Her forlorn version of "We Need a Little Christmas" is the only version I can stand, the traditional arrangements seeming to me utterly fake in their bullying cheeriness.
- Boring but beautiful.