Burt Bacharach / Hal David / Dione Warwick: “Walk On By”

Posted: April 7, 2016 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Tune du Jour: “Walk On By” – Burt Bacharach / Hal David / Dione Warwick
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Cockeyed Ghost vs. Kramer vs. The Stranglers
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Walk On By was composed in 1964 by Burt Bacharach with lyrics from Hal David. The song was released in April 1964 by Dionne Warwick, charting at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.


The Original


Dionne Warwick:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Cockeyed Ghost vs. Kramer vs. The Stranglers
Cockeyed Ghost:


The Stranglers:


Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I’ve been a huge Stranglers fan since 1977. In fact, if I had to narrow down my list of top three favorite punk songs of all time, (Get A) Grip (on Yourself) would be in that top three. I’ve followed their career after Hugh Cornwell departed almost 30 years ago (!) and they’re very inconsistent; they’ve never been able to capture that great sound – the sound you hear on Walk on By – since he left. By the way, their drummer, Jet Black, is still drumming for them, even though he’s 77 years old! As you can tell, I was already very familiar with their version of Walk on By, and I was secretly hoping that one of the other versions would surprise me and maybe knock my pre-selected mental favorite out of my head. But alas, none of the other bands here are fit to wipe the shoes of the smooth vocal stylings of Hugh Cornwell, the loud, mean bass of JJ Burnel, the virtuosic keyboard flourishes of Dave Greenfield, and that reliable steady tom-tom of Jet Black. Stranglers by a landslide.

  2. Cuspid says:

    Dionne Warwick has a very nice voice. But the instrumentation to her original is just too…too…too schlock-60’s. I like all three covers here better than the original. Cockeyed Ghost impressed me in particular; a really fantastic version. But in the end, this is no contest. The Stranglers own this song. They are to Walk On By what Jimi Hendrix is to All Along the Watchtower. The only possible way the Stranglers’ version might perhaps have been better is if Dionne Warwick were to be singing with Hugh Cornwell in a duet. The real shame here is that Dubbsy should have picked a better YouTube video to represent the Stranglers. Their version is really 6+ glorious minutes long, not 2:50, including a great instrumental jam.

    • RDubbs says:

      To be considered for a showcasing on CMI, songs containing three-minute organ solos require written permission in advance by one RJ Dubbengoth. A requirement that The Stranglers, thankfully, overlooked.

    • Arnold Plotnick says:

      Dougie is correct about this version lacking that prolonged keyboard-heavy instrumental jam. I remember when their album, Black and White, came out. I opted for the version on black-and-white swirled vinyl (still have it), while my friend Neil opted for the import, which was a black vinyl album with a white vinyl 45 containing three extra non-LP tracks, one of which was Walk on By in all its 6 minute glory. ’tis a wonderful version, ’tis.

  3. RDubbs says:

    The Stranglers’ version is pure gold but Cockeyed Ghost’s inventive cover is one of my all-time favorite covers!

  4. Kerry Black says:

    I chose Kramer then read the comments. Looks like I voted for the wrong cover. Can I have a “do over”? Oh well, can’t win ’em all.

  5. bornunderabadsign says:

    Once I got past the fuzztone at the beginning of Cockeyed Ghost’s version, I really thought it was groovy with its references to the early Mothers, the Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers’, and perhaps some work by Alice Cooper…but I voted for the Stranglers, yes, I fell for the only commercially viable version!

  6. Lucky H says:

    I’m with Dubbsie on The Ghosts, those tricksters can really mix it up on ya, but high kudos to The Stranglers for recruiting one of Ray Harris’ many illegitimate sons on bass

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