“Walk on By,” covered by The Stranglers … (Rock / Punk / Pop – Music to Your Ears, Covers–22)



The band evolved far beyond punk, creating their unique brand of so-called “sophisti-pop.”

The Stranglers – “Walk on By”

“Walk on By” (1978 – original from 1964)

This punk version of “Walk on By”  by The Stranglers is one of the finer renditions of the classic pop song. In 1978, this version hit Number 21 on the UK Singles Chart.  

Wild and Different

Written in the 1960s by the talented and prolific songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, “Walk on By”  has been covered through various “wildly different arrangements,”  by artists such as Isaac Hayes, Cyndi Lauper, and even the Norman Luboff Choir. At different times and in different incarnations, this song has also ascended up the easy-listening charts and the rhythm-and-blues charts.   On “Rolling Stone”  magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time,”  Dionne Warwick’s original version of “Walk on By”  comes in at Number 70.   (Image source)

The Stranglers

Back in the day, nobody knew where The Stranglers came from. Even though they frowned, scowled, and growled like true punks, they were older than most punk musicians. And the band included a keyboardist – which was presumably not permitted by the punk ethos.    

Eventually, we learned that guitarist / vocalist Hugh Cornwell had been a blues musician, and had even played with the great bluesman Richard Thompson. Drummer Jet Black had been playing jazz. Jean-Jacques Burnel had worked as a classical guitarist, including with certain orchestras. And keyboardist Dave Greenfield had played on military bases in Europe.  

Post-Punk Sophisti-Pop

In 1974, those 4 disparate musicians formed the pub-rock band The Stranglers. Within 2 years, the band had opened for The Ramones and for Patti Smith on their UK tours. Soon enough, clear-eared listeners started to associate the band with the burgeoning punk scene.    

In the space of a little more than a year over 1977–78, The Stranglers released 3 excellent albums. The first 2 remain seminal classics of that era, and the third is close behind. Subsequently, they evolved far beyond punk, creating their unique brand of so-called “sophisti-pop”  that even the most punk-phobic listener will appreciate.   

Although the line-up has changed somewhat, the band remains active. During their 40-plus years, The Stranglers have had 23 Top-40 singles in the UK, as well as 17 Top-40 albums.    (Image source)

If you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry
Each time we meet
Walk on by
Aahh, walk on by

Make believe
I can't see the tears
Now let me grieve in private
Cause each time I see you
I just want to cry
Walk on by
  [3 x]

I just can't get over losing you
And so if I seem so broken in pieces
Walk on by
Aah, walk on by
With foolish pride
If I can't see the tears
Let me hide
From the tears and the sadness
You gave me
When you said goodbye
Walk on by
  [3 x]

Just go for a stroll in the trees

Walk on by
Aahh, walk on by
And make believe
That I can't see the tears
Now let me grieve in private
Cause each time I see you
I break down and cry
Walk on by
  [2 x]

        Dionne Warwick – “Walk on By”    
          (Right-click to hear on YouTube)


Lyrics by Hal David, courtesy of – AZLyrics.com
Reference – Wikipedia
Reference – Wikipedia
Reference – Wikipedia

Into your ears … through 5 channels

 The various posts are categorized into 5 channels (Right-Click to see details)
         1 – “Music to Your Ears” (MTYE)
         2 – “Cover Versions”
         3 – “Honor Roll”
         4 – “Documentaries”
         5 – “Mock’n’Roll”

More “Cover Versions – Music to Your Ears” ...

          Previous posts in this series – "Cover Versions 1–20"  

Links to my other series ...

          Lou Reed – "Anthology of Memorable Lyrics, Part 1"
          Lou Reed – "Anthology of Memorable Lyrics, Part 2"

          Great Lyrics, a compilation – “Part One – My Lyrics Posts 3~30”
          Great Lyrics, a compilation – “Part Two – My Lyrics Posts 31~60”  

          Vocab-Ability – "Introduction to Vocab-Ability"  
          Vocab-Ability – "Index"  to all Chapters and Sections  

          Notes from Under the Tatami Mats – "Part One – Notes 1~50"  
          Notes from Under the Tatami Mats – "Part Two – Notes 51~87"  


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