“Walk on By”, a classic of the sixties, composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 1964, has been covered by many artists, including The Beach Boys (1968), Cindi Lauper (2003), Brittney Spears (2000), Diana Krall (2008) et al. And although my favourite version is the original by Dionne Warwick, the version by Isaac Hayes is smashing good. Hayes adds the soul touch of the sixties and extends the song with much instrumental orchestration. He slows the tempo down to a cool groove and then his strong vocals assume the role of punctuating the rhythmic structure to convert this pop song into a truly soulful ballad with funk intentions. Isaac Hayes released the long version in his album (1969) Hot Buttered Soul and the radio-play version was cut down to about 5 minutes, still a long song for the radio in those days, especially AM radio.
But just so we are all happy, I will add a few other versions of this very cool, very sensual and very romantic ballad.
Here is Dionne:
The Beach Boys: