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Pin Ups

Pin Ups

4.0 4
by David Bowie

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Pin Ups fits into David Bowie's output roughly where Moondog Matinee (which, strangely enough, appeared the very same month) did into the Band's output, which is to say that it didn't seem to fit in at all. Just as a lot of fans of Levon Helm et al. couldn't figure


Pin Ups fits into David Bowie's output roughly where Moondog Matinee (which, strangely enough, appeared the very same month) did into the Band's output, which is to say that it didn't seem to fit in at all. Just as a lot of fans of Levon Helm et al. couldn't figure where a bunch of rock & roll and R&B covers fit alongside their output of original songs, so Bowie's fans -- after enjoying a string of fiercely original LPs going back to 1970's The Man Who Sold the World -- weren't able to make too much out of Pin Ups' new recordings of a brace of '60s British hits. Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane had established Bowie as perhaps the most fiercely original of all England's glam rockers (though Marc Bolan's fans would dispute that to their dying day), so an album of covers didn't make any sense and was especially confusing for American fans -- apart from the Easybeats' "Friday on My Mind" and the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things," little here was among the biggest hits of their respective artists' careers, and the Who's "I Can't Explain" and "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" were the only ones whose original versions were easily available or played very often on the radio; everything else was as much a history lesson, for Pink Floyd fans whose knowledge of that band went back no further than Atom Heart Mother, or into Liverpool rock (the Merseys' "Sorrow"), as it was a tour through Bowie's taste in '60s music. The latter was a mixed bag stylistically, opening with the Pretty Things' high-energy Bo Diddley homage "Rosalyn" and segueing directly into a hard, surging rendition of Them's version of Bert Berns' "Here Comes the Night," filled with crunchy guitars; "I Wish You Would" and "Shapes of Things" were both showcases for Bowie's and Mick Ronson's guitars, and "See Emily Play" emphasized the punkish (as opposed to the psychedelic) side of the song. "Sorrow," which benefited from a new saxophone break, was actually a distinct improvement over the original, managing to be edgier and more elegant all at once, and could easily have been a single at the time, and Bowie's slow version of "I Can't Explain" was distinctly different from the Who's original -- in other words, Pin Ups was an artistic statement, of sorts, with some thought behind it, rather than just a quick album of oldies covers to buy some time, as it was often dismissed as being. In the broader context of Bowie's career, Pin Ups was more than an anomaly -- it marked the swan song for the Spiders from Mars and something of an interlude between the first and second phases of his international career; the next, beginning with Diamond Dogs, would be a break from his glam rock phase, going off in new directions. It's not a bad bridge between the two, and it has endured across the decades -- and the CD remasterings since the late '90s have made it worth discovering all over again.

Product Details

Release Date:
Parlophone (Wea)


Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Bowie   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Keyboards,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer
Ronnie Wood   Guitar
Mike Garson   Organ,Piano,Harp,Harpsichord,Keyboards,Electric Piano
Mick Ronson   Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Aynsley Dunbar   Drums
Trevor Bolder   Bass
Mac Cormack   Vocals
Ken Fordham   Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
G A MacCormack   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Billy Boy Arnold   Composer
Syd Barrett   Composer
David Bowie   Arranger,Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Roger Daltrey   Composer
Pete Townshend   Composer
Mick Ronson   Arranger
Ken Scott   Producer,Audio Production
Ray Davies   Composer
Jim McCarty   Composer
Bert Berns   Composer
Bob Feldman   Composer
Jerry Goldstein   Composer
Richard Gottehrer   Composer
Stuart James   Composer
Keith Relf   Composer
Paul Samwell-Smith   Composer
Harry Vanda   Composer
Nickey Crouch   Composer
Keith Karlson   Composer
John Konrad   Composer
Linda McCarry   Composer
Jimmy Duncan   Composer
Pierre LaRoche   Contributor
Kuni Takeuchi   Contributor
Bill Farley   Composer
George Young   Composer
Johnnie Dee   Composer
Simon Stavely   Composer

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Pin Ups 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The original album Pin Ups has two bonus tracks that have been wiped out from this edition. One of the two bonus is the song Growin' up of Bruce Springsteen. In this and only song plays Ron Wood, and it isnot here. So it's a mistake to put Ron Wood in this album.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though Bowie had played his final concert with the Spiders from Mars in July 1973, he recorded one last album with them, PinUps. This album was released to coincide with Bowie's landmark appearance on NBC's Midnight Special in November 1973 in which he performed three songs from the album. PinUps may not rank with the best of Bowie's work (Ziggy Stardudt, Hunky Dory, Station to Station, Scary Monsters, the Berlin Trilogy) but it is an enjoyable album, nevertheless. Bowie sounds like he is having fun on this record making it a welcome departure from the dark tone which characterized much of his previous work. His covers of classic British rock songs from the 60s often eclipse the originals and serve to provide a useful primer on 60s British rock for the American listener. Many of these covers are obscure and it is worth searching out the original versions. Apparently, Bowie planned to release a second volume of covers focusing on the American rock scene, particularly the garage rock sound, alas such was not to be. That is a pity, because I would have loved to hear Bowie's interpretation of some of his favorite American records. Bowie's most creative period still lay in the future when PinUps was released. So enjoy this nice chestnut from the end of the Ziggy era before sampling some of his later work.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
Bowie covers a bunch of early rock hits, many of them garage rock one hit wonders, and turns them into smoking rock and roll that often beats the originals by a mile. A great FUN album.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago