Culture Wikia

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Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg[3]
Robert ChristgauB–[4]
Rolling Stoneunfavourable[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 starsStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg[8]
Trouser Pressfavourable[9]

Pin Ups is the seventh studio album by David Bowie, containing cover versions of songs, released in 1973 on RCA Records.

Pin Ups entered the UK chart on 3 November 1973 (coincidentally the same day as Bryan Ferry's covers album These Foolish Things) and stayed there for 21 weeks, peaking at No. 1. It re-entered the chart on 30 April 1983, this time for fifteen weeks, peaking at No. 57. In July 1990, it again entered the chart, for one week, at No. 52.

A version of The Velvet Underground's "White Light/White Heat" was recorded during the sessions. It was never released; Bowie donated the backing track to Mick Ronson for his 1975 album Play Don't Worry.

The cover image shows Bowie with supermodel Twiggy.


According to co-producer Ken Scott, the LP was originally conceived as "a complete opposite of [Bowie's] other albums", consisting of all cover songs except one original composition, and mainly turned towards the US market since "he wanted to do songs that weren't known as well in the States as they were in England", yet eventually the plan was dropped.[10] Pin Ups was the first of two "1960s nostalgia" albums that Bowie had planned to release. The second, which was planned to be called "Bowie-ing Out," would have contained Bowie covering his favourite American artists, but was never recorded.[11] Bowie also apparently considered making a Pin Ups sequel: he had compiled a list of songs he wanted to cover, some of which showed up on his later releases of Heathen (2002) and Reality (2003).[12]

In the album booklet, Bowie, writing in his own hand,[13] describes Pin Ups as:

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These songs are among my favourites from the '64–67' period of London. / Most of the groups were playing the Ricky-Tick (was it a 'y' or an 'i'?) -Scene club circuit (Marquee, eel pie island la-la). / Some are still with us. / Pretty Things, Them, Yardbirds, Syd's Pink Floyd, Mojos, Who, Easybeats, Merseys, The Kinks. / Love-on ya!


The woman on the cover with Bowie is 1960s supermodel Twiggy in a photograph taken by her then-manager Justin de Villeneuve.[14] It was taken in Paris for Vogue magazine, but at Bowie's request, used for the album instead.[14]

Track listing[]

Side one
1."Rosalyn" (Originally recorded by The Pretty Things)Jimmy Duncan, Bill Farley2:27
2."Here Comes the Night" (Notably recorded by Them)Bert Berns3:09
3."I Wish You Would" (Notably recorded by The Yardbirds)Billy Boy Arnold2:40
4."See Emily Play" (Originally recorded by Pink Floyd)Syd Barrett4:03
5."Everything's Alright" (Originally recorded by The Mojos)Nicky Crouch, John Konrad, Simon Stavely, Stuart James, Keith Karlson2:26
6."I Can't Explain" (Originally recorded by The Who)Pete Townshend2:07
Side two
7."Friday on My Mind" (Originally recorded by The Easybeats)George Young, Harry Vanda3:18
8."Sorrow" (Notably recorded by The Merseys)Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer2:48
9."Don't Bring Me Down" (Originally recorded by The Pretty Things)Johnnie Dee2:01
10."Shapes of Things" (Originally recorded by The Yardbirds)Paul Samwell-Smith, Jim McCarty, Keith Relf2:47
11."Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" (Originally recorded by The Who)Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend3:04
12."Where Have All the Good Times Gone" (Originally recorded by The Kinks)Ray Davies2:35
Bonus Tracks (1990 Rykodisc/EMI)
1."Growin' Up" (Previously unreleased; from the early Diamond Dogs sessions. Originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen)Bruce Springsteen3:26
2."Port of Amsterdam" (B-side of the Sorrow single; originally recorded in French by Jacques Brel, English translation by Mort Shuman)Jacques Brel, Mort Shuman3:19


  • David Bowie – vocals, guitar, tenor and alto saxophone, harmonica, arrangements, backing vocals, Moog synthesiser[15]
  • Mick Ronson – guitar, piano, vocals, arrangements[15]
  • Trevor Bolder – bass guitar
  • Aynsley Dunbar – drums

Additional personnel[]

  • Mike Garson – piano, organ, harpsichord, electric piano[15]
  • Ken Fordham – baritone saxophone
  • G.A. MacCormack – backing vocals
  • Ron Wood – guitar on "Growin' Up"

Production personnel[]

  • David Bowie – producer
  • Ken Scott – producer
  • Dennis MacKay – engineer
  • Dr. Toby Mountain – mastering engineer (1990)
  • Jonathan Wyner – mastering assistant (1990)
  • Peter Mew – mastering engineer (1999)
  • Nigel Reeve – mastering engineer (1999)



Year Chart Peak position
1973 Finnish album Charts 1
1973 UK Album Charts 1[16]
1973 Billboard Pop Albums 23[17]
1973 Norwegian album Charts 8
1973 Australian Kent Report album Charts 4


Year Single Chart Peak position
1973 "Sorrow" UK Singles Chart 3[16]


Organization Level Date
BPI – UK Gold 1 November 1973 (1973-11-01)[18]


  1. Perrone, Pierre (16 August 2013). "Cover albums: The best and worst releases in the genre". The Independent. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  2. Lariviere, Aaron. "David Bowie Albums From Worst To Best: Pin Ups". Stereogum. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  3. Eder, Bruce. "allmusic ((( Pin Ups > Review )))". allmusic. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  4. Christgau, Robert. "David Bowie". Creem. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  5. Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 151. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  6. Wolk, Douglas (1 October 2015). "David Bowie: Five Years 1969–1973". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  7. Shaw, Greg (19 July 1973). "Pin Ups". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  8. "David Bowie: Album Guide". Archived from the original on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  9. Walker, John; Robbins, Ira; Neugebauer, Delvin. " :: David Bowie". Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  10. Scott, Ken (2012), Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust: Off-the-record with The Beatles, Bowie, Elton, and so much more. (1st ed.), Alfred Music Publishing Co.
  11. Kamp, Thomas (1985), David Bowie: The Wild-Eyed Boy 1964–1984 (1st ed.), O'Sullivan, Woodside & Co.
  12. Buskin, Richard (October 2003), "David Bowie & Tony Visconti Recording Reality", Sound on Sound, retrieved 30 July 2013
  13. "Image". Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Phillips, Sarah (16 May 2012). "Justin de Villeneuve's best photograph: David Bowie and Twiggy". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "allmusic ((( Pin Ups > Credits )))". allmusic. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "UK Top 40 Hit Database". Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  17. "allmusic ((( Pin Ups > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
  18. "BPI Certified Awards". Retrieved 15 July 2008.

External links[]

Preceded by
Hello! by Status Quo
UK number-one album
3 November – 1 December 1973
Succeeded by
Stranded by Roxy Music

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