David Bowie – Pin ups (1973)

Don’t bring me down

I really dislike this album. Bowie at the height of his powers and he wastes it on a useless covers-album? It is so boring. Bowie wanted to celebrate the bands he listened to in the sixties. Maybe if you were around at the time you could appreciate it more, or if you like the music from the era very much. I am not one of those.

I am not a big fan of British pop music of the sixties in general. I love The Beatles and Pink Floyd but no more. The Who is utterly boring, all too simplistic for my taste, but then again, I always loved a song like “Time” more than “Rebel rebel”, to mention two Bowie songs.

This album is in the very bottom of my ranking of Bowie albums, I am sorry to say. There were apparently some plans to do a similar covers album with American artists from the sixties, a “Pin ups 2”. That I would have been much more interested in. I can easily find many more interesting American bands from that decade, with Neil Young first in line. Yes, I know he is Canadian, but anyway. I like the California rock scene, outlaw country and mellow yacht rock from the era. Bowie didn’t follow thru on this idea, not the first or last time he didn’t complete a project, but he added songs on later albums that could have easily ended up on “Pin ups 2”. One example is Neil Youngs “I’ve been waiting for you” from his debut album “Neil Young” from 1969 that we get on the 2002 album “Heathen”.

Back to the record we actually got. The only two songs I really can stand to listen to is Pink Floyd’s “See Emily play” and The Mersey’s “Sorrow”. Both are quite nice.  But the best cover from the era is the b-side of the “Sorrow” single, “Port of Amsterdam” by Jacques Brel. The first time I heard it was on the “cash grab” album “Rare” released in 1983, as a follow up to the immensely popular “Let’s dance”.  I love the port, the fish heads and the rotten teeth.

As a complete album on its own this is rubbish. I can’t imagine I will play it all through many times in my life again. Hopefully never.

My rating: 2/10

Side A:

  1. Rosalyn (The Pretty Things cover)
  2. Here comes the night (Them cover)
  3. I wish you would (The Yardbirds cover)
  4. See Emily play (Pink Floyd cover)
  5. Everything’s alright (The Mojos cover)
  6. I can’t explain (The who cover)

Side B:

  1. Friday on my mind (The Easybeats cover)
  2. Sorrow (The Merseys cover)
  3. Don’t bring me down (The Pretty Things cover)
  4. Shapes of things (The Yardbirds cover)
  5. Anyway, anyhow, anywhere (The who cover)
  6. Where have all the good times gone (The Kinks cover)

Best songs: “See Emily play” and “Sorrow”

Produced by: Ken Scott and David Bowie

Media: Remastered 180 gram vinyl, reissued in 2015 as part of the Five Years (1969-1973) box.

Released: October 19, 1973

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