It has been a whole half century since David Bowie released his seventh full-length album Pin Ups on October 19th, 1973… and little did he know at the time the best was yet to come. David Bowie, a legend of alternative in his own right, struck gold with Pin Ups: a collection of cover songs, giving homage into the rising punk sound out of the UK mixed with the psychedelic counterculture rampant throughout America’s youth in the early 70s.
Leave it to David Bowie to make a cover album so iconic.
David Bowie, on the heels of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars, departs from his previous albums with Pin Ups by showcasing an edgier side to his many personas, a sound that paralleled the global unrest of the time. Being cover songs of artists that inspired Bowie in the early 60s, a time before the social and political upheaval in the United States with the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement, American audiences took particular pleasure in Bowie’s harder take of the well-known hits.
That said, almost all of the covers are from English bands, such as The Yardbirds, The Who, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, etc. Recorded at Château d’Hérouville in France, only one single seemed to chart from the album — “Sorrow”, originally by The Mersey — peaking at number four in the UK although the album itself, naturally, hit number one. What’s fun about the album is that the cover image was supposedly taken for Vogue magazine; when that was passed up, Bowie repurposed the shot for the album. And even though a tour never materialized for its release, fans have coveted Pin Ups since it hit commercial shelves, begging for a sequel (if only one ever materialized).
Now in its 50th year, a special re-release of ‘Pin Ups’ is set for October 20th.
The half-speed master will be issued as a limited edition vinyl, cut by John Webber at AIR Studios on a customized late Neumann VMS80 lathe. Not only that, but the electronic sounds on the album are being fully revamped from 192kHz restorations of the original master tapes. If Bowie were alive today, he would most definitely approve of the meticulous lengths being taken to preserve his original recording sound.
Whether or not you have a record player handy, join in on commemorating 50 years of the hauntingly beautiful melodies and borderline theatrical renditions of “Rosalyn”, “I Wish You Would”, “Sorrow”, “Friday On My Mind”, “See Emily Play”, and the like through the album stream below.