David Bowie tribute week continues with this 1973 album. Pin Ups was the first major zigzag of Bowie’s career. The critics tended to pounce on these so-called covers album even though, in retrospect, this album, along with The Band’s Moondog Matinee and Bryan Ferry’s These Foolish Things, is a classic.
As a fan of earlier forms of music, I’ve always objected to the term cover. It’s only a cover if the artist doesn’t bring anything unique to it. Tons of artists recorded Cole Porter’s Night and Day and most of them sounded quite different, at least renditions by artists such as Sinatra, Ella, and Tony Bennett. That’s why I prefer the term interpretive versions to covers. It’s classier sounding as well.
I didn’t select Pin Ups because it’s Bowie’s best album or has the best cover. I suspect many of you have never heard it and since the LP is on YouTube, Bob’s your uncle. This is the second Bowie cover I’ve featured in this space. Diamond Dogs was the first back in 2013.
Here’s how Bowie described the inspiration for Pin Ups in the liner notes:
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 cover of Pin Ups features Bowie with Sixties super model and fellow pin up, Twiggy:
Here’s the back cover featuring the artist’s own scrawl:
Finally, here’s the whole damn album: