Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Classic Album Review: David Bowie – Pin Ups (1973)

It is difficult to know quite what David Bowie was thinking at the time; Pop’s ultimate chameleon, flush with his first sustained brush with real global fame (post-Ziggy), decided to release a patchy covers album.

Looking back, it must surely have been considered an act of extreme self-indulgence given that it discarded the very thing that appealed most about Bowie in the first place – his originality.

But then again, back in 1973, as the new overlord of glam, Bowie had a special dispensation to do whatever the hell he pleased, I suppose, and the public would doubtlessly lap it up regardless. I’m pretty sure that’s how RCA Records would have seen it.

Pose alongside the gorgeous Twiggy on the album sleeve, and sales were pretty much guaranteed, but this won’t go down – by its very nature – as a must-have Bowie outing, despite that classic album sleeve, or the fact that it’s the release that gave us ‘Sorrow’.

Pin Ups also includes versions of The Who’s ‘I Can’t Explain’ and ‘Anyway Anyhow Anywhere’, plus Pink Floyd’s ‘See Emily Play’, among its 14-tracks (including the two bonus tracks of later issues), and while several of the covers here do significantly re-work the originals to give them a unique Bowie spin, there really isn’t all that much on Pin Ups to get overly excited about ...

Except maybe the cover itself?

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