PinUps (2015 Remaster)

PinUps (2015 Remaster)

“My brother’s back at home with his Beatles and his Stones/We never got it off on that revolution stuff/What a drag,” David Bowie wrote on “All the Young Dudes,” the 1972 glam anthem he gifted to his friends Mott the Hoople. It’s a lyric that cracked open a generation-gap fault line, one that separated the rock establishment figures who’d soundtracked the 1960s from the freaks who stood at the vanguard of a new musical uprising in the 1970s. Of course, the irony was that, even as Bowie was shaping rock’s future, he was always paying his respects to the past. He’d revamped The Rolling Stones’ “Let’s Spend the Night Together” on 1973’s Aladdin Sane and covered The Beatles’ “Across the Universe” on 1975’s Young Americans. But it was the 1973 all-covers collection PinUps that solidified a crucial aspect of the Bowie mythos: Beyond his trailblazing sense of fashion and gender fluidity, he was also rock’s foremost curator and tastemaker, the sort of artist who could redefine the canon according to his own esoteric sensibilities. On PinUps, Bowie builds a bridge from 1970s glam-rock to the British Invasion of the preceding decade, spotlighting the raucous rave-ups that taught this queen how to kick like a mule. But while the tracklist features familiar favorites from The Who, The Kinks, and The Yardbirds, Bowie devotes just as much space to the unsung heroes of the 1960s garage boom. If glam was proto-punk, then Bowie’s renditions of the Pretty Things’ “Don’t Bring Me Down” and “Rosalyn” qualify as proto-glam (you can draw a direct line from the latter to the Ziggy Stardust romp “Hang on to Yourself”). And when you hear Bowie throw himself into the fevered, accelerating chorus of the Easybeats’ “Friday on My Mind,” you’ll understand how he developed the breathless singing style he brought to his own hot-wired rockers like “Suffragette City.” But Bowie also nods to his contemporaries on PinUps—even if he does go deep into their catalog: At a time when mainstream audiences were tuning in en masse to the cosmic frequencies of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, Bowie pledged fealty to the group’s original Syd Barrett-led iteration, updating the psych-pop touchstone “See Emily Play” into a piece of glitter-rock theater. Though Bowie is largely faithful to his source material, PinUps is ultimately an act of sly subversion, a transfusion of hormonal, alpha-male 1960s-rock energy with glam’s coy flamboyance. However, the album’s most enduring entry is its most atypical: Bowie delivers The Merseys’ soulful serenade “Sorrow” with a melodramatic gusto that liberates it from the 1960s golden-oldie songbook—and elevates it into an eternal Bowie standard.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada