Released 6 months after Aladdin Sane, David Bowie released the covers album Pin-Ups as a stop gap release for the record label. The album is mostly glammed up versions of R&B hits released in the 60s while Bowie was a teenager. On “See Emily Play” (Pink Floyd), Bowie and The Spiders from Mars (minus drummer Mick Woodmansey) add 90 seconds of psychedelia at the end. Of the two tracks originally by The Who, “I Can’t Explain” is the better one that Bowie turns into a slower, sleazy love song. “Sorrow” (The Merseys) is another highlight. The easy, laidback beat adds strings and horns as Bowie turns in a very good vocal performance.
The two tracks that sound the most like original Bowie songs is “Friday On My Mind” (The Easybeats) and The Kinks’ “Where Have All the Good Times Gone”. While Pin-Ups mostly feels like a quick, dashed off recording, it does open the listener to several tracks that may have been forgotten. In the age of streaming, downloading the originals would make for a cracking compilation playlist.