Recording: Pin Ups

The sixth recording session for David Bowie’s Pin Ups album took place on 15 July 1973, at Château d’Hérouville in northern France.

This was the final session in which bass guitarist Trevor Bolder took part. Afterwards he flew back to England, and the other musicians remained in France to work on the album.

There were two studios at Château d’Hérouville, one named after former owner Frederic Chopin. The other was the George Sand Studio, in converted stables in the grounds. It was there that much of Pin Ups was recorded.

The château had been recommended to Bowie by Marc Bolan, who had recorded parts of the T.Rex albums The Slider and Tanx there.

Another motivation was money: by recording the album in France, Bowie would avoid paying British tax on royalties. With the enormous expenses of his recent tour, and RCA’s stoic reluctance to loosen the purse strings, it was advantageous for Bowie to make as much as possible from his next release.

Recorded a short time after the Hammersmith gig, it was decided to record in a small village thirty minutes outside of Paris, France, at a studio known by different names: Strawberry Studios, Château d’Hérouville and the Honky Château. I had already recorded two albums there and so was quite comfortable with the choice. There was a small amount of recording done back at Trident to complete the project and then, as usual, I mixed there too.
Ken Scott, May 2015
Five Years (1969–1973) book

The recordings continued until 31 July, with sessions often lasting 12 hours or more. When not working on new tracks, the multitrack tapes from the final Ziggy show were mixed.

Last updated: 12 May 2023
Recording: Pin Ups
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