Album release: Pin Ups

David Bowie’s seventh album, Pin Ups, was released on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday 19 October 1973.

Pin Ups was nearly subject to an injunction from Island Records delaying its release. The label wished to prevent RCA from rush-releasing Bowie’s album ahead of Bryan Ferry’s solo debut These Foolish Things, another collection of cover versions. Ferry’s album was released on 5 October 1973, and although Island feared its sales would suffer, both These Foolish Things and Pin Ups were hits.

Pin Ups album cover

With advance sales of 150,000, Pin Ups became an instant best-seller. It spent five weeks at number one in the UK – just as Aladdin Sane had done earlier in the year. Pin Ups spent a total of 37 weeks on the UK chart.

The album also topped the chart in Finland, and went top ten in Australia and Norway. It fared less well in the US, however, peaking at number 23, and spending nine weeks on the charts.

Pin Ups was really my way of shaking off Ziggy completely, while retaining some excitement in the music. It really was treading water, but it happens to be one of my favourite albums. I think there is some terrific stuff on it.
David Bowie
Last updated: 15 February 2021
Live: The 1980 Floor Show, Marquee Club, London
Live: The 1980 Floor Show, Marquee Club, London
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