Pin Ups album coverWritten by: Bert Berns
Recorded: July 1973
Producers: Ken Scott, David Bowie
Engineer: Dennis MacKay

Released: 19 October 1973

Available on:
Pin Ups

Personnel

Contents

David Bowie: vocals, saxophone
Mick Ronson: guitar, vocals
Trevor Bolder: bass guitar
Mike Garson: electric piano
Aynsley Dunbar: drums
Ken Fordham: baritone saxophone
Michel Ripoche: violin
Geoff MacCormack: backing vocals

The second song on David Bowie’s seventh album Pin Ups was a cover version of Them’s 1965 hit ‘Here Comes The Night’.

Them were a Northern Irish band fronted by Van Morrison until 1966. Their biggest hits were ‘Gloria’, ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’, and ‘Here Comes The Night’. The latter peaked at number two on both the UK and Irish singles charts.

The song was written by Bert Burns, an American songwriter and producer who produced a number of hits for Them and fellow Decca artist Lulu. Them’s version of ‘Here Comes The Night’ was recorded at Decca Studios in West Hampstead, London, in October 1964, with Jimmy Page on guitar.

Bowie’s version was recorded at Château d’Hérouville in France nearly a decade later. He performed the saxophone solo, with backup from professional sax player Ken Fordham.

We were particularly pleased with that – we got a real Atlantic horn sound.
David Bowie
Sounds, 5 August 1973

Bowie’s full-throated cover version had little of the dark pathos of the original recording, in which Morrison brooded on obsession, jealousy, and loneliness.

Mike Garson’s piano was fed through a Leslie speaker to get something a little different on this. Then towards the end, a very simple Mick Ronson string arrangement. We used French musicians and as Ronno, with his northern England accent, only spoke English and the string players only spoke French, it became extremely comical at times when he was trying to describe exactly what he wanted from them. But eventually it worked.
Ken Scott, May 2015
Five Years (1969-1973) book

Only two songs on Pin Ups were by non-British bands. In addition to ‘Here Comes The Night’, Bowie recorded ‘Friday On My Mind’, a 1966 hit for the Easybeats from Sydney, Australia.

Lyrics

Oh here it comes
Here comes the night
Yeah, here comes the night
Oh, yeah (here comes the night)

I can see right out my window walking down the street
My girl with another guy
His arms around her like it used to be with me
Oh it makes me want to die

Yeah, here it comes
Here comes the night
Yeah (here comes the night) here comes the night
Yeah (here comes the night)

There they go, funny how they look so good together
Wonder what is wrong with me
Why can’t I accept the fact she’s chosen him
And simply let them be?

Here it comes
Here comes the night
Here comes the night
Yeah (here comes the night)

Oh she’s with him, he’s turning down the lights
But now he’s holding her the way I used to do
I can see her closing her eyes and telling him lies
Exactly like she’s told me too

Oh, here it comes
Here comes the night
Oh, here comes the night
Yeah (here comes the night)
Here, here it comes, yeah
Here, here it comes, yeah
Here comes the night yeah
Lonely, lonely night
Lonely, lonely night
Oh here comes the night
Here comes the night yeah

Previous song: ‘Rosalyn’
Next song: ‘I Wish You Would’