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

Released: 19 October 1973

Available on:
Pin Ups

Personnel

David Bowie: vocals, saxophone
Mick Ronson: guitar, vocals
Trevor Bolder: bass guitar
Mike Garson: piano
Aynsley Dunbar: drums
Geoff MacCormack: backing vocals

The final track on David Bowie’s Pin Ups was a cover version of the Kinks’ 1965 song ‘Where Have All The Good Times Gone’.

The song was written by Ray Davies, and originally the b-side of the band’s single ‘Till The End Of The Day’. It was included on their 1965 album The Kink Kontroversy.

The Kinks rarely performed the song live in the 1960s. Pye reissued it as a single in November 1973, just weeks after Pin Ups, but it failed to chart. It assumed classic status in the coming years.

I would often try to go for a more obscure song because I felt it would give me more freedom to play around with the arrangement. In that particular case, I think I stayed pretty close to the original arrangement. But the idea of doing the more obscure songs was something that really appealed to me.
David Bowie
The Complete David Bowie, Nicholas Pegg

Ray Davies was a man old before his time, and the song lamented a bygone era just as the Sixties were starting to swing. Bowie’s Pin Ups, meanwhile, saw a young man at the height of his initial superstardom, singing the songs of the previous generation. Yet the good times were far from gone for Bowie, and would in many ways get better as the decade progressed.

The lyrics of ‘Where Have All The Good Times Gone’ were the only ones reproduced on the Pin Ups album insert. This suggested not only Bowie’s fondness for Davies’s song, but also the appropriateness of the lyrics – which summed up not only the distance between the mod and glam eras, but also the pressures on Bowie at the peak of his fame.

New Zealand single

Bowie’s version of ‘Rosalyn’ was released by RCA as a fan club single in New Zealand in November 1973, with ‘Where Have All The Good Times Gone’ on the b-side.

The promotional single was contained in a fold-up sleeve which included a mail order form for Pin Ups at a discounted price. The release was described as a “7” sampler record”, and each of the songs was interrupted three times by a DJ named “Tim” who attempted to persuade the listener to buy the full album.

Dear Member

Here is a FREE Complimentary Single Play Disc of DAVID BOWIE which is yours to keep! The tracks are from his biggest selling LP to date – “Pin Ups”, on which we are making a special offer to you as a privileged Club member. The full story is on the record itself, give it a spin – listen to these two fabulous cuts and the super deal we have going for you – you’ll be glad you did!

New Zealand ‘Rosalyn’ sleeve notes

Lyrics

In my life I’ve never stopped to worry about a thing
Opened up and shouted out and never tried to see
Wondering if I’d done wrong
Will this depression last for long

Won’t you tell me
Where have all the good times gone
Where have all the good times gone
Where have all the good times gone

Once we had an easy ride and always felt the same
Time was on our side and I had everything to gain
Let it be like yesterday
Please let me have happy days

Ma and Pa looked back on all the things they used to do
Didn’t have no money and they always told the truth
Daddy didn’t have no toys
And Mummy didn’t need no boys

Won’t you tell me
Where have all the good times gone
Where have all the good times gone
Where have all the good times gone

Yesterday was such an easy game for you to play
But let’s face it things are so much easier today
Guess you need some bringing down
Get your feet back on the ground

Won’t you tell me
Where have all the good times gone
Where have all the good times gone
Where have all the good times gone

Previous song: ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’
Next album: Diamond Dogs