Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Needles and Pins (song)

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April 11, 1963

Rock, beat

7" single

Liberty F-55563

Jack Nitzsche, Sonny Bono

"Needles and Pins" is a song written by Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono. In his autobiography, Bono states that he sang along with Nitzsche's guitar-playing, thus creating both the tune and the lyrics, being guided by the chord progressions. Jackie DeShannon tells the story differently, that the song was written at the piano, and that she was a full participant in the song's creation, along with Nitzsche and Bono, although she didn't get formal credit.


The song was written for and originally recorded by Jackie DeShannon. Other notable versions of the song were recorded by The Searchers, Del Shannon, Cher, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Stevie Nicks, Willie DeVille, Thorleifs, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Smokie, the Turtles and Ramones. It was a number 1 hit in France when recorded in French with new lyrics by Petula Clark entitled 'La Nuit N'en finit Plus'. It was also covered by Czech singer Václav Neckář, with a rewritten text and under the name 'Mýdlový princ' ('Soap Prince').

Jackie DeShannon version (1963)

The song was first recorded by Jackie DeShannon in 1963; in the US it peaked at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in May of that year. Though it was only a minor US hit, DeShannon's recording of the song topped the charts in Canada, hitting number one on the CHUM Chart in 1963.

The Searchers version (1964)

The Searchers heard British performer Cliff Bennett perform "Needles and Pins" at a club in Hamburg, Germany, and instantly wanted it to be their next single. The Pye Records single was released in January 1964. It was number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States. Soon after, in April 1964, "Needles and Pins" appeared on the Searchers' next album, It's the Searchers.

Audible during the Searchers' recording of "Needles and Pins" is a faulty bass drum pedal, which squeaks throughout the song. It is particularly noticeable during the opening of the number.

Part of The Searchers' version can be heard as the intro of the song "Use the Man" from Megadeth's Cryptic Writings album, although it does not appear on the remastered version.

Smokie version (1977)

In 1977, at the height of their popularity, English rock band Smokie covered the song as a rock ballad for the album Bright Lights and Back Alleys, and got a European hit with "Needles and Pins". The song reached number 1 in some European countries.

Ramones version (1978)

The Ramones covered "Needles and Pins" on their 1978 album Road to Ruin. Their version was also included on the band's first greatest hits collection, Ramones Mania.

In turn, pop-punk band The Commercials recorded the song for the tribute album Ramones Maniacs.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers version (1985; live)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their first live album in 1985 called Pack Up the Plantation: Live!, where singer-songwriter and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks performed on "Needles and Pins" with Tom Petty at the Forum in Los Angeles, California.


Needles and Pins (song) Wikipedia

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