100 Great Songs From The British Invasion: 1963-1966: ‘Needles and Pins’- The Searchers. In 1964 the center of the music universe was Liverpool- due in large part from the attention The Beatles gave to the cities Merseybeat sound. The Searchers were formed in 1959- as a skiffle group. The took their name from the great John Ford film The Searchers- which starred The Duke – John Wayne. They would have more success in their native UK than in the US- in the US they had 7 Top 40 hits- their biggest being ‘Love Potion #9’- #3 in 1964. Their hits were covers- ‘Needles And Pins- was a song that according to the source – Sonny Bono- was written by Sonny and arranger, songwriter, composer and producer- Jack Nitzsche [who was Phil Spector’s right hand man]– according to Jackie DeShannon she had a hand in it – although she is not credited.
Jackie DeShannon released the first version of the song in 1963- it peaked at #84 in the US- but it was a #1 hit in Canada. The Searchers were in Hamburg,Germany when they heard a British singer Cliff Bennett sing the song- and they were convinced they wanted this to be their next single. They had a hit on their hands- it would peak at #13 in the US- while going to #1 in the UK. The song was produced by Tony Hatch- who is best known as Petula Clark’s producer.
Single: ‘Needles And Pins’- The Searchers/ Written by Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono/ Record Company- Kapp/ Time: 2:14/ Released January 7, 1965 in UK/ Produced by Tony Hatch/ Peaked at #13 in US Billboard Hot 100, #1 in UK Singles Chart.
This is a good one. Tom Petty and the boys do a good version.
I absolutely love that tune and have to agree with CB – the Tom Petty version is great and the best I’ve heard thus far. Admittedly, I always thought the version by The Searchers was the first.
The first time I heard the song was in 1977 when it became a hit for English rock band Smokie who were very popular in Germany. IMHO, they have the distinction to have recorded one of most stupid and annoying songs I know, “Living Next Door to Alice.”
The Ramones also had a great version of ‘Needles And Pins’
That song is dripping in Merseybeat, and what a great one it is. That modulation and key change is a bitch, and a wee bit tough to play live, but my band did learn it, eventually. CB is right that Petty has the better version, but then Tom and crew had a better mix, instruments, and musicians. Jackie DeShannon’s cut is also great, but a bit too “chickesque” for my taste. So, I made that word up to fit the moment.
I love the Searchers. They only recently retired from touring and still sounded great. Agree with Phil about the styling on this song; that modulation is *hard.*
This to me is one of the first power pop songs
Off topic Max- but I think Roberts has severely botched up the pitching staff in the post season.. I know he is without Clayton- Bauer and May—but… bringing in Max and Urias like he has… if its a game 7 of the WS yes..
Oh I totally agree! It was no reason to bring him in. They have a very good bullpen and that is their job. After being so careful with the guy’s innings in his career he did that and it brought him down more. He was lifeless in the last game.
Hans…what is more painful is Jansen is Jansen again. He has been untouchable. With a three man rotation you don’t burn them up.
I see Buehler is going tonight.
I saw that and they will have the bullpen ready I’m sure. I have to wonder if it’s the front office that made those other decisions.
This is true.. it’s normal to blame the manager- but anymore you just never know..