"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.
The song was originally recorded by Jackie DeShannon. Other hit versions of the song were recorded by The Searchers, Cher, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Stevie Nicks, Willie DeVille, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Smokie, the Turtles and by the Ramones.
Jackie DeShannon version (1963)Edit
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 English Canada, hitting number one on the CHUM Chart in early 1963.
|Canadian CHUM Singles Chart||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||84|
The Searchers version (1964)Edit
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.
|Australia Kent Music Report||2|
|French Singles Chart||29|
|German Singles Chart||8|
|Irish Singles Chart||1|
|Swedish Singles Chart||5|
|UK Singles Chart||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100||13|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||8|
|South African Singles Chart||1|
Ramones version (1978)Edit
The Ramones covered Needles and Pins on their 1978 album Road to Ruin.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their first live album in 1985, Pack Up the Plantation: Live!, on which singer-songwriter and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Stevie Nicks performed "Needles and Pins" alongside Tom Petty at the Forum in Los Angeles, California.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||37|
|U.S. BillboardAlbum Rock Tracks||17|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||85|