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.
These lyrics could easily belong to yesterday’s Gordon Is A Moron by Jilted John, expressing an impotent jealousy. But they in fact come from a 1965 number that became a No 2 hit for Them fronted by Van Morrison, written by the prolific Bert Berns who was also behind many other hits such as Twist and Shout, Piece of My Heart, Brown Eyed Girl (as a producer), Under the Boardwalk and Everybody Needs Somebody to Love. For an extra twist though, let’s highlight this Bowie cover from his 1973 album Pin Ups. Bowie wouldn’t have covered any old song, and Them’s original passion must have sparked his.
One key difference, other than his voice, of course, is the extraordinary saxophone arrangements which he played himself. Coming in a flurry of releases after the breakup of the Ziggy Stardust persona in July 1973 and after the release of Aladdin Sane, for Pin Ups he was joined by fellow Spiders Mick Ronson on guitar and Trevor Bolder on bass, plus, alongside others, Aynsley Dunbar on drums, who also played on Diamond Dogs and Lou Reed’s Berlin, and the innovative pianist Mick Garson.
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