Needles and Pins (2:11)

Cover of Greatest Hits

From Greatest Hits and 158 other releases

“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.[2]

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 and by the Ramones.

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 American thrash metal band Megadeth.

Chart (1964) Peak position

Australia Kent Music Report - # 2
French Singles - # 29
German Singles - # 8
Irish Singles - # 1
Swedish Singles - # 5
UK Singles - # 1
US Billboard Hot 100 - # 13


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